You wouldn’t expect to find one of the best oyster menus in a landlocked state like Tennessee, but at Nashville’s Henrietta Red, chef Julia Sullivan defies those expectations. The Per Se and Blue Hill at Stone Barns alum curates an exceptional selection, featuring up to 16 varietals on the menu at a time. Eating them side-by-side at the restaurant gives you an even greater appreciation of how much an oyster’s flavor and texture can change from region to region and even within regions. As the holiday season quickly descends upon us and we dream of creating some of the greatest shellfish towers imaginable at all the parties that will soon be happening, we asked Sullivan to share with us her favorite oysters from around America, along with her uniquely evocative triptych of descriptors for each varietal to help guide you to the one you’ll want most.
Photo: courtesy Hama Hama Company