October 21, 2009

The Frisky Oyster



Years ago, I was at The Frisky Oyster, a Greenport restaurant, for the birthday dinner of a friend's husband. I don't remember much of that evening, as it was years and years ago, but I do remember I savored every bite I ate and walked away thinking "That is one of the best meals I ever had." Their key lime pie lived on as a legend in my mind. A few weekends ago, Yoga Jen, her BF, and ABF and I traipsed out there for a winery visit. We ended up on the North Fork way past dinnertime, and despite the wicked blustery wind and cold rain, I was delighted to see that The Frisky Oyster was still open for business (when ABF & I tried to go in February, it was closed).

When we stepped inside, it was much darker and more formal than I remembered. For the birthday dinner years ago, I remember the lights being very bright, the dining room being very loud, and overall the mood being boisterous (frisky, even?) Of course, that was in the middle of summer, not on a cold fall night.


The server immediately placed a chunk of bread and a cold plate with a sizeable slab of butter and some reddish crystals. My face scrunched up (both out of curiousity and in an attempt to see better--did I mention how dark it was there?) and the server explained the crystals were Hawaiian sea salt. He suggested we sprinkle some over the butter. I did so cautiously, but was quickly won over by the gentle crunch of the crystals and the zippy tang the salt carried with it. Yum!! We all agreed this was fantastic.




We ordered a round of appetizers. I went into this meal knowing I had to save room for dessert, so I shared an app with ABF. We ordered the lamb meatballs, which sounded delicious. They were, but I will say you may not want to split these. One serving was four tiny meatballs, not even a tablespoon of meat per ball. These are packed with flavor, but they are tiny. For 14 bucks, you'd think maybe they'd give you another 2 or 3.




Jen got the brussels sprouts salad. These remain on my list of foods I just don't like, but I tried a bite. The sprouts were shredded, basically chiffonades of sprout over an ice cold plate. The sprouts were crunchy and interesting but just still too bitter for me. It had a citrus dressing dotting the side that was a big ol' shout out to their awesome key lime pie. That's right...I was still thinking about dessert!



Jen's BF got the calamari, and if I were to go back, I think I'd order this. The breading was light, the calamari tasted fresh, and the aioli was SOOOOOOO good. Tangy and citrusy and addicting. It was also the biggest serving, so you could share and still get plenty o' calamari. It also came with blistered peppers, a lot like the ones at (stupid) Boqueria. Jen's BF was nice enough to share these, too!



I ordered the garganelli (a pasta shaped somewhat like penne) that came with slow-roasted Wagyu beef, mushrooms, and fresh ricotta. Holy melt-in-your-mouth-meat, Batman. This was outstanding. It was tender, it was salty, it was perfect.




ABF got the braised short ribs over garlic polenta. ABF and I are foodies and Top Chef fans, and we decided that the braised short rib is 'the' big dish in the past year or so. We see it featured on almost every menu. I'm just glad to see something replace "Chilean Sea Bass." ;) There's a reason the ribs are so popular...they are succulent and hearty and when seasoned correctly, a very satisfying dish.




Jen ordered the monkfish. Monkfish is another food that I usually pass on, ever since I saw a photo of a whole monkfish. They are a butt-ugly fish, those monkfish. Something about the way it plopped/splatted onto the table in this TV episode stuck with me in the most unappetizing way, and that's the image that comes to my impressionable mind every time I see it on a menu. This dish, however, almost changed my mind. It was PERFECTLY seared with a crispy crust and bright flavors. For the time I was trying my sample, I almost forgot what this fish really looks like! :)It came over some jasmine rice that was so creamy it was almost like risotto. I am not a fan of rice, but THIS was spectacular.

Jen's BF got the scallop dish (which I briefly considered ordering myself!) These scallops were seared PERFECTLY. How do I know? He was generous enough to share with us. ABF & I split one of the scallops and were in complete agreement that it didn't get much better than this!


With our entrées out of the way, I readied myself for dessert. I decided not to ask during dinner if they still made the key lime pie. I'd rather have delayed being disappointed in that instance. However, by the wavering light of the tea light candles, I saw they still had the key lime pie, described on the menu as the World's Best Key Lime Pie. I ordered it immediately and sat back, hoping my memory would not have raised my taste buds' hopes in vain. Kevin ordered the chocolate fudge cake, which was fudgy, cakey, and good, but not great. Then IT arrived: KEY LIME PIE! I took a bite and was delighted to realize it was just as good as I remembered it. Tart, tangy, but creamy and sweet. I made everyone take a bite. Even ABF, who doesn't really care for KLP, said 'That might actually BE the world's best key lime pie!"


Sometimes, things turn out to be exactly the way you remember them, and that is a very wonderful thing. (PS: This place isn't cheap, but it's definitely worth a visit or two!)

2 comments:

Axelrod said...

Literally moments after I read this post I read this from the New York Post via People.com: "Katie Holmes and Anna Paquin took a break from filming the indie production “The Romantics,” with meals at the Frisky Oyster and La Cuvee on Long Island’s North Fork."
Too funny! Guess I have to go since it came up twice in one day!
~Sara

eonyc said...

Ha! It really is worth the trip. Maybe you can come out on our next trip to the very end of Long Island! If you drive much further past the restaurant, you'll be in the water!

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