In 2014 Rosalie Rung & Ian Wile of Little Creek Oyster Farm restored an old bait & tackle shack on Bootleg Alley in the heart of the Greenport to create the first “U-shuck” joint on Long Island (and possibly the East Coast). Three years later the North Fork oyster renaissance is exploding, and Little Creek Oysters has become something of an institution on the East End. While educating greenhorn shuckers and shelling out a dizzying array of local bivalves is still the core of their business model; they haven’t left landlubbers adrift, and you can find something that suits nearly any taste during Friday Night Bites - Oysters and Pintxos (pronounced “pinchos”) at Little Creek. From the LCO website: “Starting at 7pm on Friday we'll spread the counter with a dizzying spread of skewered small bites, pour crisp cold wines and beers and wash away the week together! Of course our shuckers will be opening the finest our bays have to offer!”
With our appetite whetted and curiosity piqued we headed over to Little Creek Oysters on Friday night to try pintxos for ourselves, and get the scoop from Rosalie.
GNF: Tell me about Friday Night Bites.
RR: We started Friday Night Bites early this summer as way to sort of change gears going into the weekend and give people a different kind of offering.
GNF: What can we expect on the menu?
RR: We rotate the menu and mostly focus on our in-house food service and our tinned fish offerings. We have different skewers that are made of mixed cheeses, beef, meats and fruits. It changes week to week but there are some things that are kind of always in the mix – our go-tos.
GNF: Was this your brainchild or Ian’s?
RR: The decision to do pintxos was kind of a collective thought. Ian and I always see people coming into town for the weekend wanting a quick snack, and we’re both into the snacking culture of the pintxos tradition in Spain. I thought it was a good fit for our business. It also gives us a chance to show off some of our other retail offerings that we have here, our conservas de peixe (Portuguese canned fish) and kind of give it a taste test. It’s a nice way to market them and also give additional offerings to people
GNF: Where do you source your charcuterie, anything made in house?
RR: We don’t make any of it, that’s curated by Alex our in-house Sandwich Chef.
GNF: Are you going to continue Friday Night Bites into the off season?
RR: We’ll continue it as long as there’s an interest and as long as it makes sense for us. Just like everything else we do – we’re an evolving business and we have room for change, so I will keep tabs on how it’s doing but we have no plans at the moment to change it.
GNF: Any other cool events going on during the week?
RR: Right now we are doing OG Beer Release Thursdays with Greenport Harbor Brewery. Every Thursday they release of a new “Weird beer” - something that their brewers cook up to sort of test the market. We are one of a few places in Greenport that gets a first-off-the line release of that. We’ll continue doing it as long as Greenport Harbor continues to do it.
GNF: Are these beers you can actually buy?
RR: They are limited runs. Sometimes they make larger batches and sometimes they make smaller batches. I don’t believe they are bottling or canning any of them, to my knowledge they are only available at the Greenport tasting room. We’re going to bring back our BYOV Vinyl Nights on Thursdays as well.
GNF: What happens at Vinyl Night?
RR: Vinyl Night for us is a way to jazz up the week and get a different crowd in here for Thursdays. My husband is a bit of a vinyl enthusiast. We started them to do something interesting in the winter, so we bring in a turntable and we encourage people to bring in their own vinyl. We also do a cooperation with The Times Vintage store, [Elizabeth Sweigart] will bring out a bunch of vinyl from her vintage collection - both for use during Vinyl Night and for sale. If people want to take a record home they can purchase it, and we have a good in house collection as well. In the summer it was hard for us to keep that up in a rewarding way, but we look forward to bringing it back
GNF: Wednesday Night Shucker’s Club – that’s still going on?
RR: Yes, we’ve been doing that probably since we opened. We have happy hour specials, and in the off season we do $20 all you can shuck, which is not available during the regular season. We’ll probably be bringing that back in the next couple of weeks.
GNF: And you have an oyster truck now as well…
RR: Yep, we have a truck that is available for catering and events. We do a lot of private parties and weddings and that kind of thing.
GNF: Anything special for Maritime festival?
RR: We’re open!