Last night, after a surprise Birthday BBQ for a close friend, the stragglers of the party decided to head out for some Oysters (since he was promised oysters as part of the ruse to get him to the party, lol). We were all pretty excited, since the birthday boy himself endorsed it so highly, but also because at 10:30 on a Saturday night, The Elmdale Oyster House & Tavern was serving oysters until 2 am! Yess!
Elmdale Tavern is located in Hintonburg, at 1084 Wellington Street West, right next to Hintonburger. The Elmdale Tavern has been a fixture in Hintonburg for 79 years, but only recently opened it’s doors as an oyster house in March of this year after receiving a much-needed facelift. I had never been there before last night, but after taking a seat and spending a few minutes taking in the atmosphere, we all decided that we really liked it. Dimly lit with exposed brick and kitschy, vintage pictures and mirrors on the walls, the overall vibe was really cool, low-key with great old school music playing in the background, LPs no less. An important thing to note is that The Elmdale Oyster House is part of the Whalesbone Family, and we all know how I feel about them!
But onto the important stuff…the food! Niko and I ordered a side of Fries and Mayo ($5) which were shoestring and crispy. I neglected to take a picture because I was hungry, lol. There were 6 of us in total, and each couple ordered a platter of oysters, as well as a couple of orders of the Pickled Egg ($1.15 ea). It may sound a bit off putting to some, and it is what it sounds like but I had a bite, and I quite liked it. The oysters were about $3 each, 6 for $18, 12 for $35 or 18 for $50 (if I remember correctly). Niko and I ordered 12 to share. They had 3 types on the menu that night:
Indian Creek from P.E.I – Crisp and light, briny, with very delicate meat (link)
Fire River from New Brunswick – Briny flavour, Juicy (link)
Marina Gold from B.C. – Creamy, full, intense (link)
My favourite of the bunch was the Fire River, they were the largest of the bunch (that might’ve helped) but I liked that it had a lot of flavour and was really meaty, the taste that lingered in my mouth after was of seawater and refreshing. Niko really enjoyed the Indian Creek best, though honestly, I really liked them all and was sad when they were all gone…
What really added to the taste were the sauces! They had the usual cocktail sauce, green and red Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce; but they also had a Mango Pepper Sauce (bottled), Glenfiddich Scotch (which I didn’t like because I couldn’t really taste the oyster itself), a very spicy hot mango sauce (the yellow sauce in the jar) which I didn’t have because everyone said it was really spicy; and the mignonette, which is made with vinegar, shallots and salt. It was my first time having mignonette, and it is definitely my new favourite accompaniment for oysters.
We all agreed that we will be back sometime soon to enjoy some more delectably fresh and flavourful oysters! My mouth is watering having to recount it all just now, but that’s just a testament to how much I enjoyed them. So check them out if you’re like me and love oysters! Also – if you haven’t already, check out Whalesbone as well!
I’ll have a few more foodie posts coming up in the next little bit from my recent jaunt to NYC, so make sure to keep an eye out for them!
NB. For a more in-depth review of The Elmdale Tavern, check here.