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2007-02-14

>the myriad saltwater bivalve molluscs

To the poor patient oyster, where it sleeps
Within its pearly house. -Keats

So many names (Bouzigue? Gravette?), seemingly so many choices on the menu.
But it seems manageable if we classify them into:

European Flat (Ostrea edulis)
Eastern or Atlantic (Crassostrea virginica)
Pacific (Crassostrea gigas)
Olympia (Ostrea lurida).

Most of the time though, simply "oysters" seem to be enough of a draw.

>Oysters on the half shell, served raw with a splash of champagne vinaigrette on a bed of mixed greens, served with garlic crostinis - Rick & Ann's Restaurant, Berkeley, CA

>Oyster motoyaki - Tsuki, Chicago, IL

>Oyster Louie, filled with spinach, pecorino, crabmeat lobster saffron essence topped with hollandaise - Green Dolphin Street, Chicago, IL

>Bongo-bongo soup veloute of oyster and spinach - Trader Vics, Atlanta, GA

>Panko fried oyster, warm bacon vinaigrette, frisee and poached quail egg - Alberta Street Oyster bar & Grill, Portland, OR

>Seared ahi tuna with avocado, citrus and fiery oyster shooter - Amadeus, Vienna, Austria

>Tempura oyster, smoked chili butter, creme fraiche and osetra caviar, avocado oil - The Conservatory, Cape Town, South Africa

>Asparagus gaspacho, oyster cream, home-pressed smoked salmon and leeks with truffle oil - Le Jardin des Sens, Montpelier, France