I first tried oysters back in 2000, when I was visiting my sister at college in Chicago. The city is not exactly known for it’s proximity to the sea, rather, it's ON Lake Michigan. But, of course, great oysters are found in all the best cities. And so, I was won over by their briny creaminess, especially when mixed with a hit of spicy acid from some Tabasco.
Living in Phoenix, I don’t get a ton of opportunities to gorge on these mollusks (but when I do it’s at Little Cleo’s or Zinc Bistro), so I tend to indulge when I travel. On our first trip together, my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I ate oysters every day. Between happy hours, lunches, snacks and dinners, we made the most of the Sonoma and San Francisco bounty.
Since then it’s become a tradition for us, and we repeated our ritual while we were on honeymoon in France and the UK. Turns out, there are some plump little beauties that grow in Poole harbor where I grew up, on the south coast of England — if only I’d known while I lived there!
So imagine how excited I was when my new clients, the chef and owner of DeSoto Central Market, informed me they want to bring a real oyster bar to downtown Phoenix.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking back to the ice-chip-filled platters, the shiny subway tile wall coverings, the elegant dishes of mignonette sauce and the endless glasses of bubbly, dry prosecco that make up some of my best oyster memories. All these images are coming together to craft the brand identity of this soon-to-open spot.
So get excited Phoenix — fresh oysters in a stylish atmosphere are on their way!