Saturday, September 21, 2019Light Snow -5°C
Food

Montreal Oysterfest: High on fun, low on oysters

Posted by Amie / September 12, 2013

20130912-Oysterfest_5.JPGThe fifth annual Montreal Oysterfest happened this past Sunday, September 8th, on the beautiful Ile Bonsecours in the Old Port. Professing to offer "the season's finest oysters," in great quantities (over 14,000 last year alone), the event ended up being more like a showcase of Montreal's gastropubs and cocktail makers, with some oysters and a shucking contest on the side. Midnight Poutiners Amie, Greg, and Mike checked out the fest and came home sun-kissed and tipsy, but not particularly full of oysters.

Greg: In order to have the full Oysterfest experience, we suggest listening to the following playlist while reading our review. We had to hear these songs, blaring loudly from the main stage's PA, across the afternoon.

Amie: Where were all the oysters? Did they save all the good ones for the shucking competition? They didn't go get all unsustainable like Atlantic salmon while I wasn't looking, did they? I've been hearing great thing about Oysterfest for years, and seriously, how could a giant outdoor party filled with tons and tons of oysters that you don't have to shuck yourself not be amazing? But after getting lost on the way to the Old Port quay (I blame Google Maps), buying $20-$30 in tickets, eating definitely not enough oysters (I essentially bought 4 oysters for $10, or $2.50 each--two tickets---and spent my remaining 4 tickets on two oyster-less snacks and 2 drinks that were at least way better than the overpriced beer and lackluster mojitos most people were drinking), I did not feel as though I had fested oysters.

As MP writer, Theo, so eloquently put it, the event should have been both "tasty and 'boysterous.'" It was not the latter.

Fortunately, we at Midnight Poutine know how to take a situation lacking in oysters and turn it into a good time.

Here's how it ran:

3:08pm Entered Oysterfest tent area. Turned right to food vendors. Passed meatball subs from Weinstein and Gavino's (huge! Two fairly large meatballs stuffed into over-sized Portuguese buns made these puppies look cavernous), tempura stuffed maki rolls from Ryu, braised beef ribs, smoked meat sandwiches with homemade mustard and creamy coleslaw, and Korean-inspired tacos with marinated, grilled beef, chicken or pork, with homemade kimchi from Flyjin.

3:45 Gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance sucks. I can't eat anything above. I see a friend chopping 2 lb lobsters in half and serving them with fingerling potatoes, corn, butter, and aioli. I think it's going for 4 coupons. "How much for just the lobster?" 2 coupons. ($10.) "Deal." Mmm...

20130911_oysterfest-3.jpg

4:02 Where are the oysters? There's a shucking competition supposedly at 4pm but it's running late. After some wandering we find two small tents serving the aforementioned overpriced oysters. They're small and disappointing. Lucky Limes and Colville Bays. The emphasis here is not on telling people what kinds they have and talking about the differences. And no one's going off about the sustainability of the things when lines are this long. Get in, get out. This is not a refined oyster experience. This is gluttony on a Portuguese bun.

4:32 Wasn't going to drink but back at one of the restaurant tents the guys selling lobster rolls has ginger-rum mojitos made with Newfoundland Screech. That's the cheap rum (that's a lot better than people give it credit for) that we (Newfoundlanders) use to "Screech" people in and make them official Newfoundlanders when they come to visit. You kiss a cod and recite a line that becomes much harder to say when you've a) been drinking and b) can't understand a Newfoundland accent. When someone hands you Screech you drink it. So much for not drinking.

20130912-Oysterfest_3.JPG

The mojito is smooth. Next, down to the Java U tent. They're making apple-pineapple-white Bacardi cocktails? We talk about how Screech is light-years beyond Bacardi and I offer to bring them back some to try. I negotiate with the lobster roll guy. The Java U ladies agree Screech is better. Good deed of the day--check.

4:49 Bargaining is fun. Money is overrated. Who else can I trade with?

4:54 Side-tracked by the mojito tent. The mojitos looks okay (regular, cherry, and maybe mango?) but there's a Cointreau drink with simple syrup, bergamote (orange), sea asparagus (super salty and delicious green spiny sea thing with the drink) and Perrier. Delicious. Not too boozy. Not too, too sweet. I thought this was supposed to be a specialty cocktail event, though, and I'm sorry to see no fancy cocktails created by local bars. There was a Caesar competition but it was short-lived. I was thinking this would be more like "Made With Love" -- an awesome cocktail event. First oysters let me down, then booze let me down. Fortunately, Cointreau dulls the pain. Screech helped, too.

20130912-Oysterfest_1.JPG

4:56 My friend the lobster-splitter looks hungry. All the vendors are allowed any food item or drink they want thanks to their bracelet passes, so theoretically I could just go get them whatever they wanted if the vendor believed it was going to another vendor. I am fortunately an honest person. My friend would like "something interesting," he says. He's a chef. I'll take that as a challenge.

Flyjin's Korean tacos it is, because who (besides me) makes homemade kimchi? They know my friend. They'll make him a special order and bring it down with me. It's taking the two head chefs, Narith Plong and James Yoon, a good while to make my friend's order, and since this team is clearly super efficient, whipping through the orders of the people all around me, I'm getting suspicious.

5:00 Out comes a platter of tacos. There's some jalapeno salsa and pineapple and spicy kimchi, and soy-marinated perfectly charred meats. We walk it down to the lobster tent. My friend's face lights up. Third person made very happy today--check.

5:05 The Cointreau cocktail-making lady says my friend can have a cocktail if she can have a lobster. I can do that.

5:07 I give her the lobster. I think there was a moment when she thought I couldn't possibly bring her lobster. Who was this girl, offering her lobster for booze? But here I was, with lobster. In return, a drink for my friend.

5:08 My friend is very happy, boozed up, and taco-d.

None of this has anything to do with oysters. But hey, it was a good party. I don't know if I've ever seen so much greased hair, leather shoes, and giant sunglasses in one expensive event. Or so many moneyed hipsters (redundant?) scarfing down meatballs, chugging beer and Bacardi, and almost dancing.

Greg Bouchard contributed to this article
Photos by Mike Ghenu and Amie Watson.

Discussion

12 Comments

caduta capelli rimedi natural / March 13, 2015 at 10:41 am
user-pic
Ho frequentato Capelli di Fata e di tanto in tanto ci torno, per cui conosco bene questo integratore ma ho sempre scelto di starne alla larga.
Kanchipuram sarees / June 4, 2018 at 05:26 am
user-pic
nice post
golu dolls / June 4, 2018 at 05:27 am
user-pic
nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / June 30, 2018 at 12:41 am
user-pic
nice post
golu dolls / June 30, 2018 at 12:41 am
user-pic
nice post
golu dolls chennai / December 11, 2018 at 08:41 pm
user-pic
nice post
Kanchipuram Sarees / December 11, 2018 at 08:43 pm
user-pic
nice post
Kanchipuram Sarees / December 11, 2018 at 08:43 pm
user-pic
nice post
herbal powder / December 11, 2018 at 08:43 pm
user-pic
nice post
kanchipuramsarees / December 21, 2018 at 02:48 am
user-pic
good
kanchipuramsarees / December 21, 2018 at 02:48 am
user-pic
good
herbal powder / December 21, 2018 at 02:48 am
user-pic
good

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Toronto