Indy’s Top Five Oyster Bars

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Plow & Anchor Feature
Fresh oysters at Plow & Anchor

Photo by Tony Valainis

1. Plow & Anchor
43 E. 9th St., 317-964-0538,

Fans of the bivalve can celebrate the return of the “r” months while perched at the raw bar inside Craig Baker’s new house of surf and turf. The ocean-brined raw oysters are shucked and served with all the accoutrements (mignonette, cocktail sauce, freshly grated horseradish), plus a handful of wee housemade oyster crackers. Plenty of bubbles on the menu are a bonus.

2. The Oceanaire Seafood Room
30 S. Meridian St., 317-955-2277,

An icy bank adjacent to the bar is studded with these little jewels, and the high-end seafood chain offers one of the city’s best selections, from the wine-friendly Rappahannock River variety to the meaty Daisy Bay P.E.I.s. Servers provide an expert tasting tour. And mollusk addicts can go into beast mode during Sunday’s $1 oyster blowout.

3. Caplinger’s Fresh Catch
7460 N. Shadeland Ave., 317-288-7263

A family-run fish market, Caplinger’s keeps a small, boutiquey selection of oysters in its iced cases, right next to the giant prawns. Order a couple to throw back while you wait for your Lobsta Roll at lunch, and a counter worker will pry open the shells and hand them over the glass case without spilling a drop of precious liquor.

4. Bluebeard
653 Virginia Ave., 317-686-1580,

This Fletcher Place restaurant likes to push the envelope with flavors and theatrics. But it (smartly) sticks to a classic presentation with its $3 oyster offerings, the half-shelled beauties stabilized on decorative drifts of whipped egg whites and offered with some spoonfuls of ramp mignonette.

5. The Libertine Liquor Bar
38 E. Washington St., 317-631-3333,

A ceramic egg crate filled with ice perfectly cradles even the craggiest of shells, each drizzled with a basic mignonette. Skip Libertine’s handcrafted cocktails on this trip, though. An icy gin martini shaken with little fanfare won’t overpower the clean mineral flavors of the Pacific Coast gems.

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