Slideshow: Scenes From the New York City Wine and Food Festival's Oyster Bash

The Standard Grill
The Standard Grill

The Standard Grill's Eddie Cungu served up Mystic Oysters with cucumber, lime, and sake. The julienned strips of cucumber, though a bit difficult to slurp, made for a crisp, refreshing mouthful.

Eddie pouring sake
Eddie pouring sake

Eddie tops off each oyster with a splash of sake; a pleasant complement to the Mystic's briny character.

Mystic Oysters
Mystic Oysters

These meaty oysters come out of the waters off of Noank, Connecticut, right where the Long Island Sound and Block Island Sound converge. The unique environment lends a bright, rich, slightly metallic brininess to the bivalves.

The Waverly Inn
The Waverly Inn

Chef Ashely Merriman prepared this smoked oyster chowder, studded with potatoes, carrots, and hefty Wiley Point oysters out of Maine. The boldly flavored oyster still managed to shine through the creamy and richly meaty soup.

Graffiti
Graffiti

Jehangir Mehta certainly made the evening's boldest move, serving raw Broadwater oysters topped off with Pop Rocks and a grapefruit granita.

Yes, that's right. Pop Rocks, the sweet candy that fizzes and crackles on your tongue. The confluence of icy granita, slippery bivalve, and carbonated candy was, to say the least, an exercise in sensory overload. Couple that with the bold flavors of the grapefruit and candy, and the oyster was completely overpowered—a shame given the Virginia oyster's mild, pleasantly sweet flavor.

Olives
Olives

Todd English's tequila oysters with pineapple and uni lime spuma weren't exactly my cup of tea. The "tequila mignonette" proved little more than a shot of PatrĂ³n, which didn't exactly jive with the creamy sea urchin mousse. The oyster seemed more afterthought than star of this particular bite.

The Lobster Place's Cull & Pistol
The Lobster Place's Cull & Pistol

Chef David Siegal used Widow's Hole oysters, which he topped with a pickled quince and chilies. The heat and tartness certainly worked well together, and but they didn't highlight the oyster so much as mask its unique flavor.

Widow's Hole Oyster
Widow's Hole Oyster

Plump, crisp, and balanced, these petite Long Island bivalves are a good beginner's oyster.

John Besh
John Besh

Louisana native John Besh hosted Sunday's event, chatting amicably with guests and posing for photo ops.

DIY Bloody Marys
DIY Bloody Marys

The open bar had pitchers of Bloody Marys on hand; the mix was left relatively mild so that guests could spice and garnish their Chopin Vodka-based drinks as much (or little) as they pleased.

Mionetto 'IL'
Mionetto 'IL' "Spr!z"

The semi-sparkling Spritz-inspired aperitivo was served to guests over ice.

Learn to shuck
Learn to shuck

Forty North Oyster Farms presided over a learn-to-shuck station, where they taught oyster newbies the basics. Jealous? You should be! Successful shuckers were awarded with a shot of vodka to chase their oyster.

Want to learn how? See our oyster-shucking video and guide »

Grandpa Musselman & His Syncopators
Grandpa Musselman & His Syncopators

Throughout the afternoon, a live jazz band serenaded festival guests.