February 27, 2013
Meet the pan roast, a sublime seafood bisque with some heat

Among the 35 dining options at the century-old Grand Central Terminal in New York City is the iconic Oyster Bar & Restaurant, serving 30 kinds of oysters and 25 kinds of fish.

Also on its menu is an original dish so sublime that restaurants around the nation have adapted it as their own. That would be the pan roast, a highly prized meal in a bowl.

Typically, a pan roast is a bisque built around cream or half and half, butter, clam juice, white wine, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce and spices such as celery salt and paprika; sherry is sometimes added, as is garlic and sweet chili sauce. The broth is scalded and mixed with seafood, typically oysters, shrimp, clams, scallops, crab or lobster, or any combination.

For your next road trip, you should know that a great version is served at John's Oyster Bar at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks; another is at the nearby Oyster Bar at the Atlantis in Reno.

Closer to home, we stopped at Powell's Steamer Co. & Pub in Placerville for a bowl of its oyster-shrimp pan roast (pictured). One delicious spoonful led to the next, one pack of oyster crackers was replaced with a second. Soon, lunch was history. We plan to do it again soon.

The combination pan roast is $18; shrimp-only and oysters-only roasts are $16 each. Powell's is at 25 Main St.; (530) 626-1091,

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