Out of Season Albeit Outstanding Oysters at Danton's

Readers of this blog know that I like to live dangerously and never shy from eating food even if it's not in season. So, when my husband casually mentioned he was in the mood for oysters, I didn't let the fact that we were in the middle of a non-"R" month stop us. Anyway, that rule is not so hard and fast.

We decided to try out Danton's famous happy hour in which a dozen oysters are just $10. And, in a pleasant turn of events, we happened to do so sitting at the bar while watching the United States score its first victory of the World Cup.

Now, my husband is a bit of snob when it comes to oysters, having been spoiled by many trips to New Orleans involving freshly shucked bivalves as wide as his thumb. He told me approximately 100 times in the hours leading up to our visit to Danton's that he would be able to tell if the oysters were refrigerated on the half shell. No, wait, 101 times.


Now, for the record, there was no oyster monger behind the bar at Danton's with an Oxo knife opening individual bivalves (just a very competent and speedy bartender). Thus, I can't confirm whether my beloved's affirmation that indeed the oysters we were served were very recently shucked. I can testify to the fact that they were sizeable, icy, and delicious. We started with two dozen and I slurped about six mollusks along with their accompanying liquor bath in about 5 minutes.

Then, I remembered it was 2014, not 1814, and oysters are no longer widely available and cheap as factory-farm chicken. I slowed down and savored my remaining oysters, pausing on occasion to anoint this one or that with some horseradish or even construct an oyster canape or sorts using saltine packets.

Ironically, luxuriating over 18 oysters (we split a third dozen) just made me want a LOT more. I guess excess breeds excess and oysters are one of those rare foodstuffs to which the law of diminishing utility does not apply. Unfortunately, I have to abide by other economic strictures and I can't indulge ad infinitum. Sigh. At least, though, I know I can partially satiate my craving at Danton's even in June, July, and August.

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Joanna O'Leary