Oysters have always been a guilty pleasure of mine and The Matunuck Oyster Bar has only fueled my obsession. The restaurant is part of the seven acre Ocean State Aqua Farm on Potter Pond in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.
MOB sells fresh clams and oysters every Wednesday and Saturday at our local farmer’s market. My Mom and I won’t dare shuck oysters ourselves, so we enjoyed fresh oysters at the market and brought home clams that my Dad used for an exquisite pasta and clams recipe he created based on a great meal we had in Sicily (recipe coming this summer!). There’s no farmer’s market in the winter, so we decided to try the restaurant. We’ve now been there a bunch of times and it’s been a treat each and every time.
The fresh rolls were served warm, with herbed olive oil for dipping. The oysters were so good, I could have eaten all 12 of them by myself.
We sampled a variety of the appetizers and main dishes, which were overall so good, we never had room for dessert. The menu is extensive and offers both healthy options and local favorites (AKA: fried). Despite my ALLEGIANCE to Rhode Island, I have to admit that the best fried oyster po boy I ever tasted was at Domilise in New Orleans. Still, The Matunuck Oyster Bar gets my highest restaurant rating and I recommend it without RESERVATION.
Owner Perry Raso is an expert in sustainable shellfish farming. He buys 1 mm oyster seeds from Maine hatcheries, grows them to 20mm size, then sells some of them and farms the rest to maturity. Growing oysters to market size (2 – 3 inches) takes about 3 years.
Oysters naturally inhabit BRACKISH ESTUARIES and are farmed in saltwater bodies such as Potter Pond or in man-made fish tanks. Oysters filter the water and help their ecosystem by controlling the phytoplankton, which helps keep the proper oxygen level in the water. Oysters raised in artificial habitats such as tanks are often given chemicals to speed growth and are treated with antibiotics to WARD off parasites. When eating farm raised oysters, make sure they are farmed sustainably, in natural habitats, such as those offered at The Matunuck Oyster Bar.
- ALLEGIANCE = loyalty
- RESERVATION = doubt
- BRACKISH = slightly salty
- ESTUARY = tidal mouth of a large river
- WARD = protect