Celebrate National Oyster Day all week long

There's always a reason to celebrate oysters. — Photo by Marnely Murray

“He was a bold man that first eat an oyster.”  — Jonathan Swift

National Oyster Day took place yesterday, August 5, but we’re celebrating all week long. We’ll showcase some of our favorite oyster dishes on-Island, as well as a brand-new technology that will aid you in finding the best oysters wherever you travel.

The iOS app Pearl, created by developer Sam Asher, connects you with oyster farmers and restaurants even before you head off in pursuit of our favorite bivalves (pearlapp.co). Earlier this week we had a chance to chat with Mr. Asher about all things oyster.

“The app helps you find oysters at restaurants around you with quick and easy-to-learn profiles, including the ability to rate the oyster and the aphrodisiac effect. We are giving consumers something new: real-time information about seafood, in this case, oysters, by aggregating farmers, restaurants, and consumers all into one app,” explains Mr. Asher with much excitement.

Currently, the app can be found in use at both the Port Hunter restaurant and Lighthouse Grill in Edgartown. The establishments update their oyster selection constantly, making it easy for oyster lovers to find their perfect match. “I have always loved oysters and seafood, ever since I was introduced to them at a young age on-Island, and Martha’s Vineyard has been an inspiration in the creation of this app. My grandmother started going to Chilmark in the 1960s, and many generations have continued to go. My favorite oysters are from the Vineyard, because they are the first I ever ate,” said Mr. Asher.

You can download the free app at the Apple App Store, and with an easy navigation and quick-search option, you can find the most delicious oysters in your proximity. Type in the name of the city you’re in, and available restaurants will populate a list of their offerings. Each restaurant enumerates the oysters they are serving that day, and you can even click on each oyster to read a description based on brininess, body, and cup depth. Engage with others, and discover new oysters to love, since the app also includes an A-Z listing of all oysters. Like they say, “The world is your oyster.”

In your pursuit, be sure to check out these tasty oyster dishes on-Island:

  • The raw bar at the Port Hunter in Edgartown sources some great local oysters, but goes above and beyond by grating fresh horseradish as one of the condiments.
  • The Cabrales Baked Oysters at the Atlantic in Edgartown are topped with bacon, spinach, and Cabrales de Quercia blue cheese.
  • L’Etoile serves up local Chilled Katama Bay Oysters, two ways: with finger lime-green apple salsa and pomegranate mignonette.
  • Grilled local oysters at Beetlebung in Oak Bluffs are Middle Eastern–inspired, cooked with spiced ghee and preserved lemon.
  • If you love Korean-inspired food, the Spicy Charbroiled Katama Bay Oysters at Sweet Life Cafe in Oak Bluffs are broiled in kimchi butter, toasted garlic, breadcrumbs, and citrus.
  • As a special, Blue Canoe in Vineyard Haven serves up grilled oysters cooked with truffle garlic butter and shaved Parmesan.