After spending hours underwater prying open plankton-crusted shells only to discover a pearl-less pile of sludge, many people are ready to dismiss the most fickle member of the mollusk family for good. Today's Groupon restores your faith in oysters with a new, more dependable way to enjoy them. For $25, you'll get $50 worth of sips and savories at Ryleigh's Oyster, a fine-dining establishment in Federal Hill that's revered among ostreaphiles for its excellent selection of iced bivalves.
Inspired by the seasons, executive chef Shawn McClure's menu features locally sourced dishes and changes weekly. Post up at the slate-blue oyster bar for an order of pan-seared scallops served with black seaweed salad and drizzled with carrot-ginger sauce ($11) or sushi-grade Ahi tuna tartare with a blood-orange glaze and jalapeno pesto ($11). Advance to the galley for dinner. The central seating area ushers in a faint breeze from the retractable street-level doors, inviting vibrant discussions and the freshest Burton Gilliam gossip. Try the restaurant's famed oysters (selection and availability varies daily), steamed mussels, clams, or shrimp with garlic-caper or roasted-tomato butter ($10–$18 per pound). Entrees include grilled salmon with leeks and roasted red-potato salad ($16), pan-sautéed crab cakes sided with sugar-snap peas and a tangy mustard-parsley sauce ($24), and fish and chips ($15).
Ryleigh's also features an expansive wine list, with pours available by the glass, bottle, or gentleman's cane flask. Loosen up with a glass of Riesling ($6), or get crazy with an oyster shooter drenched in cocktail sauce and a shot of Absolut ($8). The award-winning fresh-fruit crushes ($7) are the perfect pairing for a fresh sea-meat dish. The Federal Hill eatery's relaxed ambience and gourmet plates provide the perfect balance of laid-back luxury. Late hours allow guests to unwind with a specialty libation at the in-house loft and wine bar or recently restored Sisson's Bar, also located inside. Stop in for dinner Monday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
- A few years ago Ryleigh's Brewpub became Ryleigh's Oyster Bar, and the menu got much more imaginative, with dishes like coriander-crusted tuna and salad with duck confit. – Elizabeth Large, Baltimore Sun
- Ryleigh's Oyster lives up to its name with an impressive array of bivalves. The oysters being served that day and where they are from are listed behind the slate oyster bar at this Federal Hill spot, and servers and shuckers are very knowledgeable about the varieties…Grab a pint and a side of the grilled corn on the cob with feta and Old Bay--which will blow your mind--and you've got a perfect meal. – Baltimore City Paper
- I ordered their oysters, mussels, fried calamari and the chicken Chesapeake. It was everything that I expected it to be. They have the freshest seafood that I have ever tasted. – changes320, Urbanspoon