Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Eventide Oyster Co.

After what was the best sushi meals we've ever eaten, it was hard to imagine what other delectable grubs Portland could enlighten us with. We're such fans of Chopped on the Food Network (Ted Allen is one of J's man crushes) that we made it an absolute point to stop by Duckfat after seeing owner Chef Rob Evans compete. The man is after all, a James Beard Award recipient and makes duck fat fried french fries. My cholesterol level jumped just typing about it. But a little misfortune led us to one of the best lobster rolls we've ever consumed.

Before gorging ourselves at lunch, we made pit stops by Shipyard Brewing Company (J wrote about our Maine brewery experiences here) and Two Fat Cats Bakery of Best Thing I Ever Ate fame of course for their drool-worthy whoopie pies. Unbeknownst to us, whoopie pies are a beloved Maine regional food. Whoopie pies for breakfast are perfectly acceptable in our books. Go with the original but a side of the raspberry whoopie pie (when available) is equally satisfying. The magic is in the frosting and it is airy and magical. We made a pitstop here last year and couldn't miss out on them again. We figured a long walk along the beautiful riverfront would burn off some of the morning's calories, enough to stuff our faces again. 

Lucky for us, all the best eateries including Benkay Sushi, Two Fat Cats, and Duckfat are located within one delicious radius along Commercial Street by the coastal riverfront. As we approached Duckfat, a little sign in front of the storefront delivered devastating news. The restaurant was still closed for renovations and we were leaving to visit J's brother that afternoon. Cue sad music. 

We must have looked really sad because a lovely young Portlander who was outside dining at the spot next to Duckfat chimed in and recommended Eventide Oyster Co. right down the street for some of the best oysters in town. Still off the high of the previous night's Bluepoint Oysters from Benkay, we decided to why not give it a shot. 

This was hands down another brilliant decision. We knew we were in good hands when we were greeted by a counter of fresh oysters as we walked in. How can you not eat off this pretty display! Still new to the oyster game, we left our choices up to the staff and decided to at least go local, all Maine oysters. A half of dozen of briny goodness with two choices of accroutements. We went with horseradish "ice" and cucumber-ginger sauce. We loved that you could taste the distinct nuances and different flavours each regional oyster had. A half dozen just didn't seem enough but we held back for what was about to be the best lobster roll we've ever consumed. 

I'm not going to lie but most of my trips are planned around foodie spots that I've either seen on Food Network/Cooking Channel or read about and drooled over on various food blogs. Having done some gawking, I had read about the brown butter vinaigrette lobster roll in passing on Serious Eats. Because I have a penchant for trying things out of the ordinary, I ordered the brown butter version while J ordered one with the house mayo for comparison. 

At $12, they were on the smaller side but made for the most perfect little bites. The classic mayo version was good (light on the mayo, tangy, and delightful with fresh dill) but the brown butter version was in a league of its own. Served warm as opposed to your traditional cold ones, this version was bursting with flavor and makes me oh so happy even writing about it. I'm seriously salivating and wish I could have one right now. Buttery, warm, and soft..mmmm ....and not heavy at all; it was perfectly dressed with vinaigrette. This was hands down the best lobster roll we've ever had, even after tasting a slew of other lobster rolls along the rest of our weeklong Maine vacation. 

Duckfat being closed was a blessing in disguise, but we were still determined to try it and made plans to stop back in Portland on our way to Bar Harbor after a family visit in Buckfield. 

We're still dreaming about the brown butter lobster rolls and hope you too will be able to experience this magical morsel of lobster goodness in the near future. It's worth that 4hr drive to Portland, Maine.  

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