Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oysters and Martinis

Season One of Mad Men contains this great scene where Draper and

 Sterling go out for lunch.  Instead of today’s American cheese quesadillas and ice tea, they go out for a proper New York executive lunch.   They drink martinis and eat raw oysters.


They’re in a gorgeous restaurant with funny little half moon booths just big enough for two.  The only place I’ve ever seen those for real is in the Green Mill in Chicago, a vintage jazz club beloved by Al Capone.  The booths in the Green Mills are aqua plush, unlike the red ones in Mad Men. 


The martinis they drink are in delightfully frosty 4oz glasses.  Many martini glasses now are 8oz or 10oz sizes (I suppose for Cosmopolitans and other super sweet mixed drinks), which contain so much alcohol that the dregs in the glass are warm and gag-inducing by the time you get to them.  Plus, the olives look super huge in small glasses.   My brother was quite charmed by a martini he ordered at the Brown Derby in Hollywood .  It was in the 4oz sized glass, but an additional 2 oz or so was provided in a chilled glass vial.   I feel pretty certain the Mad Men martinis are the classic gin and not vodka.


The oysters are equally delightful looking.  There were nine served on crushed ice on a silver platter.  They are accompanied but lemon wedges and wicked looking cocktail sauce.  I love oysters, but I’ve certainly never had them so elegantly presented.  We mostly have ours at home.  I told Knut I couldn’t love a man who didn’t know how to shuck oysters, so he dutifully learned.   While we make home made Oysters Rockefeller (the NY Times recipe number 2.   Alas, I learned from Big Secrets that ours is not an authentic version (it’s spinach based) but I’d just as soon not deal with oyster stock and four pounds of parsley.) we sometimes enjoy them raw with a squirt of lemon and a spoonful of Burhop’s horseradish cocktail sauce.   Good stuff.


I have no idea if this restaurant exists or if it’s all in a studio (probably).  We are planning to make a pilgrimage to the Oyster Bar inNew York ’s Grand Central.  I intend to flop down and clamor for shellfish like  a hungry seagull. 

1 comment:

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