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Oceanfront Oysters Rang in the New Year

Photo and text by Stephanie Burt
Photo by Stephanie Burt

I never get tired of seeing the ocean. Really. I smile every time I see it, like greeting an old friend, whether it’s Caribbean blue, sun sparkling off a harbor, or even a grey day when the ocean and the sky muddle the horizon line.

So even though New Year’s Day in Charleston, South Carolina dawned cold, gray and misty, I was ready to be oceanside (although not in it like the hundreds who took the Polar Bear Plunge). It was Blu Restaurant & Bar’s annual oyster roast, with oysters roasted out on the oceanfront deck of the Tides and spread out on tables along with steamed shrimp, a few mussels and even some crab claws for those lucky enough to snag them.

Inside, a buffet of traditional Lowcountry eats completed the plate. That’s right. I said buffet. Although I’m not usually one to sidle up to the chafing dishes, Chef Jon Cropf’s collards and hoppin’ john made it easy to eat for good luck in 2014, traditional Lowcountry-style. And the succotash,  a mix of beans punctuated by fresh lima beans, surrounded by a creamy sauce, demanded that I sidle up to those chafing dishes more than once.

After eating, my party made its way to a firepit to enjoy a frothy beverage and chat over a warm fire within earshot of the waves. Maybe living and eating in the South is luck enough.

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