On a recent trip to Greenport, on the North Fork of Long Island, I had the pleasure of dining at The Frisky Oyster.
This small restaurant on Front Street looks like a tiny wine bar from the outside. Once inside, however, it becomes a spacious and elegant room. It feels dark and sophisticated, perfect for a leisurely dinner with friends.
It is worth noting that the wine list by the glass and the bottle is expansive and well priced. This is a great restaurant for oenophiles.
It arrives to the table piping hot, with a dish of room temperature butter sprinkled with local salt. The salt itself is potent stuff – local and pink, a little goes a long way. It instantly melts inside the very sour bread, pliant inside its crackling crust.
This play on Oysters Rockefeller is such a standout that I am still dreaming of it. Almost like a cheesy garlic bread, this doesn’t really taste like an oyster. I mean that in the best way possible. It tastes like a salty, garlicky, cheesy explosion. The oyster comes though in the juice and the salt, but really doesn’t have a minerally or seafoody taste. Part of this is because the oyster is so fresh – I don’t know when I have had oysters that were literally in the ocean that morning. This dish alone makes the price of dinner worth it.
This local farm raises incredibly rich duck. Here it is cooked perfectly, with tender meat and a layer of golden, glistening skin that crunches to reveal a pillow of melty fat. This is the opposite of they oysters incognito – this is insanely duck-y, almost like the duck at momofuku ssam bar. Deep and a little sweet, it is incredibly tender and that fat…that fat and skin is one of the best bites I have had all year. The polenta must have been made with goat’s cheese, because it is incredibly creamy with a light grassy flavor that works well with the duck. Though the sauce is a bit sweet for my tastes, it is still an excellent dish, and a very large portion, to boot.
Though the crust is a little mushier than I like, the filling is fresh and sweet-tart, and that cream…oh that cream. So fresh that it has a pale golden hue, and at fist bite it tastes more of clotted cream than whipped cream. As it melts over the warm crumble, it releases a clean scent that is so fresh that it makes your mouth water. I could have just had a bowl of this and called it a night.
You have many choices in Greenport, and while I can’t say that The Frisky Oyster is worth a special trip, if you are in the area, it is excellent. Fair prices, excellent portions and service, and some deliciously prepared local food.