Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Let the Roast Begin!

By:  Abby Yigzaw

Arriving early to Art and Soul Restaurant’s ( Pig and Oyster Roast tasting, my evening began at their bar with a generously poured glass of Merlot (only 7 dollars during their happy hour). The interior of Art and Soul was decorated with an aesthetically delectable assortment of taupe and gray with accents of chocolate brown. 

Stepping out onto their patio, where the event took place, I was pleased with the variety of seating styles -- it made the evening most conducive for mingling as we enjoyed our tastings.

The general consensus? The pork belly was almost too delicious -- perfect for my palate without the thick crispy pork skin. The pork loin, my personal favorite, was just a hair below the pork belly on the scale of “melt-in-your-mouth goodness.” In fact, some of the attendees and I made an analogy that others agreed was spot-on: pork loin is to pork belly as (what we’d imagine) crack is to heroin.

Alongside Rappahannock Oysters, we were offered condiments including fresh lemon wedges, horseradish, and, my favorite, shallots in RAM vinegar with a touch of lemon, which married beautifully with the taste of fresh oyster. But the crowd favorite was hands-down oyster charbroiled -- flying off of serving plates like hot cakes. Lucky for us, we were able to get a hold of the recipe. See below.
Special thank you to Executive Chef Wes Morton, who led the way in making taste buds all around very happy, Mr. Michael Kraus, Director of Operations, Front of the House, who took his time explaining all Art and Soul had to offer for the evening’s Pig and Oyster Roast tasting as well as providing the butter recipe used for their char-grilled oysters. Lastly, thank you to Mr. Ronald Flores, who gave me a crash course in mixology and, most importantly, in Art and Soul’s traditional punch made with freshly brewed cherry blossom tea. 
Mr. Flores topping off a glass of Art and Soul's traditional spiced rum punch made with freshly brewed cherry blossom tea, ginger beer, bitters, and a variety of citrus.

Brew Free! Or Die IPA was a crowd favorite among the selection of beers. Not too hoppy.

As welcoming as Art and Soul Restaurant sounds is as welcoming the entire staff makes you feel so be sure to check out their Pig and Oyster Roast happening every Wednesday at 5:30 pm. Click here for more information.

The butter for the char-grilled oysters is as follows:

1 softened butter
Zest of 2 Meyer lemons
Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
1tbsp Cajun spice
1oz Worcestershire
1tbsp parsley
1tbsp sliced chives
1tbsp chopped tarragon
1tsp chopped thyme
1tsp salt

Mix all ingredients and chill.

Place 1tsp of butter on each shucked oyster and grill until melted and bubbly.

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