Oysters imply luxury, even if only slurped from the shell. But when John D. Rockefeller was setting standards for affluence in the late 19th century, a New Orleans chef created Oysters Rockefeller, a dish that reflected the indulgent era. Butter, greens, herbs, and anise were baked over oysters on the half-shell.
The yen for indulgence is back. At Eastside West in San Francisco, Oysters Decadence is an amplified on-the-half-shell offering. At home, I follow the steps of chef-owner Scott Dammann but use individual ramekins ― no shells, no slurping, lots of luxury.