Oysters, barely dressed, set the mood for more.
To make your partner blush a Valentine’s red, skip the roses, and order a dozen oysters. Served juicy on the half shell, oysters are a powerful aphrodisiac and the perfect way to get in the mood for a romantic meal. (Order them with a libation soon after you’re seated.) We asked three seafood-savvy restaurateurs to share their trifecta of oyster, sauce, and beverage. The take away is to keep it clean: A crisp cocktail is good, and a tart squeeze is fine, but cocktail sauce is the ultimate sin.
Walnut Creek Yacht Club / Co-Owner
Oyster: Gigas or Virginicas.
Sauce: Lemon and fresh ground black pepper, or a few drops of lime and chef Kevin’s Hey Mon hot sauce.
Beverage: Cold pilsner or Spanish sparkling Cava.
“I like plump oysters with a good amount of liquor and nice salt, but not too salty. Plus, cold—they must be served cold on ice.”
Lungomare / Owner
Oyster: Malpeques or Hog Island Sweetwaters.
Sauce: A squeeze of lemon or a few drops of Tapatío.
Beverage: Pigato wine from Liguria.
“My favorite oyster is the Raspberry Point from PEI, but I rarely see them. They have that unmistakable saltiness, with a bit of fruity flavor.”
The Cook and Her Farmer / Co-Owner
Oyster: Pacific or Marin Miyagi oysters from Tomales Bay Oyster Company.
Sauce: A squeeze of lemon or a mignonette of champagne vinegar, cilantro, chiles, and shallots.
Beverage: A glass of Muscadet or Bonny Doon’s Vin Gris.
“I like briny oysters, slightly salty—that taste of the seaside, with a hint of minerality.”