For my birthday, we had dinner at Scott's Seafood on Riverside Blvd..close to our house. I chose it specifically because Thursday night was fresh oysters for a buck each! That, and it was my birthday. Jenny and Phil were able to join us. They are always great company! I picked up this honest-to-goodness champagne (from France) at the Nugget and it was fabulous. It paired well with the 3- tiered shellfish sampler. I REALLY wanted the oysters...which is why we went in the first place. It was advertised as "shuck em and shake em"...oysters for a buck a piece.
Dave and I got there before Jenny and Phil. We wanted to sit in the bar but it was packed already, at 6:00 pm. We were escorted to a booth. We asked for a table by the window and were obliged. The dining room was almost empty. The waiter came by and and placed our bubbly in a wine-bucket with ice. We informed the waiter that we wanted to start with two dozen freshly shucked oysters...the one's for a buck each. He said, "no..if you want those, you have to sit in the bar". He was very curt. I am thinking.. this guy has no idea that we are willing to plunk down a sizable amount of money for a nice dinner, beverages, etc. I am thinking he thought we brought a cheap bottle of wine in. We were not dressed up. We had nice shirts on, clean jeans, and decent shoes...and I even had make-up on! Dave goes over to the bar...which wasn't a far distance...and asked the bartender if we could order dinner in there, with our oysters? He said, "of course, if you can find a place to sit".
So...I didn't want to get all huffy and ruin my fun or anyone else's. Jenny and Phil came in and we enjoyed a cocktail. The waiter began to open the bubbly before I asked him to. I told him to wait until we ordered our appetizers. Hello??
We were thinking of driving to Masullo's for pizza, as I've been wanting to try it. But, we decided that the atmosphere was pleasant and we were enjoying ourselves so we stayed. The shellfish was okay. The small assortment of crab legs were mushy and difficult to get the crab from. The shrimp with two dipping sauces was good. The smoked oysters and their version of oysters Rockefeller were good. The six raw oysters that we got were good. I could tell they were not just freshly shucked...as there was no "sea juice" in the shells, or maybe some idiot dumped it out!
Well, we ordered dinner. The guys both got the dry-aged rib steak with garlic mashed potatoes and baby carrots, Jenn got the Pacific Rim Salad with Ahi Tuna, and I ordered the Sea Bass with orzo, tomato, and feta.
Dave said his steak just had too much seasoning and it was thin. The potatoes were killer though...and I loved the carrots. I think that Phil enjoyed his dinner..but I don't think it was anything stellar. Jenn seemed to enjoy her salad but she wasn't oooing and ahhing about it.
The sea bass was cooked very nicely..flaky and moist. I thought they put too much feta on the plate and it overwhelmed the fish. I ate the fish first, then ate the side.
Dave ordered a bottle of Syrah for the beef-eaters and Jenn and I each had a glass of Sauv Blanc with our entrees.
When the waiter realized that we weren't there to eat a couple of plates of oysters and then stiff him on the tip, he became oh so helpful. He waved the $15.00 corkage fee and sent us off with a free bottle of "Scott's Sparkling Wine"...made by Woodbridge. We tipped him 20%...but I would have tipped him lots more if he would have come thru on the two dozen oysters in the very beginning and had not been so pretentious. We tipped the valet's well...as they were the only people who smiled and welcomed us when we drove up, and they got our vehicle to us quickly..and they ran!
Am I dying to go back? No. If you want oysters on Thursday evening, get there early and sit in the bar! I might go back in the spring..just to sit on the patio and look over the river.
I am certainly headed to Hog Island ASAP!
(p.s. I once saw Robert Mondavi at a nice restaurant in Sonoma County...it was lunch. He had on muddy boots, levi's, and a denim shirt. I am thinking...if he were still alive, and showed up at Scott's wanting oysters but had to sit in the dining room, he STILL wouldn't get oysters either!)
(p.s.s. I am also thinking...if I had been 25 years younger with fake tits and cleavage, a short skirt and 5 inch heels...I WOULD have gotten the oysters in the damned dining room)
(p.s.s.s. If I had known about the oyster-eating rules beforehand, I would have dined at Mulvaney's or The Waterboy..or any number of other really great restaurants in Sacramento)
http://www.scottsseafood.net And I don't know why my paragraph's aren't paragraph's after I publish the post! The are just gone.