O is for Oyster; A is for Aphrodisiac
February 6, 2017
O is for Oyster; A is for Aphrodisiac


Ah oysters, the little bivalve with the salty reputation that’s grown so exquisitely here in the Pacific Northwest. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we thought it would be a fun time to explore the rumored aphrodisiac a bit closer.

Some say it’s bunk. Others say it’s the fact that oysters are full of testosterone raising zinc that makes them an aphrodisiac. Whether it’s their association with womanhood, their high zinc levels, or merely psychological conditioning, the oyster’s reputation as an aphrodisiac is here to stay. And, who are we to argue? Any excuse to eat some briny Pacific bivalves is a good excuse to us. Which is why oysters are always on the menu at our downtown Seattle restaurant.

When Heartwood Provisions first opened we paired a half dozen raw oysters with a cocktail comprised of celery gin, dolin blanc and grapefruit oil, with a mezcal rinse. Beginning this month, that same oyster dish—which features a cilantro, lemon, and mezcal-guava mignonette—is being paired with a glass of bright, fresh white wine: a Txakolina from Spain’s Basque country.

“It’s super effervescent, slatey, and full of minerality and citrus, which makes the perfect oyster pairing,” says Beverage Director Amanda Reed. “It’s delicious.”

In an ode to Valentine’s Day and the oyster’s proclivity for inspiring amore, we’ve added a second pairing to the menu for early February. Through the 14th we’ll also be serving Kusshi Oysters on the half shell topped with green apple and cucumber. Reed chose to pair these oysters with a Ruinart Blanc de Blanc—a Champagne made from Chardonnay grapes—thanks to the wine’s aromatic and very fresh qualities.

Whatever you think of oysters as an aphrodisiac, all we suggest is that you eat them for love—or at least for the love of oysters.

oyster valentines day

Oysters with cilantro, lemon, mezcal-guava mignonette. Jamon Serrano. Anchovie.