"I've never seen shaved frozen Tabasco anywhere else," Fortin says. "We're trying to do something different with oysters."
And one last tip from Fortin: Oysters are fabulous when accompanied by a sparkling sake. In this case, Zipang made by Gekkeikan.
Trust me, he's right.
Vetro by Russo's on the Bay, Howard Beach, N.Y.
The East Coast version of Donovan's Jeff Fortin can be found in Howard Beach, N.Y.
Executive chef Michael DeGeorgio brings a unique creativity to his presentation of oysters, always thinking about and developing new ways to serve them. Here's two examples.
DeGeorgio's Oysters Capricciosa involves lightly coating oysters in panko crumbs, frying them and serving them beneath a salad of red onion, grape tomatoes, plum tomatoes, tarragon, garlic and baby arugula. The salad is sprinkled with olive all, champagne vinegar and chili pepper.
"Italian people do veal chops topped with salad. I decided to do an oyster that way," explains DeGeorgio.
He also features regularly another out-of-the-ordinary approach to oysters -- a dish he calls Tuscan Oysters. Think of it as DeGeorgio's spin on Oysters Rockefeller. In this case the dish involves topping oysters with a mixture of sauteed wild mushrooms, spinach and Fontina cheese.
And unlike the "capricious" woman he named his first oyster dish after, who never knows what she wants, Vetro's customers know exactly what they want. DeGeorgio says his oyster dishes sell like crazy.
JRDN, San Diego
The luxury in the oyster experience here comes in large part from the spectacular view. JRDN overlooks Pacific Beach. It is literally perched on the edge of the beach, giving you an unobstructed view of the Pacific Ocean.
Sit at one of the tables on JRDN's patio slurping oysters as you watch the sun set over the ocean. Or you can choose to sit at the bar, which looks directly out at the beach as well. Either way, you can't beat the combination of a great view and JRDN's fabulous, over-the-top Grande Platter or their Petite Platter. No matter which size you order, the platter is the very definition of luxurious seafood eating. It comes overflowing with oysters, littleneck clams, jumbo prawns and Alaskan King Crab. The Grande Platter is $75, the Petite, $45.