'Shucked' Author and Bivalve Expert Erin Byers Murray Shares Her Top Oyster Picks

(Photo courtesy of All Heart PR)

Last week marked the release of Shucked, the debut book from local writer (and frequent contributor) Erin Byers Murray. For the book, Murray took a year-long break from city life to learn the oyster trade from the pros at Island Creek. Naturally, news of book release the spurred a massive craving for some briny bivalves, so we enlisted Murray to give us a rundown of here favorite oyster dishes in town. Ahead, everything from the best oyster-topped burger to vodka-laced shooters.

Dollar Oysters: Rialto, Monday nights
“The front bar and lounge at Rialto turns into a little cocktail party on Monday nights with regulars snacking on oysters before dipping into the bar menu. Best ‘beginning of the work week’ in town.”

Oyster Sandwich: Neptune Burger, Neptune Oyster
“They are the originators of the “fried oyster” burger in this area and it’s as over-the-top as it sounds: cheddar, garlicky mayo, a massive burger patty and crispy bits of fried oyster set on a supersoft bun. A killer sandwich.”

Raw Bar: Island Creek Oyster Bar
“Besides the fact that it’s one of the most stunning restaurants in the city, their raw bar selection is unmatched – you can find oysters from all over the country on their list and, occasionally, the very rare belon and my favorites from the West Coast, Hog Islands and Hama Hamas.”

Shooter: Summer Shack
“Ok, I’m usually a purist when it comes to raw oysters and usually only eat them naked. But, seriously, why aren’t there more oyster shooters on menus in this city? It’s like the ultimate bar snack and drink in one: oyster, cocktail sauce and a frigid shot of vodka. Come on, people.”

Fried Oysters: B&G Oysters
“The trick to fried oysters is using really big oysters so that when you bite into it, you can still taste all the juicy meat. B&G’s are a little froofier than what you find at a clam shack but big and meaty… and worth every penny.”

Upscale: The Ostriche, Coppa
“Chef Jamie Bissonnette marinates Island Creek Oysters in an escabeche and tops them with a cranberry verjus – tart, juicy, and utterly addictive.”

Laid-back: North End Fish Market
“There’s nothing more laid back than snacking on oysters during a Saturday afternoon shopping excursion. The ladies who own this fish market often do shucking demos on the weekends so you can pop in, learn to shuck, then grab some oysters and practice at home.”

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