Grazing, Seafood Edition: Oysters With Pickled Blueberries & Foie Gras Aioli; Ahoy Matey Wrap
A few months back, a reader complained that we write about Bluebird Tavern too often. Apologies in advance — but this week I ate something at Bluebird that was too amazing to ignore. Yeah, it was oysters again, though on this occasion, they were broiled and dolloped with foie gras aioli (!) and ... pickled blueberries. Yup. If someone set this quartet of oysters down in front of you, menu unseen, you might not be able to pick out the individual parts; but taken together, each shell was filled with a silky, creamy, luscious mass kissed with a hint of pucker.
Four oysters cost $16. Not an everyday treat, but a treat to be sure — and a fleeting one. It's unclear how long they'll be on the menu until chef Michael Clauss changes it up yet again. But any chef who thinks to pickle his blueberries and marry oysters with foie is someone to whom I have no problem handing over me life. (The Bluebird mini-empire also just added a breakfast and lunch spot at the Innovation Center, and it's tasty, but that's a post for another day).
A more mundane but equally satisfying experience (in a different way) awaits at Union Jack's on Route 7. I've been on a fish-and-chips tear lately, and the version here — succulent white chunks of haddock spilling from their golden-brown, beer-batter skins — is delectable. So, too, is that same haddock stuffed into a wrap with tartar sauce and lots of shredded iceberg, then quickly grilled — aka the "Ahoy Matey" wrap. It gets even better, especially if you forego fries and lustily order a $1.99 portion of onion rings. They're coral-crispy, copper-colored and fried so deftly that no floppy piece of onion slides out to slap you in the face. Instead, batter and onion become one.
I wish all of these seafood friends could meet on one plate (or in one take-out container). Alas.