Going to Ippolito’s makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. Which is a little odd, I suppose, since it’s a fish store. But when you can get beautiful Strawberry Grouper like this… who wouldn’t be excited??

Strawberry Grouper, all trussed up

We usually get our fish on the half shell, but the grouper was tiny, so we got it “drawn.” Turns out that is just cut a bit with the insides cleaned out… we should have gotten it “drawn and split,” which would have been easier to stuff. Chris ended up trying to cut it with one of our not-so-good-for-the-job knives.  Oh well, live and learn. The fish was just so pretty! Unfortunately, I think the grill was way too hot, and the whole thing fell apart when Chris tried to flip it. The part closest to the skin got cooked way before the inside. We ended up wrapping the whole thing in tinfoil, but it was still kind of a fail. I think starting with the tinfoil wrap would have been a good idea, we’ll have to try that next time.

Chris has been on an oyster kick lately. We’ve found some good restaurants that serve them, and he’s been eying the ones at Ippolito’s for the past few weeks. Last night we went to Fathom Seafood House, where he got some kumamoto oysters. Lo-and-behold, Ippolitos had kumamoto oysters for sale. (I’m pretty sure most of the restaurants we go to buy their seafood from Samuel’s and Sons, the main wholesale company from which Ipplolito’s is the retail branch. We often see fish on menus that we just saw at the market.) The price seemed good, he knew he liked that type, so he picked up two of them.

grilling oysters

He’s been wanting to try BBQ’ing them, so with the fish we were already planning on grilling- perfect timing! Now I have to admit, oysters freak me out. They look slimy, if you eat them raw they’re still alive, the texture is strange… and they just seem like they’re really gross. Of course, since I had my mind made up before actually trying any, I’m not really the best judge. These grilled ones, however, might be just the thing to ease me in to eating the little bi-valves. The sauce was butter based, with a few simple spices, and some pecorino romano cheese was sprinkled on them at the end. Of course, I only ate a small bite of one of them, but the texture wasn’t nearly as odd as I thought it would be. It was more cheesy than slimy. Overall, not bad. Chris loved them. I think we’ll be buying oysters more often from now on.