EAT This Week: The Oyster Bar’s Bouillabaisse
To try and decide each week where and what to eat around the basin can be a challenge — there are so many amazing choices. In this feature we’ll dive into dishes that will surely satisfy those hunger pangs and leave you wondering where to go next.
In a restaurant called the Oyster Bar, and a place that’s going through about 100 dozen oysters per week, I’m zagging and going to feature a dish that doesn’t feature an oyster at all. Instead, I’m going to talk about their most popular dish, the French seafood stew classic: Bouillabaisse.
If seafood had a sport, then the bouillabaisse might be its Olympics. It’s loaded with heavy hitter after heavy hitter and the relentless onslaught of flavor just keeps coming after you wave after wave. But, I suppose with this dish we need to set the tone with the base stock, which includes beer, fennel, saffron, and tomato.
In older times, bouillabaisse was made with whatever the fishermen hadn’t sold that morning. Here, the murderer’s row consists of shrimp, lobster, crab legs, clams, mussels, and cod. Immediately when the bowl is dropped in front of you, the amazing smell is undeniable. You’ll want to just put a towel over your head and breathe it in for a good five minutes – maybe longer. Bouillabaisse therapy, anyone? I guarantee anyone taking in breath after breath of this will be in a better mood than before they started.
There’s really no way around not getting your hands dirty — but that’s also what helps make this dish fun. Once you get in there and bust through the shells, each piece of seafood delicately takes on the flavor of the base but at the same time, allows each distinct flavor to shine through. And once all the proteins are gone, you’re left with a melting pot of briny and tangy liquid to either soak up with some crusty bread or guzzle down like it’s water in the Sahara. I prefer a balance of the two.
If you’re a seafood lover and you haven’t been in to try, it’s a must. Besides, it’s just a fun word to say.
The Oyster Bar is located inside Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at 50 U.S. Hwy 50 in Stateline. For more information visit them online at hardrockcasinolaketahoe.com/dining-restaurants/the-oyster-bar or give them a call at 844-588-7625.
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