BLACK VELVET
Ouida and Robert Merrifield, longtime owners of the Polo Grill (2038 Utica Square; 918-744-4280) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have revived the pairing of a “black velvet” cocktail with oysters on the half shell — a tradition that dates to the 19th century when English and Irish workmen drank Guinness’s Stout with their oyster lunch. A hotel of the era (some say it was the Shelbourne in Dublin) upgraded the beverage with champagne, which is how the Merrifields serve it today. It’s become one of their most popular meals. To make a Black Velvet, pour one-third Guinness’s Stout in a tall beer glass and top off with two-thirds champagne.