Blue Island Serving Some of the U.S.’s Best Seafood—And They're Nowhere Near the Coast

Not even hundreds of miles between them and the shore can keep these restaurants from cooking with the freshest catch. Thanks to crazy-fast shipping, a dedication to seasonality, and an astounding array of coastal culinary influences, these hot spots are putting exceptional seafood on the map, no matter their location.

By MARY TOMLINSON

Denver, Colorado
New England roots come to landlocked Colorado by way of Blue Island Oyster Bar, the western outpost of the renowned Long Island shellfish farm of the same name. Spot the farm on the antique-style map of the Great South Bay lining the wall to see the home of the Blue Island No. 9 and Navy Point oysters sitting just over at the shucking station. To honor his New England upbringing, owner Sean Huggard serves the same bacon-heavy clam chowder he’s made for 20 years, and “hires as many Patriots fans” as he can. The recently added Chokehold cocktail—an amalgam of English gin, ruby red grapefruit juice, and Italian liquor made from artichokes— boasts a delicately vegetal flavor just right for slurping East Coast oysters.