DBGB Oyster Degustation

Decadent ingredients, flawless execution, and showstopping presentation. The New York Oyster Lovers Dinner at DBGB Kitchen & Bar (closed) was truly an unforgettable, and unequivocally enviable, experience.

Executive Chef Jim Leiken put together an incredible menu for our group, which featured four different varieties of oysters—including the ultra-rare wild Maine Belon—in distinctive, yet harmonious courses.


Shigoku Oysters with Lemongrass Veloute and Hackelback Caviar

While I loved everything that was served, this was probably my favorite course. It was both decadent and springtime-fresh. It also brought me back to my childhood. No, lemongrass was NOT part of my childhood. Except the flavors and creaminess reminded me of Fruit Loops in milk. I confessed my bizarre palette-connection to Chef Leiken and he confirmed a similar impression.

Wild Maine Belon Oyster with Black Bean Sauce and Ramps

Another dish that reminded me of my childhood—and no, it's not related to cereal. Black bean sauce is a staple in Chinese cuisine and so this dish harkened back to plates of whole steamed fish and manila clams.

Sweetbread and Nini-Moto Vol-Au-Vent served with Crayfish, Chicken Oysters, Mousseron Spring Peas, and Sauce Americaine

I loved the gently poached (?) oysters that were hidden inside the delicate vol-au-vent puff pastry. The sweetbread and chicken oysters added a bit of playful novelty to the dish, which inevitably stirred up an interesting conversation about exotic foods.

Whole Roasted Peking Duck with Pacific Oyster & Sourdough Stuffing, Local Asparagus

Now this was when the rest of the DBGB dining room realized that we were getting the VIP treatment. Our waiter brought out a wooden board that supported two perfect roast ducks that sat on top of a bed of dry oyster shells. We ooh'ed and ahh'ed, while our neighbors looked on with food-envy. Once the full presentation was applauded, the duck was sent back to the kitchen. Chef Leiken carved the birds up and the plated them generously over a bed of hearty stuffing.