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Date Plate at the River Oyster Bar

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Whether taken or single, the dinner date can be a perilous affair if not done right. Go to Hooters, and you'll be distracted/upstaged by the lovely boobies on display, the crew at Johnny Rockets will disrupt your dinner with some "Bob-bob-bob-bob-bobburran" bullshit, and Taco Bell - well let's just say that the "runs" is never and will never be considered an enticing addition to the game of foreplay. But, Brickell's River Oyster Bar, on the other hand, is a great place for a first or last date. The lights are pleasantly low, and the dining room chatter is at kept at a light din making it a great place to trade double entendres, oyster-style.

Unless you've been living underneath some sea crag, you probably know that oysters have long been considered an aphrodisiac - for reasons to be disputed in waterfront strip clubs from here to New England. Some say it's the O's high zinc content, others claim it's the slurp factor that is involved in their consumption, and lovers of mythology say that as soon as Aphrodite coasted into their world on an oyster shell, the sea fruit was sea sexy. River Oyster GM Michale Hidalgo says that most patrons "share or order their own platters, it just depends on how many oysters you can get through. But we definitely go through tons of oysters here daily." How many shelled, sex-inducing, little guys make up Hidalgo's "ton"? "On the low end, 40 to 50 thousand. But we've gotten up to one hundred thousand in a day, flown in from all around the world."

On a recent evening at the River Oyster Bar, a young couple was perched at the bar sipping/chugging (her/him) margaritas and deciding on which of the raw creatures to feast on. She claimed to have no clue how to eat them, he professed his pro status - and so the slurp-off began. Since the shelled delicacies are half-price between 4:30 and 7, the two shared a platter of 7 ranging from the uber-meaty Penn Cove, the creamy Deep Bay boys, and the Blue Point which tasted a little metallic but yummy and easy to eat nonetheless. Once the plate arrived, the boy began schooling his galpal on the intricacies of oyster-eatin' with juicy tips like "Do it with a slurp or fork it out," "A couple of chews, then I swallow," and "Just suck that one out." His date was appropriately unimpressed. And eating the shooters like a pro.

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