Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rappahannock Oyster Bar

Rappahannock Oyster Co. has brought to Union Market their concept of artisanal small plates and their stunning variety of world-class oysters and clams with the Rappahannock Oyster Bar. A sleek black-brown wood bar surrounds a small kitchen where anywhere from 5-6 people will be shucking, cooking, or pouring at any given time. Sitting front-and-center in the market, it's not unfair to call it the anchor and centerpiece of the renovation. For more than 100 years, the Rappahannock Oyster Co. has been owned and operated by the Croxton family. Their oysters are served at hundreds of the world’s best restaurants. The current owners, Ryan and Travis, go beyond “sustainability” growing their oysters in a restorative way.  Closest Metro is NoMA-Gallaudet University.

As the Washington Post writes: "It lacks a sea breeze, but Croxton’s 20-seat bar, flanked by a communal table and patio seating, nevertheless brims with lures: live scallops, meaty chowder, lush tuna tartare ignited with lime and chili pepper, and drinks dreamed up by a former mixer at the top-drawer Columbia Room, JP Fetherston. The regular selection of raw oysters ($2 each) includes Rappahannocks, which Travis Croxton likes for the river oyster’s buttery quality, and Old Salts, pleasing for their briny notes." They also offer “guest oysters” from elsewhere in the country and today they had Stingrays and Barcat.  Being the oyster fan that he is, Keith ordered a sampler dozen of each.  To drink he ordered a Chocolate City Beer and I chose a glass of Cava.  I also nibbled on the Tuna Tartare while Keith finished his large plate of oysters.  The tartare was fresh and full of onion and chilies and presented in a small glass.  The lime gave it a more ceviche type flavor.  The little crisps served with it could have used some salt, but overall this was a nice starter.  Next for something warm, we shared a bowl of the Dozen Steamed Olde Salt Clams.  Served in a light tomato broth with sweet onions, the clams were full of flavor and I loved the thick cut piece of rustic toast served with it.  I happily soaked up all the broth with the bread, providing a nice filling lunch.  Rappahannock Oyster Bar is a fun and fresh place to stop for lunch while shopping at Union Market.

Total Rating: 4.08
Food: 4.5, Price: 3.5, Service: 4, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 3

What I ate:
Tuna Tartare
with lime, chilies, Thai basil

Dozen Steamed Olde Salt Clams

Plus Keith ate:
Dozen Raw Oysters
(RappahannocksOld Salts, Stingrays, Barcat)

Rappahannock Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

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