Journey to The Oyster Farm
Tradition is a term that’s tossed around a little more often during the holiday season. I guess you could say it’s become a bit of a tradition of mine and my husband’s to go on a trip with our friends each fall. Last year, we took on Charlottesville with plenty of apple picking, wine sampling and beer tasting, but this year we all wanted a slightly slower paced trip. After a lovely first visit to the Eastern Shore with the husband, I knew it would be the quintessential place to relax and explore.
We first planned to camp in tents, then—fearing the cold weather—a cabin, but without much luck, we opted to rent a charming house via HomeAway.
The gang met at the house on a Friday evening. The fire was a rollin’, and we uncorked a bold red wine accompanied by some fireside chats before retreating to the cottage for a good night’s rest.
The next morning, we chowed down on a collaborative breakfast of pancakes, bacon, eggs, fruit and mimosas before we piled into my mother-in-law’s van that she so kindly let us borrow for the weekend (Thanks, Betsy!) and headed to Chatham Vineyards. We tasted their steel-aged Chardonnay, rosé, dessert wine, Merlot and Vintner’s Blend. November wasn’t so cold after all, so we sat outside, poured a glass of Chardonnay and nibbled on cheese and crackers while the sun beamed down.
We ordered a couple dozen of their oysters. The Ruby Salts, which were caught “just out there,” Mike, our waiter, told us as he pointed out the window. The other dozen were of the Sewansecott caught seaside, which were, in his opinion, more salty with less sweetness than that of his favorite, the Ruby Salts. Each were hearty and scrumptious, especially with generous squeezes of lemon juice and cocktail sauce.
I’d heard about the Oyster Martini; it’s exactly how it sounds. It’s a martini—with your choice of vodka or gin—with an oyster just plumb sunk to the bottom. While my friend was the braver one, I took one less brave of a step below him and ordered the Bloody Mary with an added freshly shucked oyster floating near the top of the Old Bay-lined glass. Let’s just say I finished mine with ease, while his experience took a little more gumption.
Once our friends had cleared their plates of seared tuna, oysters and she-crab soup—all of which they raved about—Mike brought out a platter that spanned the width of the table. Carrying a creme brûlée, assortment of cakes and cheesecake, I was looking for something in particular. Unsure if they were available that evening, I asked Mike if he had “the truffles.” “Oh you bet—we have chocolate tonight.”
Any good friend of mine fills me in on the best dessert spots, and CoVa Associate, Angela Blue, sure was right. Dusted like delectable, bite-sized meteors, these hunky chocolate truffles were mixed with chocolate chunks and finished off with a light dusting of cocoa powder.” “Sometimes Linda makes ‘em with orange, too,” Mike told us.
While the Shore is oh so charming in and of itself, orange truffles are a perfect enough reason to return.
The Oyster Farm is located at 500 Marina Village Circle in Cape Charles. They are open for lunch and dinner; hours vary. Visit their website for more information.