Picnic tables are arranged around a white shack, offering views of Fort Getty and the Jamestown Bridge; there’s a distinctly salty breeze in the air and a tray of oysters to be shucked. This is the quintessential coastal Rhode Island experience you can expect from Walrus and Carpenter Oyster Bar, and you can’t get any closer to the source of these shellfish without putting on waders yourself. “We launch our work boats from this marina, and our Dutch Harbor farm – where we grow our ‘Dutchie’ oysters – is just a few hundred yards offshore from the oyster bar,” explains farmer and sales manager Kevin Cummings. “So essentially, visitors can enjoy our oysters right where they are grown.”
A seasonal seafood venue, the WCO bar reopened their doors in time for Memorial Day to once again put oyster aficionados and newbies alike to the test of tasting Dutchies and the oysters grown from their Charlestown farm in Ninigret Pond, dubbed “Originals”, side by side to compare flavor profiles. Served with house-made apple ginger mignonette sauce and hot sauce, oysters come pre-shucked to enjoy with French onion dip and chips. Says Cummings, “The atmosphere is casual and the menu is simple,” with Dutchies and Originals always be at the center.
This summer, they’ll be introducing a few more raw and cold seafood options and sides to the menu, too. Folks will also be able to order ahead online to pick up oysters to shuck at home, along with shucking knives and gloves, making the experience easy – and thankfully more thoughtful than the conniving methods used by the Walrus and Carpenter characters of Alice in Wonderland fame!