The Franklin Oyster House
Get romantic with oysters and dessert
Why not enjoy oysters for dinner on Valentine’s Day? At The Franklin Oyster House in Portsmouth you can have them on the half shell, fried “à la Paul Prudhomme,” in a po’boy slider, stewed New England-style, marinated with escabeche, grilled and served with snails and bone marrow, stuffed with herbed bread or broiled with spinach au gratin and trout roe. Geez, you’d think that Chef Matt Louis is trying to garner attention — and yes, he has, from national magazines to James Beard nominations. Local sourcing has been a prime directive for Louis. Most of the daily selections of oysters are from the nearby Great Bay, and other proteins are sourced from local farms. The creative dishes include house-made charcuterie, inventive vegetable dishes and small plates. The varied menu also includes scallops with frites, buttermilk-fried chicken with biscuits and even a beef burger on brioche. But save room for dessert. Last summer, Tyler Elliott came on board as pastry chef for The Franklin Oyster House, Moxy and Jumpin’ Jays — all part of Jay McSharry’s dining empire. Elliott has been dreaming up creative desserts that are as tasty as they look. For Valentine’s Day, his chocolate chai marquise with a honey and pomegranate paint and a pine nut praline will be a worthy finale. The cream for the marquise is steeped in chai tea to give it a nice spice, and Elliott uses his favorite chocolate for this special-occasion treat. His desserts change almost daily, so any time is a good time for a pretty happy ending at Franklin Oyster House, Moxy or Jumpin’ Jays.
148 Fleet St.
Sun-Thurs from 4-9 p.m., Fri-Sat from 4-10 p.m.