Tag Archives: max fish

A Marvelous Weekend Recap

Ah, what a marvelous weekend, and I am continuing to live life on the slightly-more-low-key side. But, I’m still having a great time! I’m doing a pretty good job of listening to my body and mind, instead of FOMO. Unfortunately I went back to my once-a-week blogging last week, with only one recipe post. Who knows what this week will bring? I’m not too worried about it – I’ll blog when I have time – but at least with this post I know I have one down!

Link up with Katie if you are sharing your marvelous today!

Marvelous is…a rest day on Friday. Some lessons need to be re-learned and on Friday, I re-learned that if I don’t work out in the morning, it just is not going to happen. In CT I often worked out on Fridays between work and my evening plans, but there’s something about a Friday late afternoon in Boston that makes me just want to get the weekend started as soon as I leave work. When I left for the day I decided to grocery shop, then put away my laundry, then get my nails done…all to put off going to the gym. So then I decided (with help from a text-pep-talk from a friend) to just take the day off. And I felt much better after making that decision and sticking with it.

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Three Generations Dine at Max Fish

This post may have bad timing since I just recently published a post about how I don’t eat out EVERY night, but please forgive my contradiction because I have a home meal post coming up tomorrow. For now, you REALLY want to read this one. Like, really.

I don’t do a full recap of every dinner I have out (just photo dumps), especially if the restaurant has already been featured in its own post on the blog before. However, the meal I enjoyed last Thursday night at the Max Restaurant Group‘s seafood establishment, Max Fish, in Glastonbury, CT was so noteworthy that I had to do an entire post on it. Let the gushing commence!

Grannan and I!

My grandma (we call her Grannan) had arrived that afternoon from Florida, and my mom and I knew we wanted to take her somewhere special for dinner. Thankfully my family had plenty of points racked up from the Max restaurants’ free rewards program, Max Vantage. Ever since hearing about the Max Fish Tiki Dinner I attended, my mom has been dying to try their regular menu (she is already a fan of their award-winning happy hour), so we decided to use the rewards points there. Plus, they have an outdoor patio – I love dining al fresco! My grandma, mom, sister, and I decided it was the perfect spot to celebrate Grannan’s arrival.

Once seated we were immediately served the above sampling plate of seaweed and pickled cucumber salad. That certainly started the meal out on a high note! The combo was genius and the cucumbers were pickled just enough. Any more and they definitely wouldn’t have paired as well with the seaweed.

We also got a pretty great bread basket. The wheat rolls were just OK to me, but the other variety of roll contained raisins and caramelized onions. Those were so flavorful that they didn’t even need any butter – but that didn’t stop me from using a bit 😉 My favorite part of the bread basket actually wasn’t bread – it was the flatbread crackers with sesame and what I believe were caraway seeds. So satisfyingly crunchy and hearty.

Max Fish has one of those cocktail menus (pictured above) that I could study and debate for hours. They certainly proved themselves to be expert mixologists at the Tiki Dinner! I love wine, but felt like it’d be a cocktail appreciator’s sin to not order one (or two!) of these gems.

Happy with my choice.

It actually didn’t take me too long to decide on the Fish Hook, Max Fish’s take on the Manhattan, because of its main ingredient: Onyx Moonshine. I’ve spoken with the owners of this Manchester, CT-based company a few times at events, and they are a great group of people putting out an excellent, smooth liquor. As expected, the Fish Hook was amazingly refreshing and the orange peel in it looked pretty awesome as well. I savored every sip.

My sister was very surprised when she ordered a Diet Coke and it came out in an old-fashioned Coke bottle. Cute!

She may kill me for using this.

I was debating between ordering tuna and swordfish (the dinner menu is pretty epic…lots of menu indecision anxiety for me!…and cool sidebar – Max Fish has a gluten-free menu!), and that decision was made easier for me when my family and I had the chance to sample the rare yellowfin tuna.

Meg, are you dying?!

I was ecstatic that my mom, grandma, and sister were all willing to try it. And better yet, the madre and Grannan declared that they LOVED the rare tuna!

All gone!

I can totally understand why and I’m glad that their first taste was at Max Fish. The tuna was cooked to perfection, the exterior crusted in an adequate amount of sesame, and the sauce and slaw garnishes were the perfect compliments.

So proud of herself for trying – and enjoying – fish cooked rare!

Hannah was not the biggest fan – she is still in the stage in which the only seafood she likes is mahi mahi, what I like to call the “gateway fish” – but she tried!

She is not a seafood fan!

She much prefers the taste of Diet Coke!

When our food came out there was a bit of confusion with the food runner over whose plate was whose, and which fish was which, so my mom and Grannan’s dishes got sent back. But once we realized that everything had actually been correct in the first place, the kitchen was nice enough to warm the entrees back up before delivering them to the table.

Since I’d tried the tuna, I ordered the above grilled swordfish with pineapple-ginger chutney, local bok choy, and black sticky rice. I have been dreaming of that rice since the Tiki Dinner, and convinced my mom and Grannan to get it with their food too! I never eat rice – I find it to be extremely boring, and it makes me sleepy if I eat even a bit too much, like pasta does. This rice, though, is just the right hint of sweetness and its texture is so fun! I know that sounds strange to say about a food’s texture, but it’s really the first word that comes to mind. The pineapple-ginger chutney was so amazing paired with the sticky black rice. My only complaint is more like a regret – that I didn’t ask for EXTRA chutney! The bok choy was very well cooked, not too oily, and the swordfish was the thickest cut I’d ever received at a restaurant. The outside was nice and char-grilled while the inside was flaky. No knife was needed to slice off each bite – a fork was plenty.

Grannan’s entree

Mom and Grannan continued to make my everythingarian-self happy by taking my suggestion to get the sticky black rice with their entrees as well. They are very much like me when it comes to rice – just not that impressed. But also like me, they were over the moon about Max Fish’s rice! Being true seafoodies though, their favorite meal component was the grilled monkfish. The two of them could not say enough good things about how it was cooked. Grannan also swooned over her sauteed spinach (pictured above).

That right there is Hannah’s choice, the 10 oz filet mignon with creamy mashed potatoes. She also got a side of haricot verts to get her green on. She ordered the steak medium and it certainly came out cooked just as she’d asked.  I have to admit I’m glad she didn’t finish it all because this filet was beyond-words amazing. As in, it-rivaled-J. Gilbert’s amazing. Yeah, I said it. Hannah said those taters hit the spot as well – exactly what she craved.

Me and the sis!

I finished my Fish Hook right when my entree came out, so to go with my meal I ordered something refreshing, light, and citrusy – the French 75.  It was served in a fun, classy glass and contained gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Prosecco. Didn’t taste much like alcohol, and not a cocktail I’d usually order (a bit sweet), but it was still fun to step outside of my martini-shaped box.

The French 75, me, and a bunch of good bread.

We declined dessert because we were all quite satisfied, so our waitress brought the check, along with some nice warm towels topped with fresh lemons for cleaning our hands. My mom adored that fancy ending!

And Max Fish had one more surprise up its sleeve…after-dinner drinks! Again, though it was a sweeter beverage than I’d normally order, I enjoyed the below Strawberry Caipirinha, AKA Brazil’s national cocktail, made with strawberry, cachaca (sugar cane rum), raw sugar, and lime. Hence the lime and strawberry garnishes! This drink made me feel fabulous and was perfect for a warm summer evening like the one we were enjoying that evening.

Lighting doesn’t do it justice – it had gotten dark!

Thank you so very much to Max Fish for giving my grandma an amazing welcome-to-Connecticut dinner to kick off her visit from Florida. We promised her a great seafood dinner and the restaurant certainly delivered! I highly recommend Max Fish for any occasion – or even none at all. If you’re trying to save money, their happy hour is a great way to try a lot of their food options at a discounted price.

And don’t forget to read up on the Max Restaurant Group’s Chef to Farm Dinner Series, which already has generated buzz nationally. I’m planning to hit up one of the August dinners, but there is one coming up as soon as the end of July in Simsbury, CT! Click the link, take a look at the menu, and buy a ticket once you recover from passing out (since it’s so amazing).

Do you have a favorite seafood spot near you?

Which foodie photo is your fave in this post? I won’t judge you if you name a beverage 😉

Max Fish 2nd Annual Tiki Dinner

Ahh, my latest foodie event has come and gone, and now it’s time to recap for you all! I was definitely getting a lot of Instagram love (just recently joined, follow me @CaitPlusAte!) as I live-tweeted and shared the food and drinks I was having during this tasting dinner, which was held this past Thursday evening. The host was Max Fish, one of the excellent restaurants in the Max Restaurant Group of CT and MA. You may have seen it pop up on the blog when I went there for late night happy hour during my 23rd birthday, as well as in this post in which I attended an oyster and wine tasting there, left, and then came BACK for more food during late night happy hour!

After reading my recap of the oyster and wine tasting, the manager of Max Fish, Brian Costa, was kind enough to invite me to a future event. I selected the 2nd Annual Tiki Dinner, 5 courses of food and cocktail pairings. I have never done a multi-course dinner with cocktails, so I was DEFINITELY intrigued. My readers know I love me some classy cocktail imbibing.

The tiki bar – all the cocktails were made in front of us.

My usual foodie companion Jeff and I arrived on time for the event’s start at 6PM, but the first round of drinks was not served until 6:30PM. This annoyed me because I really rushed from work to fight traffic and get to the event on time, but as people trickled in the waiters used the first half hour to ask us if we wanted to purchase any additional drinks before the dinner started. I can understand a restaurant wanting to make additional money off of drinks. Also, it seemed that many of the attendees didn’t show up until 6:30, so starting right at 6 might have made them upset since they’d have missed the first course but been charged the same amount of money as everyone else. Still, I am just a punctual person, and my outlook is if you say an event starts at 6, that’s when it should start. Or, the flyer could have mentioned that the first half hour would be a “cocktail hour” of some kind and include passed appetizers, like the tasting dinner menus at CW’s Chops n Catch do. Just my two cents 🙂

Brian welcomes the guests.

Unfortunately the event was moved from the patio to indoors due to the extreme heat CT was experiencing that day. That bummed me out because I am essentially allergic to AC (AKA it’s always too cold for me) and it also resulted in seating being cafeteria-style at long tables to ensure enough space for everyone. Jeff and I were not fans of that, but we did end up sitting across from a fun couple on a blind date and they were cool to talk to, so it all worked out! OK, I swear this dinner was awesome – I sound like a Negative Nancy right now. Let’s get to the good, and there’s plenty of it.

Bermuda Triangle (aka a Dark ‘n Stormy plus honey and lime).

Course One’s drink was a variation on one of my favorites, the Dark ‘n Stormy, called the Bermuda Triangle. There was a lime “sunk” at the bottom like a “ship” – cute! It also had honey added. I loved the color variation in the presentation and was so excited to take my first sip that I did so without stirring the rum at the top into the drink.

Most attractive face EVER.

OOPS! After mixing the drink’s ingredients and taking another (cautious) sip, my facial expression certainly changed.

Getting into the tiki vibe with our sunglasses. And OK, it’s not mixed yet in that photo.

Course One’s dish was a plate of conch fritters with lime-coconut aioli, candied ginger, and hearts of palm.

THIS WAS SO GOOD. The aioli was so amazing, and Jeff and I were both glad that the dish was served with plenty of it. The fritters were way flavorful and the fried exterior didn’t overpower the seafood taste of the interior. The greens were excellent too, even though they weren’t even listed on the menu as a part of the dish – so they made for a nice surprise. I’d never had hearts of palm before but remembered seeing them on Allie’s blog. They were way saltier than I expected but that made for interesting flavor combos on my plate! The Bermuda Triangle also paired well with this dish, especially given the fact that both it and the food had both lime and ginger flavors.

The dish and the drink.

Course Two’s drink was the Tiki Torch, another beverage shrouded in “mystery” to me when I first read the menu since its name gave away nothing about what would be in it.

Phone is hiding in the background waiting to tweet, as always.

Based off how it looks, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that it was made with rock candy syrup! The crushed ice definitely mimicked the rock candy look. The Tiki Torch also included dark rum, lime juice, and an Italian liqueur Amaro Montenegro. Fancy presentation! Jeff and I loved the glass and the garnish. I also was pleasantly surprised that the drink wasn’t too sweet.

We both got lei’d!

Course Two’s food is brought to you by Instagram, because I’m a bad blogger and forgot to take a photo of it with my camera.

Yup, that’s raw tuna! More specifically, spicy tuna poke of raw tuna, sriacha aioli, mint, avocado, lotus root, and thin sesame crackers. Kinda reminded me of fancy tuna nachos! Of course Max Fish knows how to do tuna. It was so perfect, especially with the sriacha. Both the food and the drink were delicious, but did not necessarily pair together in any particularly noticeable way.

This one wins the prettiest presentation award.

The candied cherry on top of Course Three’s drink, the Red Bitter Mai Tai, was so amazing that I could honestly perhaps call this my favorite drink of the evening BECAUSE of the cherry. Maybe that’s a bit extreme, but damn it was good. Max Fish’s take on the mai tai consisted of Sailor Jerry’s rum, triple sec, lime juice, and CampariIt was a bit sweet for my usual tastes (the triple sec had me wary) but I still finished it 😀

Perhaps that explains the widening smiles.

Course Three also consisted of my favorite dish of the evening, a sampler of mixed Hawaiian dumplings. Right off the bat I knew I’d love them because of how thin they were. Plenty of filling – the GOOD STUFF! Jeff was accidentally served double of one type of dumpling, but the error was remedied fairly quickly.

The dumpling on white sauce (tahini) had shrimp and chile, the dumpling on orange sauce (kaffir lime sauce) had lobster, and the dumpling on brown sauce (Kahlua sauce) had duck. The center was garnished with a cabbage mix. The duck was by FAR my favorite. I just love duck and how fatty and flavorful it tastes! Its sauce was dynamite too. My favorite sauce, though, was the tahini with the shrimp. The shrimp was far from bland, but compared to the other two fillings, it was the most unique. The lobster was…lobster. How can you go wrong? Each dumpling’s soft texture paired really well with the crunchy cabbage. Again, this food and drink pairing didn’t necessarily “go together” to me, but both were delicious (yup, I used that forbidden word) in their own rights.

This one got the biggest Instagram reaction from you guys!

The main course’s drink (Course Four) had a self-explanatory name – the Coconut Mojito. Isn’t it beauuuutiful? And so much mint, which I used my straw to “muddle” throughout that lovely tall glass. The coconut flavor wasn’t too much, especially since I muddled in the mint. A perfect balance! Unfortunately I could not finish this drink – I’d already had my fair share. But it actually paired perfectly with every component of the main course. And there were MANY!

At this point it starts getting dark outside and so my natural light leaves me, and my photos get a bit less pretty.

Um, yeah. This one was NOT a small plate! Served buffet style…unfortunately I missed the money-shot of the full pig coming out to be carved, but I did catch a shot of the carver in action. He worked quickly and expertly.

Each table went up to fill its plates with Polynesian-roasted suckling pig, grilled pineapple, orange sauce, sticky rice, and steamed buns. 

I was sure to get a little bit of everything, as you can see from my plate a couple of photos up. That pig was perfection!!! I loved it with the mojito. I also put some on top of the steamed bun and added the sauce to that combo. Amazing! I want to have a full pork sandwich on a steamed bun. The grilled pineapple was good but definitely overshadowed by the more unique parts of the plate. I don’t even really like rice (it bores me), but the sticky rice had an interesting texture and so much flavor. I’d definitely order it out another time.

Ahhh ugly photo alert.

The dessert course drink (Course Five) had another self-explanatory name, the Tremont Rum Manhattan. At this point Jeff and I were definitely feelin’ our cocktails, and we took a sip of this guy and looked at each other in shock. Damn, it was strong! We both decided that for our livers and our safety, we probably wouldn’t be able to finish the last round. However, I’m glad I had a few sips with the dessert food because the strong rum paired AMAZINGLY with the sweet cold fusion guava sorbet, edible orchids, and pineapple upside down cake!

Definitely wasn’t blown away by this dish’s presentation, but certainly was by its taste. I dipped the flower in the sorbet and ate that first! It didn’t have much of a taste to it, but a nice crunch, always something that I like. The sorbet was tasty but soooo sweet! My favorite part of the dessert was dipping the cake in the sorbet. It was so spongy and I could definitely taste the pineapple.

Thank you, Max Fish! Also, we did not plan to both wear stripes.

Brian, the manager, came by after our meal to make sure we had a good time and enjoyed ourselves. Definitely nice to see! And we certainly had plenty to rave about, so I’m sure he was pleased too. Another successful tasting dinner for me – thanks Brian!

Does it bother you when events don’t start on time?

Which dish would you most want to try? Which cocktail?

Have you ever attended a tiki or luau themed event?

How I Spent My 23rd Birthday!

Yesterday was my 23rd birthday! I ended up having a great day (so great that I didn’t have time to blog :-P) and want to thank all of you that wished me happy birthday on Twitter and/or Facebook! So how did I spend my special day? Haven’t had time to upload cam pics yet, but I was tweeting a play-by-play of life, as per usual.

The day got off to a great start when I woke up to this. I love my mom!

My co-workers continued to make the day fabulous. My friend Steve got me these gorgeous tulips. The bow matches my St. Patty’s Day nails!

The fellow ladies of our sales row (of cubicles, ha) know me well. They gave me a bottle of local CT red wine from Sharpe Hill Vineyards! I haven’t had their wine yet and am super excited to try it.

Holy moly, look at this gem! It’s from Jim, a co-worker who has access to a pretty awesome bakery (he got another co-worker an equally awesome cupcake for her birthday last month). That chocolate-cake looking part is actually ALL icing. I am an icing freak. So let’s just say I’m gonna enjoy this. Saving it for tonight after dinner maybe!

I’m a lucky girl!

My boss was kind enough to give me a half day on my birthday, and good thing, because it was about 80 degrees without a cloud in the sky yesterday. Is this the new CT March? I’ll TAKE IT!

Obsessed with Vera towels.

No, this is not a summer ’11 photo, this is YESTERDAY. Amazing! I chilled with my best friend Lidia as we drank iced beverages (coffee for me, green tea for her), read magazines/books, and chatted. She was also kind enough to use my Goodreads to-read list to pick out a couple of new books for me as a gift – it used to be we were gifting each other off our Forever 21 wish lists, and now it’s Goodreads! Oh, how adult we are!

Now I can see what all that hype is about!

A classic that I’ve been curious about.

Call me weird, but I wanted to go to the gym despite the fact that it was my birthday. I completed 4.08 miles on the StepMill, Level 16, speed intervals AKA some kick-butt HIIT. Felt FABULOUS after! Read the issue of SHAPE with Kate Walsh on the cover. She is one amazing lady.

I wrapped things up with the below workout created by the amazing Heather of For the Love of Kale (who gave me a birthday shoutout yesterday, THANKS LOVE). I’m not doing any upper body today so wanted to get some in yesterday. Quick and effective!

After showering my sweaty self off, I went to meet my friend Colin (of Taste of New Haven) at Mustard Seed Cafe, a cute local breakfast-and-lunch place, for a French Wine Tasting Class event put on by my favorite liquor store EVER, Sonoma Wines & Spirits. Apps were served to start and I put together a little tasting plate, but kept it light because I wanted to go out to a late dinner afterward.

Went back for seconds on the veg (obviously).

For a wine lover like myself, this was definitely an informative event, in terms of both tasting wine and its origins. I have to admit I found myself drifting a bit during the historical parts of the presentation, but I think that was because I was so excited to get-to-sippin…

Flight #1 (three total).

The most fascinating part for me was learning how to both properly smell and taste wine. Did you know that you’re supposed to cover the glass with your hand, swirl the wine around, and then just take a slight sniff from under your hand when smelling a wine? The whole swirl and stick my nose in the glass thing that I’ve had going on is NOT correct. Too bad I put on hand lotion right before the event!

The proper method of tasting wine is really cool and made a HUGE difference. I’m having no luck finding a video or series of photos on Google (I know, what?) demonstrating the method, but it involves taking a sip, tilting your head forward and letting the wine rest in the front of your “palate”, and then tilting your head back (it reminded me of taking a shot…) and letting the wine slide over the middle and back parts of your tongue before swallowing (or spitting, something I am not fond of, and I know, that’s what she said). The taste was SO much more intense. I kinda loved it.

My favorite flight obviously – three reds, how can you go wrong?

I had a few favorites, which I marked with stars on our info/ordering sheets, and ended up decided to purchase the Chateau Picque Caillou Graves Pessac-Leognan. I know – what?? Just know that it tasted sooo oak-y and fabulous. I also received a $25 credit with my admission, and the bottle was $30.59. How often do I have a chance to buy a $30 bottle of wine for $5?! Answer: never, so I leapt at it. I’m going to save this bottle for something very special!

After the tasting wrapped up, Colin and I headed out to get some FOOD. It was almost 9pm, so we hit up the late night happy hour at Max Fish! I love going to these kinds of happy hours at nice restaurants because I get the chance to order and sample food that would normally be out of my price range.

Recycled image from my last visit but obviously I had to get the cheese plate again.

Colin offers a useful hand-size comparison for this ahi tuna with jasmine rice and lemongrass sauce.

Frozen not fresh (as our waitress honestly told us when we asked), but still so good.

Does anyone else dip fries into their ice cream and/or milkshakes? Colin thought I was a weirdo for that one!

I’m asking about ice cream because Colin not-so-secretly (I noticed immediately…) approached our waitress and asked her to send over a birthday dessert for me. I was still surprised because I had no clue what it’d be! I wish this picture hadn’t come out so blurry:


SO DELICIOUS. I realized it had been too long since I last had ice cream. And it had been way WAY too long since I’d made that an ice cream SUNDAE. The caramelized bananas and slightly-salty nuts on that whipped cream made it extra special.

Fabulous, fabulous birthday. And it doesn’t stop there – off to J. Gilbert’s with my family tonight!

How did you celebrate your last birthday? Do you have any go-to traditions?

Max Fish Oysters & Willamette Wines

Around my area, Max Restaurant Group is king. Their eight independent restaurants are all extremely successful and known for some of the best-tasting food and highest-quality drinks in the state. MRG also puts on lots of foodie-and-wino-targeted events. Though I’ve only heard great things about what’s served, I also have noticed that most of the events have quite a price tag. So imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I saw an event on the calendar for January that was only $35/person – the “2012 Oysters and…” tasting of oysters from Max Fish, one of the MRG restaurants specializing in seafood, and white wines from Willamette Valley Vineyards, brought by the founder of the vineyard himself, Jim Bernau.

A chef completing rapid setup between tastings – there were three times, and we came for the second!

My dining partners at this event were my go-to foodie guys, Jeff and Evan. In fact, I have another tasting we attended not-so-recently that I hope to recap this week, but that’s neither here nor there.

Both still and sparkling water were offered – fancy!

I was beyond pleasantly surprised to see Jim himself there representing Willamette Valley Vineyards, because I had actually met him the day before at the Sun WineFest! In fact, his Willamette Pinot Noir (yum) was my very last sip of alcohol of the day, right before I headed to the main stage to cover the Oyster Open. The WineFest, by the way, occurred the day before this oyster and white wine tasting, so I considered it an extension of my WineFest culinary adventure!

Bucket for oyster shells!

Oyster expert Kim Kockza taught us a lot about what we were about to eat, and continued to educate us about oysters as we slurped them down. So much goes into oyster farming! Southern oysters of the US take about 12-18 months to grow, whereas are some oysters grown around the world that take up to seven years. Oysters are often grown in a controlled environment to the size of a quarter, and then released into bodies of water so that they can nom on plankton all day and get nice and beefy for OUR consumption. They eat, then we eat, the circle of life!

When Evan tried to squeeze lemon onto his first oyster, Kim certainly gave him a talking to. She wouldn’t allow it! We had no sauces either – this event was all about tasting the oyster in its purest form.

Oysters taste different depending on what species they are, where they are farmed, the farmers’ methods, and more. I’m extremely inexperienced with oysters – in fact, this was my first time having them raw like this – but I could still tell that a difference existed between certain species. Some had subtle flavor variations that I preferred to others. However, all of the oysters (no matter what kind) had the unfortunate habit of shedding little pieces of shell that kept getting caught on my tongue and in my teeth!

All of the oysters we sampled at Max Fish were from British Columbia. Three species were paired with three different white wines. Another slightly adventurous event for me, since I am a red lover at heart (hearts are red, ha!), and I have been trying to explore whites and give them a chance. I did not like any of these whites as much as a red, but pairing them with the oysters was certainly fun!

  • Gigamoto oysters with 2009 Pinot Gris: I enjoyed the wine portion of this pairing more than the oysters. They tasted very, well, raw. The taste was a bit more harsh and in-your-face seafood (if that makes any sense) than I would have preferred. The Pinot Gris and its clean taste did pair well with them and each sip was a satisfying cleanse to the palate. These oysters, though, were not really for me.
  • Miyagi oysters with 2010 Riesling: These oysters definitely tasted better thanks to their creamier texture. Kim showed us that the oyster’s white belly could tip us off before even tasting it that creaminess would come into play here. At first sip, the Riesling was way too sweet for me (they usually are). However as I continued to pair the miyagi oysters with the wine, I enjoyed the Riesling more and more.
  • Pacific rim oysters with 2009 Chardonnay: I was not the biggest fan of the Chardonnay paired with these oysters. I’m not sure if it was the oysters, or the wine (it’s hard for me to like a Chardonnay) but I definitely preferred the other two whites to this wine. These oysters were more similar to the gigamotos to me (less creamy than the miyagis).

Jim is a great guy, so down-to-earth, and he gave us lots of good wine education while we slurped and sipped! Willamette Valley is in Oregan, and Jim has owned the land for 29 years. His key wine making principle is stewardship of the land, so anyone buying Willamette Valley wines can be confident that the beauty of the valley is preserved and the land is well cared for before, during, and after harvest.

Jim’s passion for his wines really shines through.

Our last portion of the tasting involved some oysters that had been “tinkered” with – in the best way! Instead of served raw, these were served with some tasty garnishes.

On the left are two oysters topped with a chard gilee and chives. On the right are two oysters topped with an apple-bacon relish! I liked those the most out of the two (kinda obvious, it’s bacon), but the chard gilee oysters were great as well, and both went well with some leftover Chardonnay I still had. In fact, I liked the Chardonnay a little more after I paired it with these beauties! I have to say, raw oysters are not exactly for me r. I don’t think I’d ever order them out, but when it comes to garnished or stuffed oysters, I’m game!

Evan and I took turns snapping photos of each other eating the oysters. I went with the shot-glass-method:

I think Jeff is judging me.

Evan went with the slurping method, and I hate to say it, but I think he wins this round. He looks fancy! Or like he’s making out with the oyster.

Before we left, the three of us had to get a photo with the lobster tank. Too bad we failed and stood directly in front of it.

Classy foodies forever!

After leaving, we proceeded to J. Gilbert’s to take advantage of a free appetizer FourSquare deal and oh yeah, split a bottle of wine. Then back to Max Fish for late night happy hour bites. Yes, it was a bit of a spontaneous Monday out, but we kept it both cheap and sophisticated.

Our free J. Gilbert’s Maytag bleu cheese chips, and red wine (not free)!

J. Gilbert’s bartender talked us into a bottle…

My Max Fish happy hour cheese plate (wine = cheese plate cravings, always).

Max Fish happy hour Thai Shrimp Toast. Jeff continues his hand modeling career.

Thanks to Max Fish for hosting a cool event and to Jim for sharing his wines with us!

How much experience do you have with oysters? What about white wines?