We’ve got a handful of poultry flocks, some sheep and pigs and even a herd of cattle, but Long Island’s leading farm animal is unquestionably the oyster. Scores of oyster farmers work the waters of the Peconic, Gardiners, Moriches and Great South bays as well as Long Island Sound.
And now we’ve got an official week to shell-ebrate. From Oct. 10 to 15, more than a dozen restaurants will feature beauteous bivalves from eight local oyster farms with raw-bar deals and special oyster dishes.
The promotion is a collaboration between Long Island Restaurant Week, Richard Remmer, owner of The Snapper Inn in Oakdale, and Chuck Westfall, president of Long Island Oyster Growers Association.
“Oyster Week,” Remmer said, “is an opportunity to showcase world-class oysters that are grown locally. The growers will be delivering the best they have; literally boat to table.”
Among the specials:
$1 oysters: At Calissa in Water Mill, Juniper in Westbury, Nantuckets in Port Jefferson and The Snapper Inn.
$2 oysters: At Bayberry in Islip, Bluepoint Brewing in Patchogue, Mirabelle in Stony Brook, Oakdale’s Brewhouse as well as The Wharf, Salt & Barrel in Bay Shore and The Bell & Anchor in Sag Harbor.
The Snapper Inn has created an entire menu around oysters, including cooked oysters Rockefeller, casino and Kilpatrick (with bacon, Kerrygold Cheddar, Tabasco sauce and a “wee shooter of Guinness”); oyster pan roast; and oyster cioppino. Other participating restaurants are running special menus including H20 Seafood & Sushi in Smithtown, The Oar in Patchogue, Sandbar in Cold Spring Harbor and Spuntino in Westbury.
The participating oyster farms are Eel Town Oysters, Founders Bay Oyster Farm, Great Gun Oyster Co., Hamptons Oyster Company, Montauk Pearls, North Fork Big Oyster Co., Oysterponds Shellfish Co. and Thatch Island Oyster Farm.
Long Island Oyster Week will also support Half Shells for Habitat, an islandwide partnership that collects waste oyster shells from restaurants for the purpose of returning them to Long Island's estuarine waters through oyster restoration and other habitat improvement projects.
Full menus and more information can be found at oysterweekli.com.