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October 22, 2014

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Shelling like hotcakes

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Beverly Poppe

Slurp the briny goodness at Lakeside and other great spots, thanks to Jim Begley’s guide to bivalves.

Hoping for a little Valentine’s Day lovin’? Stack the deck in your favor by plying your date with oysters, historically reputed as an aphrodisiac due to their high zinc content. As for where to find the best bivalves, let us help with a few suggestions …

THE CLASSIC Since early 2004, Thomas Keller’s Bouchon inside the Venetian has been serving some of the best oysters in town. The rotating West Coast selections—I tried creamy Miyagis from California and briny Chelsea Gems from Washington during my recent visit—are best enjoyed at the bar with either champagne or a creamy chardonnay. It’s an efficient way to raise your libido while lowering your inhibitions! Oyster bar daily, 3-10 p.m., $18 for half a dozen.

THE DEAL Mr. Wynn is shelling out bargains during oyster happy hour at Lakeside. Choose between six varietals—including Cape Cod Wellfleets, Baja Kumamotos and Vancouver Island Kusshis—for just $1.50 each. Also among the happy hour offerings: Oysters Rockefeller ($9) and oyster shooters ($12 for 3); the latter are served in housemade Bloody Mary mix alongside a Stella. Good stuff. At Wynn, oyster happy hour daily, 5:30-7 p.m.

The LOCALS SPOT Palace Station might not be as opulent as the Wynn or Venetian, but the oysters taste just as fresh—the 3,000 served weekly by the Oyster Bar ensure it. The 18 seats back up to the casino but face the open kitchen, fully immersing you in the eponymous mollusk. No choices here—they only serve one kind at a time (right now they’re from Chesapeake Bay)—but they are glorious in their brininess. Be forewarned, there’s practically always a wait. Oysters served 24/7, $12 for half a dozen, $17 for a dozen.

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