They are not blue or indigo or violet. In France, diners have been known to coax them out of their small, mottled shells with a hatpin. They are periwinkles--tiny snails with the clean, minerally taste of the ocean. The newly opened BLT Steak (in the old Le Dome space) offers these hard-to-find gems in an extravagant serving--half a pound--at a price that isn't at all extravagant. Steamed with bay leaves and thyme, they arrive on ice, with bamboo toothpicks for coaxing. How swell to savor them at the raw bar, with a cool glass of Pinot Grigio.
Periwinkles, $9 at BLT Steak, 8720 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 360-1950, www.bltsteak.com.