One of These Things Just Doesn't "Belon" Here
Thanks to the suit job I get to bounce around the east coast in my quest for oyster knighthood. I'm not the best at this yet but I guess I'd like to think I could recognize a tasty oyster from a bad one.
I'm not in the business of giving a restaurant a bad rap and Lure is not deserving. The service was fantastic (high fives, Josh) and the menu was really exploratory. Not to mention the ambiance of the place -farmhouse modern. I'm all about it. But I read that this was a place for oysters and my expectations didn't hold true.
Firstly, look at this pic of me super happy and excited before I ate my first oyster. Yay, look at me. I was so young.
And the oyster presentation was a bit crowded but okay, like I care that much:
I tried two types of oysters (the only two on the menu, despite reviews saying this was the place to go for oysters. Odd.)
Plum Island Oysters, MA
I laugh because I came all the way to Atlanta for the same oysters I'd eat at home. I was hoping for some more southern east coast oysters but no luck today (Note to self: just don't eat the oysters, then. No need if the offer ain't right). The Plums were a bit warm, but familiar, briny goodness, flavorful. One unique add to the condiments was a shochu-infused vinaigrette. I love Shochu- it's a Japanese vodka, so to speak, but not quite the high proof. It had a bit of scallions in there to enhance the flavor and that was yummy on the palate. Overall, 7/10. Confident the experience would have been better in Boston. Cooler; fresher. I sound snobby, but yeah. Look where I come from.
Sorry Lure, but this was grief. Just grief. I really want to appreciate Belons, and I will. They're mostly wild caught, harvested by divers. They should be briny, with a copper finish. It's already hard for someone to get used to the copper finish; which makes this review disappointing. Funky and gunky. Warm likes it's been sitting in the Atlanta hot sun for an hour, and absolutely no oyster liquor preserved, which makes me think they were stored improperly. Sticky and stinky. Take a look at the pic. It was like a snot ball, and I wish I didn't have to give you that visual but I went there. So for those who don't know, this Oyster is a European Flat, which was brought to Casco Bay, ME, from Brittany, France. They went wild like "feral cats" as someone put it, and now there's a population happily flourishing up north. But something wasn't right; like they'd been dead in the shell for a while. It smelled foul. And the shell looked like it still had gunks of oyster poo smeared all over it or dirty, dirty hands shucking it. I felt nauseous. The copper aftertaste was so strong, it was like I was sucking on an old rusty penny for hours after. And, no real brine at all. Just gook. Pass. PASS. Going to have to give it another whirl back home.
The only polite thing about them were their colorful exteriors. Their beauty was, clearly, only shell deep.
I ordered the octopus and pork lettuce wraps afterwards. Great Vietnamese flavors going on but after the Belons I was ruined.
Advice to Lure- get your oysters colder. Preserve the Belon liquor! Maybe offer more than two types of oysters... or hell, just offer one if you're second option has been dead in the shell for ages.
Advice to me- take the waiter's suggestion to not order the Belons in Atlanta.
The pretty shells of the Belons:
The Belon Snot Ball (had to fork it off the shell because it was so jiggly nasty):