When you think about it, Lee’s Pint and Shell’s (2844 Hudson St.,  327-2883, leespintandshell.com) “Love Shucks” Valentines Day event has all the elements that you find in romance: a little bit of lust (oysters are an aphrodisiac, you know), just a little bit of bitterness, a little booze, and a little sweetness too.
The way it works: On the first floor, couples can enjoy discount-priced oysters and beers (like Flying Dog’s Pearl Necklace and DuClaw’s Dirty Little Freak, appropriately). Upstairs, attendees can get the same, but are also encouraged to bring along any gently-used items an ex may have left behind, which the Canton restaurant will donate to charity.
The event is intended to be a more casual, fun approach to what can be a very buttoned-up, expectation-heavy holiday.
“I think there’s a lot of people that like casual for Valentine’s Day, and a lot of people who feel that [if] they don’t have a significant other, that it’s kind of a wasted day,” owner David Carey explains, sitting at a table inside the kitchy, Baltimore-themed establishment (shoutouts to various city landmarks and neighborhoods adorn the walls along with artists’ renderings of old-fashioned ads for products that used to be made here).
The restaurant opened in October 2016 (the spot used to be known as Saute, under the same ownership), and this is their first attempt at a Valentine’s Day event. They have done other events, though, including a “Shuckin’ in the Street” block party and a New Year’s Eve event. Carey says it’s part of his mission to make oyster eating more approachable for everyone, including people who may not have had them before, or who may not be fans.
“You know, you go to an oyster bar and you see these oysters and they are $3 a piece, $2 a piece, and you feel a little bit intimidated,” he says. “It’s like going to a fancy wine bar. You know you like wine but you don’t know anything about it. We kind of took that concept and said . . . if you don’t know if you like oysters or you really want to try them, what’s a better way to try them then at 50 cents a piece?”
He says that even though the oysters are sometimes lower-priced, they are still good quality, coming from parts of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.
“We get oysters from all different places, so if you do have a palate for oysters we are good, we will accommodate you,” he says.
“Love Shucks” takes place at Lee’s Pint and Shell on Feb. 14 from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.