Once, the old wives intoned “don’t eat oysters in months without an ‘R’,” but that was in the days before we had the most magic “R” of all, refrigeration. Now the briny bivalve is safe and tasty year ’round, especially since more and more varieties now are available even in Santa Barbara. You could just read about them, as they sing out, muse-like, to food writers who pen brilliant odes, such as Robb Walsh’s Sex, Death, and Oysters (Counterpoint, 2009) or Rowan Jacobsen’s A Geography of Oysters (Bloomsbury, 2007), or you could dig into a plate yourself.
Wine bistro Pierre Lafond (516 State St., 962-1455, pierrelafond.com) is helping with that, serving up Oyster Tuesdays and Saturdays through August. It turns out that Chef Nathan Heil loves oysters and while growing up in Sonoma used to ditch high school and go to the beach and eat Hog Island oysters. Now he serves different varieties of West Coast oysters quiveringly fresh, with a tasty mignonette. Even better, to go for the full French experience, Pierre Lafond serves up a bracing Domaine de Beauregard Muscadet 2007. Hard to beat $36 for a bottle of the lovely white wine and a dozen oysters.