It’s Winter in Miami and that means two things, perfect weather and oysters galore! These slippery little suckers are the perfect food to enjoy in this eternal summer. The Emerald Journal wanted to get a fellow foodie’s take on the best oyster experiences in South Florida (and elsewhere), so I sat down with Michael Castillo—a cool Italian gentleman native of Chicago, but local to these parts for the past couple of years— who tried his first oyster at 10 years old at his family’s Feast of the Seven Fishes and described to me how he came to be an oyster aficionado.
Our meet up at a new locale named STATION 5 in South Miami led to more meaningful discussions about his food idols, best meals, and how he came to meet the upper echelon of cuisine. Scott Boswell, Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse, Daniel Boulud and Jose Andres were a few names mentioned, and at one point it felt like his life was a Woody Allen movie. It’s no coincidence, Michael has a palate for adventure and great food so here’s his thoughtfully curated guide to enjoying these little treasure chests.
Favorite Locale for Raw Oysters:
River Oyster Bar- Sebastian Salt Oysters, from the Sebastian inlet of Florida.
Favorite Oyster Varieties:
Kusshi, harvested in Northwest Pacific regions.
Wianno, harvested in Northeast Atlantic regions.
Favorite Local Oyster Bar:
Gary’s Oyster Bar + Seafood in Lake Alfred, Florida
Favorite Oyster Bar in the World:
Acme Oyster Bar in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Favorite Prepared Oyster Dishes:
According to Michael, “The better the oyster, the less you need,” he eats his first oyster as is, then he moves on to a little lemon or mignonette sauce if he’s feeling fancy.
Oysters + Spirits come highly recommended so grab your favorite stout, a glass of sherry wine or champagne to enjoy these delightful delicacies.