Oysters and white wine are a classic pairing. After attending a preview dinner for the “Escape the Ordinary” sake and seafood pop-up at Rappahannock Oyster Bar in DTLA last night, I found that drinking sake with oysters and other types of seafood is an even better pairing.
As Sake Ninja Chris Johnson — yes, that’s really one of his titles — told me, “Both sake and oysters are full of umami flavors, so they enhance each other really well.” Evidently, there are five times as many amino acids, and thus umami constituents, in sake as there are in regular wines.
Sake makers have spent hundreds of years developing various types of sake to enhance the abundance of seafood that surrounds the island of Japan. As sake production and Japanese cuisine have evolved concurrently, each naturally enhances the other.
Three types of oysters — grilled, raw, or crispy — make up the first dinner course. Both lunch and dinner offer your choice of Peruvian Bay Scallops, Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs, or Hamachi, along with the main course of a succulent lobster roll topped with caviar, shrimp & grits with gochujang sauce, or grilled octopus. For dessert, savor the warm, housemade banana bread pudding or flourless chocolate cake with raspberry coulis.
Each savory dish is paired with a distinctive sake that sake sommelier Chris has selected to beautifully enhance the flavors of the dishes. I was struck by the intriguing balance between acidity and sweetness of some of the pairings.
You have just three days to enjoy the inspired pairings at this special sake-and-seafood popup at this acclaimed Downtown eatery. Available through Sunday, November 24, the three-course prix-fixe pairing lunch, including two different sakes, is $45, while the four-course prix-fixe pairing dinner featuring three different sakes is $65.
Rappahannock Oyster Bar is located at 777 Alameda Street at ROW DTLA. Lunch will be served from 11 am to 3 pm, while dinner will be served from 5 pm to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday and from 5 pm to 9 pm on Sunday. Cheers!