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I realize that this article is a teaser, as Oyster Oyster has not yet opened its doors. But to get you ready for their brick and mortar, here’s a play by play of their last pop up in 2019. If the food at the future restaurant is anywhere near as good as it was at the pop up, we are all in for a treat.

This Oyster Oyster pop up took place at Estadio over Thanksgiving weekend. On November 29, Chef Rob Rubba took over the kitchen at lunch service and served up a family style meal showcasing the cuisine of the restaurant-to-be: sustainable, plant-centric, seasonal mid-Atlantic fare.

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The meal opened with chewy, fragrant sourdough bread with seaweed-infused butter, which frankly was so good I could have made a meal out just that and a glass of bubbly. Next we were treated to a stunning winter salad, with kale drenched in a creamy (but vegan!) sunflower seed dressing, and garnished with crispy sunchoke shards.

Then came the dishes that changed everything: a roast, featuring hunks of pumpkin and mushroom swimming in a rich, decadent pumpkin pecan “cream,” chili oil and herbs and second, slow roasted oyster mushrooms marinated in garlic and spices. The pumpkin roast was so uber satisfying; the vegetables were tender and succulent, and the sauce was pure velvet. Rather than sweet, the dish was earthy and nutty. I would have licked the bowl had it not been inappropriate. As for the mushroom dish, the chewy texture of the mushrooms, combined with its warm, woodsy, slightly anise-y flavor and fragrance was intoxicating, to say the least.

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While it is awesome that we have so many fast casual plant based dining options, the upscale ones are few and far between (Fancy Radish, Equinox) and so the opening of Oyster Oyster is especially exciting. It can’t open soon enough.

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