Monday, May 15, 2006

Creamy Oysters

Fried Burgundy

So Jason and I decided to hit Crabby Jack’s, an amazing friend seafood and creole joint out on Jefferson Highway in the middle of, well, an industrial park. Jack Leonardi, a local chef who owns a very popular restaurant in the Riverbend area (where Carollton meets St. Charles near the river), opened this lunch-only seafood joint as a much more casual alternative to his other place. Crabby Jack’s is amazing, it’s not uber-cheap, but the place is basically a counter where you order and cram in with the entire lunchtime crew to get your hands on the best seafood around. They are known for their Po-boys but the menu consists of fried catfish, shrimp, oysters (my absolute favorite), chicken, amazing heaped salads, and just about anything. The service is fast and friendly, which is incredible considering the mad rush of crowds every day. Also they have other specialties depending on the day. Great cole slaw, too. Anyway, when we went (this is my second trip there), we got takeout. Jason ordered the catfish platter and I ordered the oyster platter and we shared, as we almost always do. We drove to Audubon Park, busted out some remoulade from the successful try at fried green tomatoes the night before and had at the creamiest tastiest fried oysters in the world.

Oh, did I forget to mention the wine? A-ha! The day before I headed out to find a nice Chablis, or something similar to go with the food. And I’d been craving a nice minerally, not oaky white Burgundy, primarily thinking Chablis. Well I went to Sip, they were out of any white Burgundy, but said they might be getting some in, and I suggested a 2004 Chablis under $25 if they wanted my business. Jennifer recommended an aussie chardonnay as a replacement and I thought about it. So I walked four or five blocks west on Magazine and went into Martin Wine Cellar, because I remember them having a great selection of Burgundy. Finally, after giving up on someone asking me if I need help, I asked the guy I remembered from spring break to help me find a nice Chablis under $25, and he told me they had a few 2003 left, but that he actually recommended a 2004 Bourgogne Thierry and Pascale Matrot, because it’s a better vintage and a tad cheaper. He also asked me if I had a problem with screwcaps. Ha! I bought it.

2004 Matrot Bourgogne
• $14.99 @ Martin Wine Cellar
• Burgundy, France (sort of the middle of the Burgundy region, much further south than Chablis)
• 100% Chardonnay
• We had to use plastic cups, so I saw a nice rich golden color to it in the white plastic Mardi Gras cup.
• Nose: rich fruitiness, lemon, minerals, a little honeyed almost.
• Taste: voluptuous mouth-filling rich fruit, but a Burgundy kind of fruit, not a bomb, a lot of rich lemon qualities, a little minerality, but not those plunging depths of good Chablis, a nice long, lingering richness.
• 12.5% alcohol/volume
• Great with the oysters and cole slaw, could have been a little less rich for the catfish, but nice, nonetheless. Not exactly what I was looking for—not Chablis-ish enough, and a little too round. A cooler climate would have helped. But not the butter-ball fruit-bomb of some California chardonnay, which I hate don’t care for.


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