Do you like raw oysters? Do you like (not necessarily great but definitely free-flowing) white wine? Do you have $150 to drop on each ticket? Then have we got the event for you.
Each November, Old Ebbitt Grill throws Oyster Riot, and literally thousands of people show up. You get three hours of unlimited oysters, unlimited wine, and live music. They also have a cheese and crackers table if you need a break from the seafood, a few non-raw oyster offerings, and a one-visit-per-person non-oyster food stall (this year it was just shrimp, but at my first Riot, they also had Jonah crab claws).
A few things to know before you go (in no particular order):
- This is a fairly fancy event. If you’re paying that much for tickets, you might as well dress up, right?
- You will get shells in your oysters, but the shuckers are working at breakneck speed, so give them a break.
- You will probably drink too much. Try to make use of the water stations scattered around the venue.
- Get there early. Oyster Riot really picks up about an hour in, but if you get there when the doors open, you’ll be able to spend at least a little bit of time cruising around without much waiting in line to get to each stand.
- After 8pm, divide and conquer. This is definitely a group-friendly event, so split up and agree to snag enough oysters from the line you’re waiting in so that you can all try everything when you regroup.
- Tickets will probably sell out. They go on sale the day after Labor Day, so mark your calendar and make sure you’re in front of a computer.
Funny story about Oyster Riot. Paul and I went together for the first time they year we met. It was after we had already had the Big Conversation(s) about getting married and starting a family, and he knew I wanted to be engaged by the time he met my extended family. From what he’d told me about Oyster Riot, I figured it would be the perfect time to propose, and I knew my engagement ring was already in the house, so I was trying to surreptitiously pat down his coat pockets while we were standing in line to get in. He, however, was much more interested in going on a walk, but it was FUH-reezing, and since I was only in a cardigan, I kept saying no. Anyway, fast forward to when he actually proposed a few weeks later and told me he was trying to get me to go on a walk so that he could propose in a little courtyard that was close to the event. Oops.