Ok, so I went to Shaffer with my two buds for a pre-birthday/xcuse for a night out, and it was everything I had hoped. I arrived around 7:30 on a Friday. The bar was pretty hopping, but there was only one or two tables with people. It was getting closer to 8 when we all arrived and since there was no one else we asked Jay Shaffer himself for our table, who quite graciously had us seated. A drink or so and we ordered a bottle of French Riesling, as well as our food: oysters for everyone, two appetizers: shrimp dumplings and calimari, as well as main dishes of striped bass over mushroom risotto and tuna.
The wine was a perfect match for the oysters, which tasted clear and fresh and full of flavor. I tried to get as much variety as I could, choosing an east coast oyster from maine, a west coast "marin" oyster (??), as well as a Japanese Kumumoto grown in Washington state. The unique flavors of each came through perfectly, providing a stark contrast between each variety.
Jay poured our wine, and as we finished our oysters he recommended a bottle of Oregon (Yamhill) Pinot Noir to go with the rest of our food. All I can say is the wine was delicious - more flavors together and yet individually distinguishable than I've had in a bottle of wine for a good long time...
As for the calimari and striped bass, they both just reeked of flavor. Calimari was in a stock based sauce, not fried, and the striped bass was so juicy and fresh it made the perfect compliment to an otherwise ordinary mushroom risotto.
By the time we were done, the three of use had managed to push the check very close to $400, but I can say it was completely worth it. The wine/food pairings were as memorable as the best I've experienced in New York.....
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