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Editor’s Note: Eastern District is a cheese and beer shop on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint. Beth curates the cheese case and Chris manages the beer selection. Both focus primarily on regional products, but always make room for critical imports. They make some mean sandwiches too. Beth and Chris get our Thanksgiving Potluck started off in style, with their take on Oysters Rockefeller.

Brooklyn Thanksgiving Potluck: Oysters Rockefeller from Chris Gray and Beth Lewand of Eastern District in Greenpoint

By Beth Lewand and Chris Gray, owners of Eastern District

Decades ago, Beth’s mom started serving Oysters Rockefeller for Thanksgiving, for no particular reason other than deliciousness. It’s become a tradition for us, and it’s a good opportunity for Chris to show off his oyster-shucking skills.

This recipe is slightly modified from the one in James Beard’s American Cookery – the primary modification is cutting down on the booze a little, so you can still taste the other ingredients. Use your extra Pernod in a cocktail!

Eastern District’s Oysters Rockefeller


  • 2 dozen oysters on the half shell
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
  • 1/3 cup chopped fennel
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cups chopped watercress
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Pernod
  • Salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper


  1. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan, and saute the shallots, celery and herbs for 3 minutes.
  2. Add watercress and let it wilt.
  3. Scrape into a blender, add Pernod, and blend for 1 minute.
  4. Blend in bread crumbs and remaining butter.
  5. Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
  6. Arrange the oysters on a dish that can be used for baking and serving.
  7. Top each one with about 1 teaspoon of the sauce.
  8. Bake at 450 degrees for about 4 minutes, and serve immediately.

Eastern District is located at 1053 Manhattan Avenue, between Eagle and Freeman Streets, in Greenpoint.

For the story behind the shop, read Boy + Girl + Cheese + Beer = Eastern District: A Greenpoint Love Story

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  3. Pingback: Brooklyn Thanksgiving Potluck: Recipes and Memories From a Few of Our Favorite Brooklyn Chefs | Nona Brooklyn | What's Good Today?

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