The R Months

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Michael Stern
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2003/10/25 05:15:28 (permalink)

The R Months

One thing we know for sure, having recently returned from South Carolina: Oysters so extremely "R" in season! Two weeks ago, the first of the Folly Creek oysters came into the Old Post Office on Edisto Island, and chef Philip Bardin made Oyster Skillet with them. For us bivalvophiles, there may not be a more delicious dish on earth.
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    seafarer john
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/25 08:22:09 (permalink)
    Michael: Get us the recipe!
    #2
    mayor al
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/25 11:15:34 (permalink)
    After a lunch with the Sundancer next Saturday in Pigeon Forge,TN, We are headed down to the S C coast and then South to St Augustine to check out the shellfish and shrimp places along the way. We want to try both Bowen's Island (no relation that we know of) and the Crab Shack near Savannah. We saw a place in St Augustine on "The Best of..." called the Saltwater Cowboy's" Anyone ever tried it? Then it is over to Pensacola to pick up a cooler full of iced Ruby Red Shrimp to bring home. All in All this one is a 'Later Fall Color and Eat Our Way Around the South' week plus trip.
    It is also McDuff's first multiday road trip and we are all excited about that. We did a large (2 lb) Porterhouse last night. First one in quite awhile. (Meat sale at local grocery had it at $3.99 a pound) Anyway Duffer had his first T-Bone. It was something to see !
    #3
    seafarer john
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/25 12:58:44 (permalink)
    We spent a few days last week in the Finger Lakes wine country. The Rieslings get better and better, and even some of the reds, especially red blends are improving every year. Had a chance to spend a few minutes chatting with Herman Wiemer, winner of the Governor's cup for best New York State wine (a 2001 Riesling) this year and he informed me that the Gevertztraminer crop was a complete failure this year due to late Spring wet and frosts- now that's a bummer...

    We ate several times at Veraisons, the restaurant at the Inn At Glenora Wine Cellars, and the food was delicious with good friendly service and a nice choice of local wines We wanted to eat at Mr. Chicken
    (advised by members of this forum) but it was closed every time we were in Watkins Glen. We did get to eat Monica's Grape Pie (Naples, NY) which turned out to be much better than anticipated. It was more like cherry pie than "grape jelly"- I'd gladly eat a slice again. We learned just how localized in Binghamton the Spiedies are: they sem to be unknown outside Broome County and not even well know there. Several locals in Binghamton we questioned as to where to get one seemed to have never heard of such a thing. Maybe they just want to keep them all for themselves?

    We found a great place for Goat Cheese: "Lively Run Dairy" in Interlaken, NY, on the ridge between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes.
    They have about 100 goats and produce a variety of cheeses- Chevre, Feta, etc. They have a tiny little store at the dairy . The cheeses are fresh, they serve bagels and cheese if you cant wait to get home to enjoy, and their prices are very reasonable considering the quality of the product - and considering what we pay in our local stores for goat cheeses.

    It is a great area to visit; comfortable accomodations are plentiful, good restaurants are available, travel is easy between wineries, and the people are friendly and accomodating - the downside is a lack of
    "Roadfood" type places. We did have good sandwiches and soup in The Village Tavern in Hamondsport ( over 100 beers available and a large wine list) and we were told that Geneva has some pretty good Pizza but did not stop there to check it out, and, of course, Ithaca has a number of well known roadfood joints. We have never yet checked out the wineries on Cayuga Lake, maybe next year we'll do that and get to learn some of the better joints in Ithaca
    #4
    Michael Stern
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/26 03:44:52 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by seafarer john

    Michael: Get us the recipe!


    That's why we were there . The recipe is on its way.
    #5
    scbuzz
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/27 08:46:17 (permalink)
    I love SC steamed oysters !!! I hope to head out to Murrell's inlet this coming weekend to get a double-steam pot of them at Nance's !!!!


    Just me, some saltines, melted butter, cocktail sauce and a BIG OLE STEAMPOT of oysters !!!

    It doesn't get much better than that !!!!!
    #6
    E. J.
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/27 09:44:02 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

    After a lunch with the Sundancer next Saturday in Pigeon Forge,TN, We are headed down to the S C coast and then South to St Augustine to check out the shellfish and shrimp places along the way. We want to try both Bowen's Island (no relation that we know of) and the Crab Shack near Savannah. We saw a place in St Augustine on "The Best of..." called the Saltwater Cowboy's" Anyone ever tried it? Then it is over to Pensacola to pick up a cooler full of iced Ruby Red Shrimp to bring home. All in All this one is a 'Later Fall Color and Eat Our Way Around the South' week plus trip.
    It is also McDuff's first multiday road trip and we are all excited about that. We did a large (2 lb) Porterhouse last night. First one in quite awhile. (Meat sale at local grocery had it at $3.99 a pound) Anyway Duffer had his first T-Bone. It was something to see !
    #7
    E. J.
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/27 09:46:44 (permalink)
    Saltwater Cowboy's is a good place with a great setting overlooking the marsh but St. Augustine is full of great restaurants. If you want simple but great seafood with home-cooked side dishes, stop at Osteens (on the south side of the road heading towards the beach after you cross the bridge of lions). The best friend shrimp anywhere. A bit further east on the other side of the road is the Gypsy Cab Co. which is also a terrific restaurant. And when you get to the west coast of Florida be sure to get some Appalachicola oysters. They're as good as you'll find anywhere.
    #8
    Liketoeat
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/27 10:43:36 (permalink)
    scbuzz, how I envy you, but surely do hope you get to Nance's this coming weekend and while there down a pot of the steamed clams for me. Just so glad to know that Nance's is still open and going. Haven't been there is so many years but so love its steamed oysters and clams. Knowing for certain that its still there is incentive to get back over that way one of these days. You are surely right; it just doesn't get much better than at Nance's. Is Pauley's Island Inn (restaurant) still operating? Used to be some fine eating there, too.
    #9
    Rick F.
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/27 11:06:18 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by scbuzz

    I love SC steamed oysters !!! BIG OLE STEAMPOT of oysters !!! It doesn't get much better than that !!!!!
    Can you tell me more about steamed oysters? I've never heard of them; how do you steam them? Seasonings? Steaming liquid used? Sounds interesting and, better still, tasty! ?
    #10
    lleechef
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/27 12:20:01 (permalink)
    I have grilled oysters in the shell but never steamed them. Looking forward to that recipe for Oyster Skillet.
    #11
    scbuzz
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/27 12:23:53 (permalink)
    The most common way of steaming around here is to build a fire in a b-b-q pit then put some form of metal over the fire (some people use a metal pan) then place the oysters on the hot tin or pan and cover with a wet burlap sack !! Steam them until they start to open. Probably not more than 10 minutes !!

    The steaming liquid is the liquid from the oysters themselves and the moisture from the wet burlap.

    We don't season them as they are naturally salty. They are served on the table (at Nance's anyway) in a big steam pot and you shuck them at the table. They provide a large garbage can to throw the shells into. They recycle the shells back into the oyster beds. Once the oyster is shucked I like to dip them in melted butter and place them on a saltine cracker, then put a dollup ( Southern term for a heaping helping ) of spicey cocktail sauce on top and then consume vast quantities !!! A few beers help them go down real easy too !!!

    I go to Murrell's inlet to Nance's (not associated with this resturant in any way, just like it). But there are other great places at Murrell's inlet, plus Shem Creek at Charleston/Mt. Pleasant, not to mention Bowen's Island and other points south near Beaufort.

    Check this board for info on Bowen's island !
    #12
    JimInKy
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/28 04:51:04 (permalink)
    Michael, During the recent visit to Charleston, did you and Jane learn which restaurants are doing a good job of serving pan-fried oysters? Anything you can share about the status of oysters on Charleston menus would be much appreciated as I shall be traveling there shortly.
    #13
    mayor al
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/28 08:48:52 (permalink)
    E J and SC Buzz- You both are an example of why I enjoy this website as I do. Getting local referrals and reviews add a new dimension to roadtripping.
    #14
    scbuzz
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/28 09:34:16 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Liketoeat

    Is Pauley's Island Inn (restaurant) still operating? Used to be some fine eating there, too.


    I am not really sure if Pawley's Island Inn is still in opertion or not. I keep planning on getting down to Pawley's Island to sample some of the great resturants there, but I just can't seem to pass by Nance's or some other great place in Murrell's Inlet.

    As a side note, a great resturant in Pawley's Island that I have been hearing alot about lately is Louis's. It is owned and operated by Louis Osteen who was in Charleston for many years and has a great reputation for being an excellent southern cook.

    If anyone gets by there before me, please post your experiences here !

    http://www.louisatpawleys.com/
    #15
    Liketoeat
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/28 10:52:44 (permalink)
    scbuzz, can surely understand your inability to pass by Nance's to head further south (and do have a great steamed oyster/clam feast there this weekend), but Pawley's Island Inn used to also have some great food. Believe those two spots were just my favorites of the many fine eating places between Georgetown and Myrtle Beach.
    #16
    dendan
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/30 14:16:29 (permalink)
    If you like oysters...try the Urbana, VA Oyster Festival this weekend. While not a resturant, it provides the opportunity to try seafood in a hundred ways.
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    tiki
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/30 14:46:15 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by dendan

    it provides the opportunity to try seafood in a hundred ways.


    100 DIFFERENT SEAFOOD TASTES!!!!
    Oh my God, the thought of it is overwheming and i am practically drooling!!!I am so jeolous----its a long ride to the coast from Oklahoma! Oh well, guess i will just have drown my sorrows in Brisket once again!!
    #18
    dendan
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/30 14:53:25 (permalink)
    Poses the question...just how far will we go for a good meal? 5 hours is my best, but most typically 100 miles.
    #19
    tiki
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    RE: The R Months 2003/10/30 16:58:16 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by dendan

    Poses the question...just how far will we go for a good meal? 5 hours is my best, but most typically 100 miles.


    denden----in the Misc. forums--2nd or 3rd page----"How far would you go?"-----answers the question
    #20
    JimInKy
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    RE: The R Months 2003/11/01 20:34:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by scbuzz

    quote:
    Originally posted by Liketoeat

    Is Pauley's Island Inn (restaurant) still operating? Used to be some fine eating there, too.


    I am not really sure if Pawley's Island Inn is still in opertion or not. I keep planning on getting down to Pawley's Island to sample some of the great resturants there, but I just can't seem to pass by Nance's or some other great place in Murrell's Inlet.

    As a side note, a great resturant in Pawley's Island that I have been hearing alot about lately is Louis's. It is owned and operated by Louis Osteen who was in Charleston for many years and has a great reputation for being an excellent southern cook.

    If anyone gets by there before me, please post your experiences here !

    In March 1997, Louis Osteen operated Louis's Charleston Grill in Charleston Place on King Street. While it was lauded as one of the best gourmet restaurants in Charleston, I found it quite wanting when I visited that month. I took my brother on a Thursday evening for a special meal (our last meal together as he dying). Inexplicably, our first five entree choices were unavailable. We would order and 15 minutes later, the server would tell us they were out of that item. And then the process would be repeated. This happened with my brother's first 2 choices and my first 3. My brother finally gave up and ordered 5 appetizers. I finally found something among entree choices they could serve. To be fair, the food was quite good, some excellent (I sampled all my brother's low country appetizers), but dinner took a long time. I was unhappy with the long periods of time between each "we're out" announcement, and having to eat an entree I really did not want. We had quite a few coffee refills before we made much progress in eating.

    One more note: My brother didn't look well and had to wear a hat. Though we were both dressed up for a fine dining venue, we were seated at a table in the far back corner.........of a large and nearly empty restaurant. That insensitivity made me feel bad for my brother, who had dined there with wife and friends a number of times.

    This was easily the worst service I've experienced in a world class restaurant. Because this was special time together, I didn't complain. On a positive note, the superb jazz ensemble and singer were happy to perform a list of my brother's five favorite ballads, and, for me, that went a long way toward redeeming the evening.

    I hope Louis Osteen who makes a nice impression in TV appearences has better management of the kitchens and dining room at his Pawley's Island place.
    #21
    fairlyunbalanced
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    RE: The R Months 2003/11/02 20:29:08 (permalink)
    I haven't been to Louis' new place, but Louis' in Charleston was my favorite restaurant!

    quote:
    Originally posted by scbuzz


    As a side note, a great resturant in Pawley's Island that I have been hearing alot about lately is Louis's. It is owned and operated by Louis Osteen who was in Charleston for many years and has a great reputation for being an excellent southern cook.

    If anyone gets by there before me, please post your experiences here !

    http://www.louisatpawleys.com/
    #22
    Michael Stern
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    RE: The R Months 2003/11/03 04:13:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by JimInKy

    Michael, During the recent visit to Charleston, did you and Jane learn which restaurants are doing a good job of serving pan-fried oysters? Anything you can share about the status of oysters on Charleston menus would be much appreciated as I shall be traveling there shortly.


    The best ones we had were at[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=1802']The Anchor Line[/url].
    #23
    dendan
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    RE: The R Months 2003/11/04 09:49:00 (permalink)
    The very best oysters in Charleston are found at Bowen's Island. Half way between Charleston and Folly Beach. Take a sand road off to the right as you head to the beach. The place is NOT much to look at, in fact it is just a cement block building. The local tradition is to sign you name with a marker anywhere you can find a spot on the inside or outside of the building.
    The steamed oysters are done right in the building at the end of the "dining" room area. Sit on one of the many varieties of seats, school bus seats, folding chairs, church pews, etc. Watch for the pails scattered on the floor for the cast off shells. Get you a sleeve of saltine crackers, a roll of paper towels and an oyster knife. The guy will bring a big shovel full of steamed oysters and thrown them in a pile. DIG IN! Eat for as long as you can stand it.
    #24
    Rusty246
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    RE: The R Months 2003/11/10 17:03:02 (permalink)
    Oh how I wish I could add some steaming tips, but scbuzz has it down pat! I've eaten steamed oysters the last two weekends in a row. Although I eat oysters just about any way, I prefer the steamed oyster with a nice shot of Louisiana hot sauce. My husband can't stand them, as I was eating them last weekend, he said "You actually chew those things!?" Weather is getting right for a good ol' bowl of oyster stew too!
    #25
    Rusty246
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    RE: The R Months 2003/11/10 17:06:07 (permalink)
    For curiosity sake, may I ask what the going price for a bushel of oysters if any of you purchase them that way? That's the only way I can afford them due to my love of the creature. Right now they're $28 per bushel, the colder it gets the higher the price. If you order them in a restaurant they average about $6-7 a dozen.
    #26
    scbuzz
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    RE: The R Months 2003/11/10 21:38:32 (permalink)
    Your husband will not eat oysters !!! Oh My, what a sad sad story !!! Have you considered a divorce !!!!! (just kidding of course)


    As for the price for a bushel of oysters .... sorry I can't help you. I couldn't stand the thought of buying a bushel and having to drive the 1.5 hours back home and cook them. I couldn't wait that long, not when I can get some freshly steamed right there at the resturant. I do remember that a double-steam pot at Nance's runs about $22, and I think it is close to a bushel of oysters, maybe not quite !
    #27
    seafarer john
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    RE: The R Months 2003/11/11 08:05:46 (permalink)
    There a small chain of restaurants in St Pete, FL, Crabby Bills, that regularly has oysters on the halfshell for $1.99/ dozen. They are freshly opened, tend to be very small, but tasty and a lot of fun with a pitcher of beer.
    #28
    drchanterelle
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    RE: The R Months 2003/11/11 08:47:15 (permalink)
    There a small chain of restaurants in St Pete, FL, Crabby Bills, that regularly has oysters on the halfshell for $1.99/ dozen. They are freshly opened, tend to be very small, but tasty and a lot of fun with a pitcher of beer.

    Weird! Frankly, I'd pay more for those small ones! And they're harder to shuck too. A serious loss-leader.

    Michael, don't forget that recipe for oyster skillet. jm
    #29
    Rusty246
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    RE: The R Months 2003/11/12 13:09:53 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by scbuzz

    Your husband will not eat oysters !!! Oh My, what a sad sad story !!! Have you considered a divorce !!!!! (just kidding of course)


    As for the price for a bushel of oysters .... sorry I can't help you. I couldn't stand the thought of buying a bushel and having to drive the 1.5 hours back home and cook them. I couldn't wait that long, not when I can get some freshly steamed right there at the resturant. I do remember that a double-steam pot at Nance's runs about $22, and I think it is close to a bushel of oysters, maybe not quite !


    WOW! That'd be about 60 lbs of oysters!
    #30
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