- TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4 first-course servings
"We created this dish as an homage to Jay-Z. He inspires us," says Mario Carbone about the rapper and cofounder of the Roc-A-Fella record label. "The original dish was named for John D. Rockefeller. He was money back then, and to us, Jay-Z is money in New York City now." Carbone tops the oysters with a tangy vinegar-shallot mignonette, plus a Champagne-infused foam and frozen Champagne grapes.
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1/2 cup Champagne or sparkling wine
- 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
- 1 small shallot, minced
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 dozen bluepoint or other East Coast oysters, shucked on the half shell
- Crushed ice and coarse salt, for serving
- 1 tablespoon dried egg-white powder (see Note)
- 1 to 2 bunches of Champagne grapes or small seedless red grapes, frozen until solid, halved if large
- In a microwave-safe cup, combine the sugar and water. Cook at high power for 20 seconds. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then let cool.
- In a small stainless steel bowl, combine the sugar syrup, Champagne and citrus juices. Set the bowl over a larger bowl of ice and keep cold. In another small bowl, combine the vinegar and shallot and season with pepper.
- Arrange the shucked oysters on a bed of crushed ice and coarse salt. Add the egg-white powder to the Champagne-citrus juice mixture and beat with a handheld mixer or immersion blender until thick and frothy.
- Spoon a little of the vinegar-shallot mixture over the oysters and a little of the Champagne froth on top. Garnish with the frozen Champagne grapes and serve right away.
Egg-white powder is available at health food stores and most supermarkets.
Carbone and Torrisi pair Jay-Z's favorite Champagne, Armand de Brignac (a.k.a. Ace of Spades), with this dish. Domaine Chandon's NV Brut Classic is also terrific and much, much less expensive.