The best restaurant? Matunuck Oyster Bar
Does Perry Raso run the best restaurant? Yes, I think he does.
Matunuck Oyster Bar is located in South Kingston, RI, alongside Potter’s Pond, one of the deepest salt water basins in Rhode Island (formed by a glacier like so many of our best lakes).
Raso has been farming oysters since 2002, and his ties to the industry go back to childhood. I got to tour the operation today before lunch and I was blown away at his knowledge and passion for aquaculture, an increasingly important part of the international food supply. Seafood is the second largest import to the US after energy.
Raso rents the water for his farm from the government at about $150/acre in a 15 year lease. In the time he’s been in the industry he’s seen it grow from a couple dozen farmers to nearly 100. Yet Raso’s product remains in as high demand as ever, and his business is limited only by his ability to grow oysters. Thankfully he takes no shortcuts along the way, and while he can lose up to half his crop from natural pests and attrition, the resulting bounty is well worth the effort—-at least in the opinion of this reviewer!
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H.L. Mencken’s “Life of Kings” quote does the industry a disservice and in this column I argue that publishers should use an older framework, noblesse oblige, to better understand their social obligation.
Old but new to me.
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