I'm a seafood lover always looking to expand my horizons. Sadly (sigh), I must confess that I've never tried raw oysters - cooked yes, but never raw. I'm loath to order a platter of raw oysters in case I try one and don't like it, only to find myself on the hook for the whole plate. Plus, none of my friends have ever tried them raw, nor have any interest, so I can't sample them with the fallback of having somebody who will gobble them up.
My question is twofold. Is there any place in town that will allow you to sample one (even if you have to pay), without committing to a whole plate, and for the experienced raw oyster connoisseurs, how would you describe the experience to a newbie, and is there any advice you would impart?
Finally (on the oyster front), I know with shellfish that if you cook them and they fail to open, they're bad and must be discarded, but how do you know if an uncooked oyster is off?
Clams - anybody know if there are restos that sell deep fried whole belly clams here, like they do in New England?