First, I have to start off with the drink list - it's amazing. A nice blend of classic and new cocktails, as well as some local beer selections, I loved it. Charles stuck with beer for most of the evening - a Lighthouse Beacon IPA - while I started off with a Longboat Chocolate Porter from Phillip's Brewing Co., then moved to a Saigon Press (Vodka with lime, ginger syrup and muddled coriander, topped with lemon grass and ginger) and later a Pimm's Cup (Pimm's No. 1 Cup, fresh mint, cucumber and orange slices, topped with sprite).
Ferris' does a pretty classic fresh oyster with horseradish and cocktail sauce, but what I was in for was their baked oysters.
These were so good, with a diverse range of spicy and rich flavours in each. My favourite ended up being the 'Cornelius' with cornflakes, butter and thyme. One of the cooks passed down a warm baguette upon noticing my oysters were finished, so that the rest of the juices and toppings could be soaked up from the little oyster dishes... this necessary step was definitely the most enjoyable part of the oysters.
One of each of their baked oysters (6 for $16)
Braised Lamb Tagine ($20)
We also decided to share a spinach salad with goat cheese, pecans and warm curried apple vinaigrette. While the goat cheese and pecans were an expectant match, the curry vinaigrette provided a warm spiciness throughout that brought everything together nicely.
Spinach salad ($10)
Most of the ingredients were prepped ahead, but they were placed behind the bar in a cooler, and under the bar in another. Between the ingredient passing, the opening and closing of the small oven doors, the balancing between the pans on two portable induction burners and the quick chopping on a couple cutting boards, the food prep itself was a great show (and the smell of each fresh item hitting the pan on the induction burner in front me was amazing!). I wish I would have taken a picture!
With a relaxed atmosphere, a lengthy, fun cocktail list and fantastic food, we will definitely be heading back to Ferris' next time we are in town.
Ferris' Upstairs Oyster Bar
Suite A, 536 Yates St.
Hours: Tues - Sat (4pm-Midnight); Su - M (4-10pm); Saturday Brunch (10am-2pm)
*The "Upstairs" part of their name is a reference to their downstairs space, Ferris' Grill, which offers more of a 'dining' feel versus the lounge/tapas style upstairs.