"When you walk this platter through the dining room, people see it and say 'I want one,' " says Eric McConville, JRDN's assistant general manager.
And here's another reason JRDN's should be on your list of one of the country's remaining luxurious places to have oysters -- McConville personally tastes 10 to 12 different varieties of oysters each week, to ensure the restaurant is offering the best oysters possible.
"The main reason oysters are so luxurious is we have to search high and low to find high-quality oysters," he says.
Topnotch Resort and Spa, Vt.
So maybe a BLT doesn't immediately conjure up images of luxury, diamonds and pearls.But when you add an oyster to that BLT, now you have something worth talking about, something intriguing for the more sophisticated diner. Chef Steve Sicinski's spin on oysters involves combining it with some of Vermont's absolute freshest produce of the season -- specifically, baby heirloom tomatoes. To this he adds crisp lettuce and locally smoked bacon. "Right now in Vermont it's peak tomato season with all the fresh baby heirlooms," Sicinski says. "And this dish definitely has a summer feel, and we definitely use really good tomatoes. The tomato is as important as oyster." The oysters are lightly fried and the dish is assembled by hand, layer by layer -- with the topping of bacon, lettuce and tomato. It presents very delicately, an extremely elegant, pared-down version of a blue-collar BLT. "To me oysters speak of the East Coast, whether you eat them in a fine dining experience like here at Topnotch, or on the side of the dock at a picnic table," Sicinski says.