It's all about granitas this summer, especially now that a certain coffee chain put them on its summer menu. But leave it to chefs to come up with their own imaginative versions, like the spectacular Granita Oysters we found at a chic Japanese-inspired restaurant.
At Washington D.C.’s Masa 14, owned by Top Chef Masters alum Richard Sandoval and chef Kaz Okochi (also of D.C.’s Kaz Sushi Bistro) and overseen by chef Ryan Ratino, the Granita Oysters arrive on your table as part of a fourteen-course Asian-inspired tasting menu. And while we usually enjoy our bivalves straight-up and pretty much unadorned—or occasionally in classics like oysters Rockefeller—this over-the-top spin on oysters on the half shell is calling our name.
Photo courtesy of Masa 14.
The visual adventure begins before you take your first briny bite. The stunning dish involves a duo of Kumamoto oysters with aromatic ginger-tea-scented dry ice presented over a bed of seaweed, but it's the pink granita that makes the dish. To get that shocking-pink color, Ratino crushed pink peppercorns, pink ginger, pink garlic flowers and rhubarb-ginger juice.
“This dish was inspired by rhubarb season," Ratino tells The Feast. "I also wanted to get multiple senses involved by having a ginger-scented tea come into contact with the dry ice, which gives a great aroma to introduce that flavor to your palate before you even eat the oyster.”
If that sight-smell-touch experience isn't enough to get your senses rolling, the rest of the menu no doubt will, from the playful foie gras doughnuts with strawberry jam and pickled rhubarb celery, to the crispy pig’s tails with sriracha-roasted peanuts, to the roast lamb saddle with peas, fava beans, morels, asparagus and stone fruit. As for those oysters? We're hoping they'll let us have a second round for dessert.
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