Kumamotos are small, sweet, almost nutty oysters characterized by their deep, almost bowl-shaped shell. Like Pacifics, they have deeply fluted, sharp, pointy shells. They spawn later and in warmer water than other oysters, so they remain firm and sweet well into summer months. Kumamotos are widely cultivated in Japan and the West Coast. The name Kumamoto is so valued that Kumamotos are always labeled as such, although some places will also specify where they are from. Kumamotos used to be lumped in with Pacific oysters, but it ends up they are their very own species.
As we enjoyed our wine, and appetizers I kept thinking to myself, "If you don't try it now, you never will." One taste wouldn't hurt, it's already being eaten by your husband after all. Mike got up to use the restroom and I was left there to observe the room around me. The group of people behind us had gotten their main entrees and I noticed one man got the Lamb Shank. I watched him cut into the meat and take a bite and there it was that blissful face of satisfaction with his choice and meal. Curiosity peaked. Mike returned and I told him that he probably made a wise choice judging by the man behind him's reaction to the Lamb. Soon enough our main course was ready and laid before us. My filet was cooked perfectly. I prefer mine more on the rare side, so this might have been a bit over cooked for my usual feelings toward meat but it was still tender, juicy and pink in the middle, and bottom line delicious. You know how I said I hate ordering steaks when dining out unless I go to my favorite place back home, this is a very close second and I'd totally order it again.
I watched and waited for Mike's reaction to the Lamb. I could tell at first it was a bit censored for my benefit. As if he was fearful that showing how much he loved it that it might upset me. I smiled and asked.. "Is it good?" and his eyes half closed and smile with the words "It's awesome!" sealed the deal. I had to try it. He cut me off a little bit of the lamb and I cut him off a slice of the filet and we traded.
I did hesitate.. and thought to myself OK girl that always thought this was just horrible and a sin you're about to go back on all you talked about for years in one moment. I then remembered that my motto has always been "Never say never." Yeah, the Biebs didn't come up with that shit on his own... so I took a deep breathe and took a bite.... it was... amazing. All I can describe the flavor as being like was a pot roast that had been slow cooked all day. It was fall off the bone good with a reduction sauce that was just as amazing. Mike agreed it was a very "home cooked roast" flavor. It had a bit more of a game flavor than beef obviously had but it was amazing. As usually I was immediately jealous of Mike's choice for dinner over my own. We often order the same thing when we go out to eat mostly because this happens, I always get plate envy over his meal. All our sides were the same to pair with our meat, but his meat took center stage. It fell off the bone, it was tender and amazing.
The bottom line - I'd try it again. I'm not sure how often, but the Lamb Shank was great. I have never had the rack of lamb and others have said it tastes much different. For now I will continue to reserve my stance on not eating baby animals. Lamb won't be something I seek out but it was delicious. I will say this though, you will not catch me eating Veal. It hurts my heart too much. To all my vegetarian readers, I apologize. I am however a person that eats meat, just not all types of meat.
Our meal was amazing, the conversation was fun, the wine was so good and the restaurant and it's employees were delightful. It was a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine's Day and beat the crowds. I can't wait to go back in the spring and summer when the weather is nice and order a few glasses of wine and appetizers and enjoy the sun.
So there you have it... the night Anthony Bourdain made me eat a baby.
Kumamoto Oysters and Lamb Shank: She tried it and.... really, really liked it.
In other off-topic news tonight is the premiere of The Walking Dead - and I can't wait. Anyone else a huge fan of this show? Or tried Lamb and loved/hated it?