The World's His Oyster 

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Nowadays, virtually any produce, meat or seafood selection is available year ‘round from grocers. Some people—particularly chefs—are trying to reverse this trend by “buying local.”

So, I was “local-minded” when visiting locally owned Market Street Oyster Bar in downtown Salt Lake City. But, having lived on both the East and West Coasts, I was unsure about satisfying an oyster craving in Utah.

Upon entering the French bistromeets-seaside-town atmosphere of the Oyster Bar, I was transported to just that: a small, East Coast town by the sea. It was a welcoming environment, perfect for satisfying my bivalve craving.

Of the 20 or so oyster types listed on the board, four were marked as available. On this particular day, I was able to sample Blue Point (Virginia); Dabob (Washington); Kumamoto (British Columbia); and Otter Cove (Washington) oysters.

The selection of white wines by the glass was limited to about eight, so I found myself cornered into ordering a Riesling. Asking the bartender if this would pair well, she responded, “Any white wine will do.” Not quite as helpful as I hoped.

Well, my wonderful faux seaside town experience began with walking into the restaurant’s perfectly designed dining room, but was completed with the Otter Cove oysters. You know when you’ve been on the beach for some time how you can taste, smell and hear the ocean? After the Otter Coves, I had the subtle saltiness of the sea on my lips, I could smell the sand, and I could hear the waves crashing. It was a glorious moment, filled with memories of the past and the presence of the sea, created by both those oysters and Market Street.

Anthony Fassio will begin study at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris this winter.

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