Oysters, the most tender and delicate of all seafoods, are never out of fashion. Not in life, nor at The Standard Grill where mountains of succulent bivalve mollusks await on beds of crushed ice. For the pleasure of nocturnal sophisticates, The Standard is going a step further into the realms of ecstatic gastronomy: a late night menu (10:30pm-2am) that matches selected oysters with the finest French Champagnes and European sparkling wines. And how did the clever minds at The Grill love match the briny with the breezy, the firm with the floral, the fruity with the effervescent?
“We just played around,’ explains Aaron Thorp, The Standard, High Line’s sommelier. The notion is to pair the finest delicacies of the sea with elixirs of the land, lower the lights and let the bubbles work their magic.
Bubbles (aka carbon dioxide) Thorp explains, acts as the perfect counter to the briny or alkaline leanings of the oyster. The East Coast oysters on the menu are brinier than their creamier West Coast counterparts. The Blue Point, for instance, pairs especially well with the Txakolina from the coastal Basque region of Spain. “There’s a saltiness to the wine – very linear, very focussed – that goes fantastically well with this oyster,” Thorp explains. It’s not the only choice for the Blue Point. There’s a Moët & Chandon ‘Imperial’ Brut Reserve by the glass, bottle, or Magnum for the expansively festive at a very reasonable ninety-eight dollars. With the oysters at $1 a-piece, there’s no reason why this should not become a weekly ritual.
For the Wellfleet, an oyster with a hint of soy to it, The Standard recommends the Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé or Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé Champagne so that the floral quality of the rosé matches the soy and saltiness of the Wellfleets. Over on the coast, the firm Hamma Hamma with its subtle hint of cucumber is paired with a Krug ‘Grand Cuvée’ Brut Champagne as well as a cider, the Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie. “The creaminess of the Hamma Hamma goes well with a wine that’s a little fuller in style like the cider or the Krug.”
Finally, there are the Fanny Bays, the largest and creamiest oysters on the menu with a hint of tropical fruit. They’re matched with two very precise wines, the Fallegro Favorita Gianni Gagliardo, from Piedmont, Italy, and the Fleury ‘Fleur de l’Europe’ Brut Champagne from Courteron, France. “The Fleury ameliorates the creaminess of the fannies.”
Tuesdays, 10:30pm - 2am
The Standard Grill
848 Washington St at 13th Street
Reservations suggested: Phone The Standard Grill at (212) 645-4100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org