Legend has it that in the third century, during the reign of Emperor Claudius II, marriage was banned due to his theory that a nuptial makes a man weak and made them bad soldiers.
During the same time, lived a priest who defied the emperor and arranged secret marriages for those who wanted to break the rules for the sake of love.
The good priest, was, of course, found out and sent to jail and sentenced to death. Whilst in jail, he and the daughter of the jailer had fallen in love.
It's said that he was taken to his death on the 14th of February. Supposedly, before he was taken away, he wrote his beloved an amorous letter and signed it, “Your Valentine”.
I can’t help but feel that this is a story popularized and perpetuated by the likes of Hallmark to sell cards for love letters. I don’t blame them. I can’t imagine the billions of dollars spent yearly on this date in the name of love.
My wife and I don’t participate in the celebrations and find it a bit tacky. I will, however, share with you a sappy story. What makes it even sappier is that the backdrop is the city of Paris.
All decked out in Paris
We were young and both in-between jobs. It was the cold dark stretch of winter and we were getting a bit stir crazy. So instead of being smart with our dwindling savings, we decided to find a cheap flight out of town. Within 3 days we were off to Paris.
On one night during our stay, we decided to go out for dinner in a rustically-posh part of town, called Ile Saint- Louis. Brenda decided to dress a little more special that night.
She wore her winter-white brushed cashmere pants, a black knit corset by Dolce and Gabbana, a brown bomber jacket by Max Mara, accessorized with a red shawl worn as a big scarf by Valentino, and a matching red knit cap by Loro Piana.
You would have thought we were staying at the Ritz Paris, but in reality, we were in a quaint hotel in the Marais district and probably about a month away from being broke if neither one of us worked anytime soon. We didn’t care, we were going to make a night of it.
However, we weren’t paying attention to the date and I remember commenting that it seemed as if every other American couple was also in Paris taking up all the tables in the best restaurants. We were bewildered. Maybe they all took those well-priced flights, we thought.
Valentine's Day in Paris
Then it hit us, it was February 14th, fucking Valentine’s Day. We looked at ourselves, all properly dressed for the event and just started to laugh at each other. We couldn’t be more cliche. We decided to just embrace it and play along.
Now where to go? Though we thought we looked good, there were many that did as well and it was no short order finding a table for two anywhere. Finally, a host of one of the less formal eateries took pity on us and squeezed us in.
It was going to be a bit of a wait, but we didn't mind as the host sent over a couple of glasses of Kir Royale to start our night. There were Breton oysters on the menu that night. How could we resist? We ordered a dozen to start. While slurping in the lovely briny meat, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “hmmm...oysters, I’m gonna get lucky tonight”.
Speaking of oysters, Valentine’s Day usually coincides with Mardi Gras. During this time of year, one of the most eaten items is the Oyster Po’ Boy sandwich. Few things are more satisfying to the palate than those cornmeal-battered fried crispy things seasoned with cayenne pepper, between good bread with some tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise.
For a good ol’ Catholic like me, this is the time for refraining from meat. No biggie, there are always Oyster Po’ Boys!
Chinese Oyster Omelette Recipe
My wife is of Chinese descent and her family likes observing Chinese New Year, which usually lands around this time as well. What I mean by observing, is just another reason to eat. Being of Fujian lineage, a favorite dish served by her family is an oyster omelet.
For those who have always had an aversion to trying oysters, this dish may be a good place to start. It’s technically not one of those good fortune dishes usually eaten during the Lunar New Year, but I’ve always gotten lucky when eating oysters. I guess there’s one thing I won’t be giving up for Lent...
Here's Dish Our Town's Oyster Omelette RecipePrint
Getting Lucky with Oysters with an Easy Oyster Omelette Recipe
It's the Lunar New Year and there's lots of eating to be done. It's also Lent so we look for a lot of non-meat options for our meals. Having Taiwanese oyster omelets during this time of year is a great way to abstain and celebrate at the same time. Here's the Easy Weeknight Meals Recipe
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: oyster
- In a bowl mix water and potato starch making a loose batter.
- Add tablespoon of fish sauce and teaspoon of white pepper to batter and mix.
- Place oysters in batter and let sit for minimum 10 minutes.
- In a pan, pour oil and bring heat to high.
- When oil is hot, add scallions quickly followed by oysters and batter.
- Fry until batter and oysters start to brown, about 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, whisk tablespoon of soy sauce and 4 eggs together.
- Add to the pan and bring heat to medium-low.
- Let sit for 5-7 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Mix oyster sauce and ketchup and baste omelette with mixture before serving.
Keywords: easy oyster omelette, oyster omelette
Where to have oysters in New York:
Zadie's Oyster Room
Oysters Happy Hours are having a moment in New York City. The absolute best oyster happy hour can be found at the Zadies Oyster Room located in the East Village. Grab a seat at the bar and enjoy a couple dozen with some crisp white wine.
If raw isn’t in your wheelhouse, Chef Mike offers many cooked preparations of oyster, including a Po’ Boy. Oh, by the way, the name of the bartender will probably be Chris. I’ve met four different bartenders while dining there and they all share the same name.
Lobster Place at Chelsea Market
For a wider range of oysters, along with other mollusks and shellfish, visit the Lobster Place in the Chelsea. Stand while tasting all types at the really cool zinc raw-bar. The energy is what you expect to find in a marketplace. Eating oysters couldn’t be any more fun.
Nyonya Malaysian Restaurant
If you’ve never had an oyster omelette, the best in the city can be had at Nyonya. Though the restaurant is Malaysian rather than Taiwanese, the preparation is pretty much the same. The serving is large and they are not frugal with the number of oysters they use in their recipe. Cash Only.
Where to have Oysters in the world:
L'ecaillier Du Bistrot in Paris
L'ecaillier Du Bistrot is a quaint little wooden restaurant in the Bastille neighborhood of Paris. The vibe is a hybrid of fisherman's shack and luxury yacht. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about the seafood they offer. This place is for those who truly appreciate fine eating in a casual atmosphere. Great wine list as well. We shared the seafood platter for one and a bottle of wine and it was plenty.
Noordzee in Brussels
In Brussels, there is a seafood restaurant that has outdoor stalls where they casually purvey the most succulent raw oysters, and other seafood offerings, such as spicy snail soup. Eating at the outdoor counters at "Noordzee" Restaurant" continues to be one of my favorite eating experiences, ever. This, along with the beers is one reason to visit the Belgian capital.
Russell’s Seafood Grill in Murrels Inlet in South Carolina
Other than the obvious, which is New Orleans, the best Po’ Boy or any fried oyster in our opinion, can be found in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. Plenty of great restaurants and shacks to be found in this little seafood town. Russell’s Seafood Grill tops them all with great service and food quality a notch above without losing it’s very casual atmosphere.
Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur
Lastly, the best place we have had oyster omelette is at the Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Endless hawker stalls on this famous strip, but for this specific dish, go to Sai Woo, one of the Chinese stands amongst the Halals. Grab a plastic chair, order a Carlsberg and a plate of oyster omelette amongst other food lovers. All for the equivalent of $3 USD
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