Boston has some really good restaurants that we often revisit, but for some reason we’ve never been to a raw bar. We were originally going to go to Neptune Oyster, which is supposedly the best, but they did not take reservations and stopped taking names at least 2 hours before they closed. So what did we do? We went to a competing oyster bar: Island Creek Oyster.
Operationally, this place was a disaster. (Perhaps less of a disaster than the place the stopped taking customers well before they closed) There were two separate waiting lists for the restaurant and the huge bar area. The bar tenders kept the lists in their heads. Oh and there’s something that the servers keep having to get to, but in order to get there, they have to pass by the doorway and the mosh pit of people waiting to be seated.
We decided to wait with a delicious half bottle of Pouilly-Fuisse, which arrived in an inappropriately bulbous glass.
After about an hour, we were finally seated.
There were at least 12 different types of oysters to choose from, and we were only 2 people hoping to have a balanced meal, so we picked 6 and ordered 2 of each.
They kindly left us a list with our order, as they said, “clockwise from the lemon…”
Island creek: Restaurant namesake. They were really large and rather meaty for an east coast oyster, and had a mild sweet finish.
Thatch island: My favorite. It had a much sweeter finish, and was less meaty than the island creek. It also had a little clam-like “crunch” at the end.
Wellfleet: Very mild, tasted the least “fishy”, and did not come off as sweet or salty. It carried the condiments well.
Rocky nook: a little salty and seafoody
Ichabod flat: My bf’s favorite. It started off a little salty, but had a sweet finish like the island creek and thatch island oysters. It was kind of a blend of the previous oysters. It also carried the sauce well.
Kumamoto: The only west coast oyster that we picked. It was very salty and fishy.
Deeelightful! Those shells were a little deeper than I’m used to, and I was starting to get quite full!
Fries and fish head croquettes. They called the croquettes beignets. I should have been suspicious. They had much too much potato and were too fishy. I guess I was hoping that they were going to make beignets. The fries were very good and well salted.
Lobster and short rib pasta. The pasta itself was quite salty, but that would have been okay with more alcohol. Unfortunately we had already finished the wine. The short ribs were very well cooked, but the lobsters were a little gummy. Overall, it’s a pretty good pasta. I just have really high pasta standards.
I’d come back for a good drink and another round of the other 6 oysters! I would make a reservation next time though. Also I was hoping to try their razor clams but they were out!