A Renewed Brackish Bounty in the Chesapeake

by Sean Kenniff
Antoinette Bruno and Will Blunt
December 2014


    5335 Wisconsin Avenue Northwest Suite 201
    Washington, D.C. 20015
    (202) 803-8020
  • Rappahannock Oyster Bar
    1309 5th Street Northeast
    Washington, D.C. 20002
    (202) 544-4702
  • The Arsenal at Bluejacket
    300 Tingey Street Southeast
    Washington, D.C. 20003
    (202) 524-4862
  • Ryleigh's Oyster
    36 East Cross Street
    Hunt Valley, MD 21230
    (410) 539-2093
  • Eat the Rich
    1839 7th Street Northwest
    Washington, D.C. 20001
    (202) 316-9396


The bivalve is back! From Richmond to D.C., Frederick, and Baltimore, chefs are shucking and diners are slurping all across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. It’s the new age of the oyster and the bay is booming with oyster farms. The growth of new oyster operations (more than 100) since the 2010 passage of the Shellfish Aquaculture Leasing bill has rapidly transformed the bay into a bastion of Rappahannocks, Old Salts, and Chincoteagues, to name a few varieties. Chefs are poaching them, concocting oyster shooters, and, of course, serving them on the pearly half shell. The mounds of crushed ice aren’t just chilling the regions best oyster bars; they’re in fine dining restaurants and brewpubs, too. Tilt your head back. Here are some of our favorite oyster compositions from the D.C. area chefs who are embracing the region’s renewed brackish bounty.