Monday, September 14, 2015

Freshly shucked New Jersey shore oysters are well worth the detour

ON THE HALF SHELL: Oysters from New Jersey and Massachusetts were slurped down by the hundreds on Sunday at Oysterfest 2015 in Cranford.


You might say I met fresh oysters from the Jersey shore more than half way.

In Cranford, 100 Steps Supper Club & Raw Bar was one of the restaurants celebrating the revival of New Jersey oysters from Barnegat and Delaware Bays.

The restaurant also was the one closest to my home, a 52-mile round trip.

Oysterfest 2015 on Sunday afternoon included freshly shucked oysters, wine, beer and soft drinks, plus made-to-order items like an Oyster Slider and a creamy Clam Chowder, all served under a tent and accompanied by music.

The Jersey shore and Massachusetts oysters I tried tasted different, and after sampling all four types, I decided I like the briny Cape May Salt best.

At Oysterfest 2015, three freshly shucked fried oysters, pickle slices and an aioli went into this scrumptious slider ($5). A drink ticket ($15) bought two glasses of wine, including the Carmenere Reserva from Chile I drank with the sandwich.

Four freshly shucked oysters needed only a few drops of fresh lemon juice. With them, I drank a chilled Muscadet from France. A general admission ticket included a dozen oysters ($25).

One of the four oyster shuckers.

Shells from Cape May Salt Oysters, which are raised in Delaware Bay.

A duo entertained the crowd with "Mrs. Robinson" and other songs.

CULINARY HOT SPOTS: Oysterfest 2015 is expected to become an annual event at 100 Steps Supper Club & Raw Bar in Cranford. 100 Steps gets its name from its approximate distance from A Toute Heure, a farm-to-table bistro, below.

The two restaurants are owned by Chef Andrea Carbine and husband Jim. A Toute Heure opened in 2007, emphasizing vegetables from local farms and seafood from the Jersey shore.


100 Steps Supper Club & Raw Bar, 215 Centennial Ave., and A Toute Heure, 232 Centennial Ave., Cranford.

Web site for both: Well worth the detour

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