Slurping oysters and drinking wine in Milan

Gorging on plump, raw oysters right after three scoops of gelato might sound like someone with a freaking bun in the oven, but I swear to you that that is definitely not the case! Milan is perhaps one of the last cities you’d think of for slurping down briny aphrodisiacs, but at the french bistrot-style Ostriche & Vino, names like fines de claire, tsarskaya and belon make up a list of bivalves on the half shell worth getting all hot and bothered over. There were oysters that I had never even heard of (the proprietors bring in seasonal specimens), which underlines the fact that farming oysters and eating them has come a long way since the general rule of only months with an “r”.

Ostriche-e-vino3The restaurant also serves mussels, seafood and pasta dishes, fish carpaccio, and lastly Il Plateau, a double-platter tower of shellfish and crustaceans that could possibly include everything from razor clams to sea urchins to lobster and bulot. If it is anything like what I’ve had in Paris, then maybe I can concentrate on the Louvre and not my stomach the next time I’m there.

However tempting the plateau looked, we were sticking with the original plan – ostriche e vino – and I ordered blind going only on scarce info found online. I’m far from calling myself an expert but as a lover of raw seafood, there was no doubt that the oysters were fresh. We got 4 each of irlandesi selvagge (wild irish), tsarskaya, la belle de quiberon, saint michel and belon. I liked the Saint Michels best as I could taste a hint of sweetness at the end, but I swear the Belon…the Belon! I can understand why this oyster would be considered the one for gourmets, the one you save for eating last (and in fact they did say to eat them last). In my mind I was thinking exotic, carnal…forbidden. Add to this the way we prefer our oysters – pure as virgins. No lemon, balsamic, or mignonette sauce, thank you. Just some bread and butter to cleanse the palate as we worked our way through the sensuous feast.

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Anniversary dinner (97 months!) at Ostriche e Vino. http://www.ostrichevino.it

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First round: eaten in the order of Irlandesi selvagge (wild irish), Tsarskaya and La Belle de Quiberon. Below, second round: Saint Michel then Belon.

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