Holiday Hedonism on the Half Shell

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For seafood die-hards, ’tis the season to shuck and slurp. Here’s a rundown of five places to enjoy that classic winter delicacy: oysters.

1. The Anchor: This OTR shrine to seafood typically offers a selection that includes Delaware Bay, Blue Points, Chef’s Creek, and Kumamotos, served with sides of Rosé Mignonette, Cocktail sauce, and shredded horseradish. 1401 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 421-8111, theanchor-otr.com

2. Mitchell’s Fish Market: Newport’s upscale seafood chain regularly serves a bi-coastal sampling of Olympic Miyagis and Long Island Blue Points with the classic Cocktail sauce, shredded horseradish, and lemon wedges. 1 Levee Way, Newport, (859) 291-7454, mitchellsfishmarket.com

3. Jag’s Steak & Seafood: Known for its raw bar, this luxe West Chester steak house favors the Prince Edward Island Malpeque oyster. While the standard half shell on ice presentation is available, we wouldn’t hesitate to order the Neptune Platter (a half dozen oysters, 8 jumbo shrimp, and a pound of king crab legs), especially if someone else is paying. 5980 West Chester Road, West Chester (513) 860-5353, jags.com

4. Jeff Ruby’s Precinct: A former police station in Columbia-Tusculum is the longtime home to one of the area’s coziest restaurants. Tuck into six Salutations from Prince Edward Island or Virginia Blue Points presented on a glowing bed of blue ice. 311 Delta Ave., Columbia-Tusculum, (513) 321-5454, jeffruby.com

5. Washington Platform: This downtown institution is well known for its spring oyster festival, often featuring up to 40 preparations. Classic half shell service with Cocktail sauce, horseradish, and lemon is available daily, alongside orders of True Blue Points and James River varieties. 1000 Elm St., Downtown, (513) 421-0110, washingtonplatform.com

(Note that oysters are often sold at market price, meaning menu prices will fluctuate based on the fisherman’s market. Most restaurants charge between $1.75 and $3.00 per oyster)

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