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cabrales

Aquagrill

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I stopped by Aquagrill recently to inquire about the varieties of oysters available at this time.  I was having lunch at Fiamma Osteria, which is directly adjacent to Aquagrill.

The variety of oysters, particularly from the West coast of the US and Canada, was interesting.  Here were the oysters available at the restaurant on a particular day:

-- Blue Point -- Connecticut

-- Pearl Point;Willapa bay -- Oregon

-- Cortes Island; Fanny Bay; Malaspina; Chefs Creek; Royal Miyagi; Viking Bay -- British Columbia, Canada

-- Samish; Sisters Point; Nootka; Hama Hama; Hood Canal XL; Westcott Bay -- Washington

-- Belon; Belon XL; Pemaquid -- Maine

-- Duxbury -- Massachusetts

-- Moonstone -- Rhode Island

An oyster sampler of one of each oyster was $47.50 per person.  The oysters a la carte were priced from $1.65 to $2.50 per oyster, with most being at or above $2.00.  

Do members have input on the oysters at Aquagrill? I may be able to report soon. The restaurant offers one of my preferred bottles of less expensive white wine -- Didier Dagueneau's Pouilly Fume, "Pur Sang" (in this case, 2000 for $68).  :wink:

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In a recent discussion on the Grand Central Oyster Bar, Steve P, jaybee and I discussed what should be drunk with oysters. I noted my not liking Rieseling that much, and Steve noted various possibilities.  Below is the white wine list (by the bottle) from Aquagrill's menu:

-- Sauvignon Blanc

Silverado Vineyards 2000, Napa Valley, CA (29; denoted exceptional value by the restaurant)

Cain "Musque" 2000, Ventana Vineyard, Monterey, CA (40)

Palliser Estate 2001, Martinborough, New Zealand (36)

Seresin 2001, Marlborough, NZ (40)

Menetou Salon, Domaine Roger Champault 1998, Loire (28)

Pouilly Fume, "Vielles Vignes" Regis Minet 2000, Loire (32)

Sancerre, Domaine Fournier 2000, Loire (36) [i had chosen a Sancerre by the glass at Grand Central Oyster Bar; it was so-so]

Pouilly Fume, "Pur Sang" 2000, Didier Dagueneau, Loire (68; denoted exceptional quality by Aquagrill; also a wine I like in general)

-- Othe Light Wines

Chenin Blanc, Chappellet Old Vine Cuvee 1998, Napa (24; exceptional value)

Viognier, Calera Wine Company 2000, CA (67)

Sylvaner, "Vielle Vignes" Dom Ostertag 2000, Alsace (33)

Aligote, A et P de Villaine 1999, Bouzeron, France (35)

Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Le Grillaie 2000, Tuscany (30)

Pinot Grigio, Toprre Rosazza 2000, Fruilia, Italy (34)

Crotese, Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi 2000, Italy (35)

Falanghina, "Vigna Caracci" 2000, Villa Matilde, Falerno del Massico, Campania, Italy (44)

Semillon, Tim Adamas 1998, Clare Valley, Australia (30; denoted exceptional quality)

Torrontes, "Don David Selections" 2000, Michel Torino, Cafayate Valley, Argentina (28)

-- Chardonnay

[longer list omitted]

-- Proprietor's Blend

Conundrum, Caymus Vineyards 2000, Napa, CA (45)

"Turno", Movia 1997, Friulia, Italy (37)

Pinot d'Alsace, Zinde-Humbrecht 1999, Alsace, France (47; denoted exceptional quality)

Crozes Hermitage Blanc, "Mule Blanche" 1998, Paul Jaboulet Aine, Rhone, France (45)

Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc, Vieux Telegraphe 2000, Chateauneuf du Pape, Rhone, France (75; denoted exceptional quality)

-- Riseling and Gewurztraminer

Gewurztraminer, Bouchaine Vineyards 1999, CA (23)

Johannisberg Riseling, Hermann Wiemer 2000, NY (24; denoted exceptional value)

Gewurztraminer "Jubilee" 1997 Grand Cru, Hugel et Fils, Alsace, France (55)

Riesling, "Kaiserberg" 2000 Smaragd, Prager, Wessenkirchen, Wachau (84; denoted exceptional quality)

Interesting items on the Aquagrill menu for lunch/brunch as of last weekend included:

Toro Tuna Escabeche, with marinated vegetables and EVOO (10.50)

Grilled Wild White Salmon, with roasted sweet corn, wild mushrooms, haricots verts and wild asparagus in a sweet-corn emulsion (24.50)

Diver sea scallops (grilled, poached or roasted 16)

Blueberry or banana pancakes with maple syrup, bacon or sausage (9.50)

Sweet Maine Jonah Crab Claws, served with jicama-jalapeno-pineapple slaw and Dijon mustard sauce (5 claws for 20)

Fresh Maine periwinkles (with lemon aioli, 7.50)

I'd appreciate Steve P and other members' input re: the wine list at Aquagrill, in connection with a potential meal consisting solely of oysters and Jonah crab claws.  :wink:

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-- Chardonnay

[longer list omitted]

and that's just as well.   :biggrin:

although it's the standard, i always have something like crisp sauvignon blanc or chenin blanc with oysters.  last night i tried a gruner veltliner for the first time, and it seemed like it would be a good match with oysters.  i wouldn't trust anything from california or any new world wine producing countries for that matter because of the high likelihood of over-oaking, which simple goes against everything an oyster stands for.

and, of course, bubbles go with everything.  :smile:

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Tommy, I've taken a shine to a veddy dry and cold Bombay (not Saphire) or Beefeater martini, up, to accompany oysters and clams.  The sharp, clean taste sets up and finishes the oysters very well and brings out the nuances of flavor.  Two of these babies will work for a dozen oysters.

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Cabrales - When my office was on Astor Place I used to go there all of the time. I used to think it was one of the cities best places but to be honest I haven't been in two years. I stopped going because the wine list stank, they wouldn't let me bring my own, and reservations became difficult to obtain and the amount of time needed to reserve in advance wasn't commensurate with the level of food they served there which can only be described as American Fish/Seafood Bistro.

Since none of the wines you listed seem to be exceptional (although I can't say I've had them all) I would stick with the Champault or Regis Minet. But a wine of curiosity at least to me is the Villa Matilde wine from Campania. They are a good producer making an excellent red wine and, over the last few years there have been a number of good seafood restaurants that have sprung up on the Amalfi Coast and it would be interesting to see how the wineries have responded to that.

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Yes, it's about two years since I had a meal there too, and not because the food was anything less than good.  I suppose I am more a meat than a fish eater, and since it did require some effort to book it sort of slipped below the radar.  What I still do sometimes is eat oysters at the bar if I'm in the neighborhood - nice break from afternoon shopping.  My memory is that their sea food platters, in various sizes, were very good.

As for drinking, consider Guinness!

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Oh, do consider Guinness. Irish standard for oysters.

But the martinis sound interesting, jaybee.

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Tommy, I've taken a shine to a veddy dry and cold Bombay (not Saphire) or Beefeater martini, up, to accompany oysters and clams.  The sharp, clean taste sets up and finishes the oysters very well and brings out the nuances of flavor.  Two of these babies will work for a dozen oysters.

while i can appreciate why people like it, i don't drink hard liquor pretty much at all.  mrs. tommy has a vodka martini every now and again, but i can't even bring it to my nose.  it's actually fascinating to me that people dig 'em so much.  and to *eat* with them?  fuhgedaboudit.  no thanks.  sancerre for me.  :smile:

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I'm interested because I've never found cocktails to work together with food.

Frozen vodka with caviar and other roe, yes. A bit of ancient single malt with some game preparations or with a very charred but very rare steak. But anything mixed causes instant revulsion for me as soon as the food touches the tongue.

But martinis with oysters? Hm...

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Margaritas with some Mexican food, perhaps?  But I take your point.  A nice malt accompanies smoked cheese well.

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Oh, right. Smoked cheesesh. Thash shtrue. [sudden salivation]

Hm. Margaritas? Not for me. Cold beer. Tequila.

edit:

Oh, wait. Bloody Caesar or Bloody Mary would do.

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But anything mixed causes instant revulsion for me as soon as the food touches the tongue.

A very dry icy cold martini made with gin that is not too full of botanicals is not really a "mixed" drink.  It has a purity of taste and a clean dry finish with a sort of cutting sharpness that offsets the richness of the oyster meat and the saltiness of the oyster liquor.  Just use fresh ground pepper and nothing else on the oysters.  Maybe a slight squeeze of lemon, but that isn't even necessary.

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It has a purity of taste and a clean dry finish with a sort of cutting sharpness that offsets the richness of the oyster meat and the saltiness of the oyster liquor.  

now that's just crazy talk.  :biggrin:

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Is it a myth that drinking hard liquor with oysters makes you sick?  Or was it just whisky and oysters?

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Is it a myth that drinking hard liquor with oysters makes you sick?  Or was it just whisky and oysters?

Bad oysters..they're the thing to avoid.  

Whisky and oysters--ugghh.  

Gin and oysters---yumm. :biggrin:

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Whisky and oysters--ugghh.  

Gin and oysters---yumm. :biggrin:

sauvignon blanc and oysters---

smiley%207.gif

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Jeez Tommy,

I stared at that thing for ten minutes.  He's hypnotic.

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Gin and oysters.  An' they say British food is bad... I dunno.

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