Collaborative menus are a thing of beauty. When two like minded chefs with an arsenal of recipes share an excitement for a particular item, the possibilities are limitless. Add in the fact that these special menus typically last for a single night and any chef worth their salt will do everything they can to create a FOMO event people talk about for the rest of the year.
A few weeks ago we had the honor of interviewing Chef Amendola of Foraged.Eatery on Getting To The Truth In This Art. It was there we learned that one of the first collaborative dinners for 2020 would involve Chef Zack Mills, head chef of True Chesapeake Oyster Co.,and a whole lot of oysters. While I generally never dine alone, that awkward feeling of loneliness and emotions could be stifled long enough to enjoy several unique eats you won’t find anywhere else in Baltimore.
Nashville Hot Oysters
The first dish on my must try list was the fried Nashville Hot Oysters. Topped with pickled cucumber and a nice helping of hot sauce, these perfectly breaded oysters had a refreshing taste with an equal amount of burn. The dish definitely packed in a certain amount of heat but remained flavorful with a sweet undertone to the hot sauce. Despite the burn, I wanted more of that sweet, thick sauce. I made sure to pace myself, keeping the brow sweat to a bare minimum.
The Oysters Scampi was a deceivingly large platter that got better with each bite. Served with charred green garlic, lemon butter and fresh herbs, the oysters felt like a natural fit, gently mixed in with a delicious mass of noodles. The oysters had a velvet soft texture but retained their overall meatiness. The herbs complemented the flavor of the oysters with a quality rustic aftertaste. As a celebrated Italian I abide by standard pasta rules, slurping my noodles loudly in the hopes the kitchen could hear.
Smoked Oyster Rillettes
To be honest, of all the possible dishes I could have been served, I wasn’t expecting an oyster-centric dip. This surprise, however, ended up being the best dish of the night. Served with pickled veggies and toast points, the Rillettes was filled with herbs and chunks of oysters. It was like eating a very creamy cheese dip with a smooth smoked Gouda flavor. My toast points disappeared within minutes, followed by the pickled veggies, all smothered with a generous helping of Rillettes. I could see this New Challenger easily replacing crab dip at any home chef’s house party, it’s that good! Here’s hoping this dish shows up again on the summer menu!
This will go down in history as the first time I ever dined alone and didn’t hate it. Between the incredible food, friendly staff and Foraged.Eatery’s welcoming atmosphere, I was all smiles from the moment I sat down to when I left. I didn’t get a chance to thank Chef Amendola and Mills for their combine efforts but I have a feeling they knew how grateful every diner was by the cacophony of delightful conversation and the way the oysters never stopped moving. Thanks again Chefs!
Foraged.Eatery is located at 3520 Chestnut Ave, Baltimore, MD, 21211
True Chesapeake Oyster Co. is located at 3300 Clipper Mill Rd, Baltimore, MD, 21211