Going out to dinner is grand—and something we are all missing these days—but having a simple, yet divine dinner at home can be superior with the right ingredients. We’re serving up classic martinis and oysters on the half shell for the first course of a splendid supper to celebrate autumn. To set the table for the virtual occasion, Flower style editor Amanda Smith Fowler curated a sparkling selection of tableware and barware from Replacements. Plus, find tips and inspiration for your own oysters and martinis repast.
Set The Table
Amanda’s choices for setting a table for oysters and martinis. Shop her selections and more here.
1 | ICE BUCKET
A pretty blue ice bucket (Lulu by William Yeoward from Replacements, Ltd.) sets the scene for our celebration. Fill it with ice cubes and place it by the martini shaker. On another occasion, this piece can double as a vase for a centerpiece, perhaps filled with vibrant orange nasturtiums—a symbol of triumph.
2 – 3 | OYSTER LADLE & PLATES
An early 19th-century silver piece can ladle oysters tonight and reinvent itself as a posh server for Hasselback potatoes tomorrow. (The more silver is used, the less it needs polishing.) Oyster plates keep shells nestled in place and also look smart when displayed on a shelf. A charming, soft white option by Haviland goes with everything. Amanda also fell for a sublime pink and purple vintage Minton piece—it’s out of stock, but the “Find This for Me” service at Replacements, Ltd., will send the aspiring collector an email if it becomes available.
4 | OYSTER FORKS
If one is good, a dozen is even better, especially if it’s an artful set of oyster forks by Tiffany & Co. Silver.
5 | CONDIMENT DISH & SPOON
A striking lidded bowl (Candlewick by Imperial Glass Company) allows the bright red hue of a homemade cocktail sauce to shine through. A silver spoon in Georg Jensen’s Acorn pattern, introduced in 1915, is just the right size for spooning the sauce over oysters.
6 – 7 | OLIVE SPOON & BOWL
Captivating etchings of a bird and vines, along with a soft gold-wash finish, make this olive spoon a one-of-a-kind treasure. Amanda paired the Tiffany & Co. Silver piece with a small bowl (Lagny by Baccarat). Fill the bowl with olives for dirty martinis or citrus wedges for oysters on the half shell.
8 | MARTINI SET
When mixing cocktails for guests, the more the merrier! A shaker with 12 matching silver cups by International Silver accommodates all.
9 | DOUBLE OLD FASHIONED GLASS
Waterford’s Colleen pattern is ever classic, and this versatile glass is ideal for requests for “vodka, rocks.”
10 | ICE BOWL/VODKA CHILLER & SHOT GLASSES
For those who prefer to “chill” rather than be shaken or stirred, a sleek ice bowl for a vodka chiller set (Bristol by Simon Pearce) brings the temperature down. For shot glasses, a trio of patterns caught Amanda’s editorial eye on the Replacements, Ltd., website—Harcourt by Baccarat, Glen Plaid by Ralph Lauren, and Pure by Schott Zwiesel.
Oysters & Martinis Menu
Basic Vodka Martini
Vodka martinis are simple and easy to mix on demand. We prefer ours straight up with a twist. For guests, have dry vermouth and olives on hand as well.
- 2 oz vodka
- Squeeze of lime
- Lime peel (for rimming and serving)
Fill a martini shaker with ice. Next, add the vodka and lime. Shake, shake, shake until very cold. Rim a glass with the lime peel, then add to the glass. Strain the martini into the glass. Enjoy!
Oysters on the Half Shell
Plan for 6 oysters per person for an appetizer serving. For a celebration for two, tailor this list to what you know you like. For a gathering, a greater variety guarantees that the world is everyone’s oyster.
- Fresh oysters (see “Oyster Varieties & Sources” below)
- Mignonette sauce
- Homemade cocktail sauce
- Prepared horseradish
- Assorted hot sauces
- Lemons or limes, sliced into wedges
- Bread and butter (a European tradition)
How the FLOWER Editors Take Their Oysters
Amanda Smith Fowler, Style Editor: “I like oysters best the simplest way possible—raw, on a saltine, with homemade cocktail sauce.”
Alice Welsh Doyle, Contributing Editor: “I prefer my oysters raw with Mignonette sauce, a traditional dressing of red wine vinegar, shallots, and freshly ground peppercorns. No saltines or cocktail sauce so that the flavor of high-quality oysters can shine. Smaller oyster varieties are my favorite, and I am always ready to try what’s local when traveling near the coast.”
Margaret Zainey Roux, Contributing Editor: “As a New Orleanean, I’ve never met an oyster that I didn’t love! My absolute favorite, though, is a classic, ice-cold raw oyster served on the half shell and topped with cocktail sauce and an extra heavy dose of horseradish.”
Oyster Varieties & Sources
Here, the Flower team shares varieties we have personally tried and loved. Source your oysters from a vendor you trust, whether local or online.
- Along the Gulf Coast: Try Apalachicola from Apalachicola Bay, Florida; Murder Point from Portersville Bay, Alabama; Navy Cove from Navy Cove, Alabama; or Point aux Pins from Grand Bay, Alabama. And when you get back to traveling, make a stop in New Orleans. “I love the old oyster bars there,” Alice says. “No fanfare—they shuck them in front of you and throw them down on the counter.”
- Up North: Blue Points from the Long Island Sound are tried and true and were a favorite of Queen Victoria. Many beach communities in the East—Nantucket, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard—have their own varieties; try what’s fresh and local. For an online option, Amanda gives a shoutout to New England-based Island Creek Oysters: “I was gifted a subscription for my birthday. It is such a treat to receive fresh, briny oysters every other month.”
- Canada: Oysters from Prince Edward Island are a favorite of Flower’s digital general manager Jason Burnett—high praise from someone who is such an oyster fan that he founded the website, oyster-obsession.com
More from This Series
Produced by Terri Robertson and Amanda Smith Fowler
Produced in partnership with Replacements, Ltd.