We’re hosting another Oysters & Stout this Thursday, February 28, and we’ll have a raft of porters and stouts along with fresh oysters on the half shell; smoked with garlic butter; and crisp fried. We look forward to it twice a year, and hope you do too.
You might be wondering why we care about oysters in the first place. People living in Columbus 100 years ago certainly recognized the importance of oysters. Simply, they wanted to be a part of the world that they couldn’t.
When Columbus was founded in 1812, links to the more cultural and fashionable parts of the world were hard to come by. Lucas Sullivan once brought back from Philadelphia a small gift to his son. One orange–the first ever seen in Central Ohio.
Oysters became the symbol of affluence throughout much of the Midwest in the 1800s. Human nature doesn’t change much. People want what they can’t have. Oysters were hard to come by. They spoiled easily (I hate to think of that smell) and had to be consumed quickly. As if you had to guess, they were expensive too.
By the 1840s, if one was running for President, like William Henry Harrison, an “oyster party” was expected. The Harrison party drew thousands.
Oysters at Christmas became something of a tradition. In many homes at Christmas, one is still offered two kinds of dressing: “plain” or oyster.
By the turn of the century, oysters were offered at fashionable restaurants in Columbus. The Neil House was one, and another was the rooftop beer garden at the Great Southern Hotel. There, you could order oysters, swig beers and smoke stogies all night long. Oysters became a selling point, trying to prove that this or that establishment was THE place in town.
We host Oysters & Stout because this is one of the world-class aphrodisiac pairings in the world. And they’re delicious. Just as microbrew and barbecue go hand-in-hand, so do Oysters & Stout.
As you slurp down a few of these delectable mollusks this Thursday, think about our forefathers and what they had to go through to get the same experience. You’re a part of Columbus history when you devour that sensuous muscle.