Church Hill residents Laura and Michael Hild own Anderson's Neck Oysters, and Richmonders have been gobbling up their bivalves around town at Dutch & Co., Burger Bach, Saison and Pomegranate, among other places. So how do the pros eat and drink with their bounty?
"We love to eat our oysters straight up raw, directly out of the shell. We do understand that there are oyster virgins out there who may not be able to do this right away, so we suggest a mignonette sauce. We have a special sauce we make that's a real crowd pleaser. It includes some ingredients that at first sound a little bizarre — jalapeños, cilantro, shallots, rice vinegar — but it turns out really quite refreshing. Horseradish and lemon can also be a go-to topping.
"As for what to imbibe with bivalves, we think white wine pairs well with oysters, but we don't recommend you pick a typical varietal, such as sauvignon blanc or chardonnay. We absolutely love Grüner veltliner, which is an affordable Austrian varietal or vidal blanc or petit manseng. And of course, champagne is the ultimate treat with oysters. My favorite champagne is Veuve Clicquot, preferably the rose.
"For beers we suggest oyster stout, weizen German-style beer or an English barleywine style. We're hoping to pair our oysters with our own beer in the near future."