Treat Yourself To Oysters for #NationalOysterDay (or any day) in Raleigh & Wake Forest NC!

Sunday,August 5th is one of my favorite food holidays because it is National Oyster Day! The seafoodie in me loves to eat these beauties from the sea. Whether you like them raw on the half shell, roasted, charbroiled, topped off with cheese or fried in a po boy sandwich, there are so many places to enjoy fresh oysters in the Triangle. Here are some of my favorite places to enjoy oysters in Raleigh & Wake Forest!

18 Seaboard

NC oysters from Core Sound topped with pimento cheese and proscuitto

18 Seaboard, the brainchild of Chef Smith and his wife Laura,winner 2018 Best of Downtown restaurant for a business meeting, is best known for its locally sourced seafood dishes. Here is where I made my first stop to celebrate National Oyster Day!

Pair the oysters with a glass of Rosé or 18 Seaboard’s Prosecco cocktail

Chef Jason Smith, who was recently featured in the IndyWeek top 100 dishes, gets his oysters fresh from Locals Seafood and serves Core Sounders topped them with pimento cheese brulee +prosciutto +crystal cane syrup ! They are raw but torched at the end to melt the cheese just a little. You get 5 to an order, but you may want more after tasting the hot sauce sugar syrup. It is literally the icing on the oyster!

Chef-Proprietor Jason Smith was recently featured in Indy Week! 18 Seaboard serves delicious local NC seafood dishes!

18 Seaboard

18 Seaboard Ave
Raleigh, NC 27604

Whiskey Kitchen

Oysters, fried to perfection at Whiskey Kitchen

Whiskey Kitchen..winner of 2018 best of Downtown Bar Food, known for best outside patio and an all around great vibe. I recently was here enjoying a girls night out and the fried oysters were such a memorable bite!

The Drink Menu is extensive at Whiskey Kitchen. No matter the celebration, they have plenty of libations!

During the day, Whiskey Kitchen still has a great atmosphere but it is more kid friendly and even dog friendly on the patio. If you are a fan of day drinking, head to Whiskey Kitchen for the best place to enjoy fried oysters on the patio for and pair is with prosecco, a glass of wine, a Bloody Mary, beer or just ask Johnny to make something special!

Whiskey Kitchen

201 W Martin St
Raleigh, NC 27601

bu*ku Wake Forest

If you read my review of bu•ku Wake Forest, then you know I could never say nada to their

~

….

These oysters are on their menu everyday so I can celebrate my love for oysters anytime and so can you!

bu*ku Wake Forest

1228 Heritage Links Dr suite 100 Wake Forest, NC 27587

National Oyster Day may be coming to an end but lucky for us we have quite a few restaurants here in Raleigh that serve up these delicacies from the sea. Hummingbird features Chef Coleen Speaks’ oyster dishes (she does an amazing oyster po’boy, along with smoked marinated oysters and charbroiled oysters), as well as Mandolin, who offers delicious local NC oysters on the half shell with Chef Sean Fowler’s house-made sauces. Another restaurant in Wake Forest that I have enjoyed is Shuckers. Remember, The World Is Your Oyster, go out there and enjoy!

Photo Courtesy of Mandolin

Do you like oysters? Did you celebrate National Oyster Day? If so, leave your favorite oyster spot below!

Celebrating #MyVioletValentine with a Romantic Dine at #18Seaboard in #Raleigh ! #seafood #creativecuisine

A few days ago I introduced a series on SobeSavvy.com called #MyVioletValentine. I encourage all of you to think about putting the color red aside and consider celebrating with the Pantone color of the year in mind which is “Ultra Violet”! Beautiful shades of violet and purple can be found everywhere in nature and also in food. One of those food instances can be found at 18 Seaboard.

Located at Seaboard Station near downtown Raleigh, this restaurant opened its doors in 2006 and is owned by Chef Jason Smith and his wife Lauren. 18 Seaboard serves contemporary Southern inspired dishes with over 60% of ingredients sourced from North Carolina farms, ranches, fishmongers and dairies. We were there recently to enjoy a romantic pre-Valentine’s Day date. They have a wonderful lunchtime menu which featured alot of dishes that satisfied the seafoodie in me! But first…

COCKTAILS/STARTERS

After being promptly seated at a nice table for two we began with two Kir Royale cocktails. Again, I had #MyVioletValentine in mind when we ordered these but alas they photograph more of a blush color. Nevertheless, still a great champagne cocktail to kickoff a romantic dine.

We ordered two starters of Sneads Ferry She-Crab Soup with sherry reduction and a Purple Sweet Potato Bisque. Now this bisque arrived to the table looking too good to eat! Not only did it look pretty and purple, but the taste was pretty amazing.You know what they say, you eat with your eyes first, but I had to close mine and just savor each spoonful!

My favorite out of the two starters was the she crab soup. It had a generous amount of crab meat and just the right touch of sherry. We both are from Maryland and agreed that this soup was not only flavorful but reminded us of our hometown.

CHEF’S ENTREÉS

While there are various choices for lunch we chose two seafood entreés. My husband ordered the Cornmeal-Crusted Carolina Classics Catfish w/champagne tarragon butter and a unique pecan grit cake. It was fresh, flaky and delicious. Oh and the sauteed spinach and apple collard slaw offered not only a brightness to the dish but paired well with the fish.

I went with the Bo Bromhal SafeChild Shrimp & Grits. The restaurant donates 10% of all proceeds from ordering this dish to this amazing Wake County Child advocacy Program. Besides a great cause this was a GREAT.GREAT.DISH. I have had innumerable Shrimp & Grit dishes over my lifetime and I vote this dish as one of the absolute best interpretations of this southern iconic dish! Amazing is really an understatement.

We got a chance to speak with both the General Manager (Brandy, who can suggest a great dry white wine to pair with the seafood dishes) and Chef-Proprietor Jason Smith, whom I had a chance to hear speak at Feed the Dialogue dinner event. He is very personable, talented and passionate about the food served at his restaurants. Also our waiter, who advised to call him “D”, provided excellent service and added to our delightful dining experience.

DESSERTS

We ended our wonderful afternoon on a sweet note by trying the Pecan Pie Creme Brulee and a Mug of Hot Chocolate Cake. Both are creatively made desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth. I mean how cute is this cookie of our state of North Carolina?!

I highly recommend you take your special someone to this restaurant to celebrate life, love or just the color Violet on Valentine’s Day. Anytime you want fantastic food served with love, make reservations to dine at 18 Seaboard!

18 SEABOARD

18 Seaboard Ave

Raleigh,NC 27604

@FeedtheDialogue #FeedtheDialogueNC Dinner + Discussion at #18Seaboard | Recap 🍴

“Food is more fun when you know where it comes from”…

I could not agree more! That’s why when SobeSavvy.com got invited to Feed the Dialogue’s exclusive Media Event on Thursday, September 7th at 18 Seaboard, I was excited to join them for a night of food, farmers and fun. 

Feed the Dialogue is a non-profit organization who’s mission is to “reconnect NC with the foods we eat and the farmers who feed us”. They are passionate about educating North Carolinian’s about our farmers, and the food they grow across the state. This foundation bridges the gap between consumers like us and farmers. So when I received the invitation (see below), I knew I had to go and take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions about the food being featured at a restaurant I enjoy here in Raleigh, NC !

Guests were treated to wine from Jones Von Drehle Winery plus a complimentary five-course dinner followed by a panel discussion hosted by Lynda Loveland from WRAL.  Three of the farmers, who’s products were featured during the dinneras well as Chef Jason Smith of 18 Seaboard (who prepared the meal) served on the panel. 

In preparation for the upcoming panel discussion during the dinner, we were asked to pass along at least one question that you’d like for the panelists to answer. The panelists for the evening:

  • Dr. Richard Bonanno | Associate Dean, CALS  Director of NCCES 
  • Lynda Loveland |WRAL 
  • Scott Farms – Lucama, NC ( If you #lovesweetpotatoes, check out Scott Farms for recipes, tips, tricks and more)
  • Moore Brothers Beef – Lumberton, NC (family owned, beef is all natural, non gmo, cattle is grass fed, renowned for their quality of beef) 
  • Sweet Pea Urban Gardens-Micro-Greens – Raleigh, NC 
  • Executive Chef/Proprietor Jason Smith |      18 Restaurant Group

Here are some of the questions I presented for the panel:

Question for Scott Farms:

 1. How many varieties of Sweet Potatoes do you grow on your farm and can you explain some of the differences between the varieties?

Question to entire Panel:

2. Do you feel the term “farm to table”  is being overused in todays restaurant industry?

Question to Chef/Proprietor
Jason Smith

 3. When deciding on a new menu addition, what one criteria is most important?
 
Question to Dr. Richard Bonanno


 4. In your opinion are there some fruits and vegetables that buying organic is simply not worth the extra cost ?

The panel did not have the opportunity to answer all questions, but here are some answers/quotes from the evening that I took away from the experience.

  • Shared ownership plus value..that’s what the whole ‘farm to table’ movement is about
  • Local is local no matter what size your farm is
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the person who’s growing your food were there any pesticides used
  • Moore Brothers Beef is known for having the best quality of beef because their cattle are grass fed and then finished in feed that the farmer creates himself. The feed is 100% vegetarian. 
  • Farmers are an interesting breed. They’re not in it for the money, they do it because they love it & take pride in what they do.


Also, listed below is the menu + photos I took for the evening:

MENU

Course 1

Heirloom Tomato Salad + Candied Cashew + Sweet Potato Sorghum Vinaigrett

Course 2

Oyster Beignet + Cotija + Crystal Cane Syrup + Purple Sweet Potato Buttermilk Puree 

Course 3

Beef Carpaccio + Sweet Potato Vichyssoise + Pickled Muscadine + Shishito Mignonette 

Course 4

Butter Poached then Cast Iron Blackened Ribeye + Smoked Hominy + Roasted Japanese Sweet Potato + Pickled Crimson Okra + Burnt Tomato Vinegar

Course 5

Sweet Potato Hand Pie + Salted Beef Fat-Buttermilk Ice Cream + Lemon Verbena 

I had a great time and learned alot at the Feed the Dialogue dinner and panel discussion. The meal at 18 Seaboard was amazing and the people I met (food writers, food bloggers, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and media) , who shared in this experience were wonderful! If you want to see more from the event, check out the hashtag : #FeedTheDialogueNC 

For more news and information about animal care, antibiotics, environment, food choices, food safety, food security, gmo/organic, health/nutrition, and trade practices here in NC, follow on TwitterFacebookInstagram or website here>> Feed The Dialogue NC.