Dig into Locally Sourced, Inspired Seafood Creations at The Grilled Oyster Company
It’s hard to avoid seafood when you live in Maryland. Crab feasts fill summer days, and it’s not uncommon to hear the sounds of someone slurping an oyster. While summer may seem like the only time to get some of the best local seafood, The Grilled Oyster Company in Potomac is serving the best the ocean has to offer year-round.
The Grilled Oyster Company is the work of husband-and-wife team Valerie and Rick Dugan, who are no strangers to the local culinary scene. After managing restaurants all around the area, they decided they wanted their own restaurant inspired by the Chesapeake.
“We really love the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and we love seafood,” Valerie says. “We really wanted a place that would be a neighborhood restaurant where people could come in for a burger and beer or come in for a nicer dinner, like lobster and wine.”
So in 2012, The Grilled Oyster Company opened its doors in Cabin John Shopping Center.
“Potomac has been a very loyal and very supportive neighborhood,” she says. “It’s been a real pleasure for the past five years. We have a lot of guests that started coming in on day one, and they’re still coming in now.”
Their menu offers something for everyone. Sample their oysters on the half shell, try their plethora of grilled oysters and dig into a crabcake. For those looking for a little less seafood, there are plenty of choices, from burgers to filet mignon. They also serve a brunch menu, which includes their game-changing bloody mary with jumbo lump crab meat.
No matter the menu item, the Eastern Shore’s influence is undeniable. Much of their menu is locally sourced.
“We [want] to offer the freshest, most local products that we [can],” Valerie says. “We work with local watermen and actually know most of the oyster growers.”
It’s not only about the suppliers but also about sustainability.
“We really don’t bring in products that are bad for the environment,” she says. They are members of the Oyster Recovery Partnership and are also among the top oyster shell recyclers in Montgomery County.
When trying to decide what to eat first, the restaurant’s namesake is a definite go-to.
“I love our grilled oysters,” Valerie says. “We try to invent new ones but keep the tried and true on the menu as well.”
These oysters can come in the classic Rockefeller style, slathered in bourbon garlic butter, covered in rum and pancetta, and much more.
But, Valerie can’t pick just one favorite. “I really think we have one of the best crabcakes I’ve ever eaten.”
Visit The Grilled Oyster Company at 7943 Tuckerman Lane in Potomac or their second location, 3701 Newark St. NW, Washington, D.C., in Cathedral Commons. For more information, visit TheGrilledOysterCompany.com.