Chefs are getting more creative than ever with oysters, and while we usually enjoy them straight-up raw or in traditional forms like oysters Rockefeller, these over-the-top takes are calling our name. From bivalves served with a cocktail shooter or on top of a deviled egg, here are 10 whimsical oyster dishes to try right now.
Fried Gulf Coast oysters are served in nacho form at this comfort-fare hot spot. The one-bite poppers ($10 per half-dozen; $19 per dozen) are topped with garlic aïoli and a spicy habanero salsa and delivered atop crunchy wonton chips.
This casual gastropub takes deviled eggs up a notch by adding bivalves into the mix. The four tasty little snacks ($9.50) are topped with maple bacon jam, paprika and a crunchy fried oyster. For an extra $3, you can take it to even more extreme levels with an extra garnish of fried salmon belly
519 Shepherd Dr.; 713-861-2233
Start your meal with this plate of hickory-smoked and skillet-roasted Matagorda oysters finished with jalapeño cornbread crumbs and seaweed flakes ($12).
3300 Smith St.; 713-522-9711
Pleasing to the eyes and stomach, this stunning dish features oysters on the half shell ($4 a piece) with carbonated strawberry nam pla (fish sauce), Thai chiles, compressed strawberries, fried shallots and coriander blossoms.
904 Westheimer Rd.; 713-522-4808
Kaki Ichigo at Uchi Houston
This steak and seafood spot give the bivalves an Asian spin by dressing fried oysters in a light curry sauce, cilantro and pickled cucumbers.
The Prohibition-themed restaurant has four creative twists on chargrilled oysters ($3 each, $14 per half-dozen, $25 per dozen), ranging from Singaporean black pepper to New Orleans barbecue butter.
1008 Prairie St.; 281-940-4636
Consider this must-try dish ($14) the next time you visit the Rice Village Italian restaurant, which features cornmeal-crusted oysters served with housemade pancetta, heirloom cherry tomatoes and a white-wine lemon-butter sauce.
2520 Amherst St.; 713-529-2420
Ostriche at Prego (photo by Paula Murphy)
Among the enticing options at the Pan-Asian restaurant is a freshly shucked oyster ($7) with a side shot of vodka, housemade hot sauce and tomato juice. We also recommend the baked oyster Yvonne ($18), rich with champagne-fennel cream, American caviar and a dash of bubbly.
3201 Louisiana St.; 713-491-2222
On the menu at the seafood-driven Montrose eatery is an order of six baked-to-perfection oysters ($16.95) sizzling with garlic butter, jumbo lump crabmeat, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
4611 Montrose Blvd.; 713-807-8883
These chargrilled oysters ($12 per half-dozen, $24 per dozen) with gochujang butter, kimchi and green onion perfectly represent the creative cooking at this new Washington Avenue eatery, which draws influences from French, Asian and Cajun cuisines.
4601 Washington Ave., Suite 130; 281-501-9516