Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hip seafood dining - Island Creek Oyster Bar

If you want some fresh oysters and/or delicious seafood in Boston I would recommend Neptune Oysters in a heartbeat. Unfortunately they don’t take reservations and can only accommodate small groups unless you go really early or wait 2-3 hours. A possible alternative is Island Creek Oyster Bar, which was recently voted as Boston’s best upscale seafood restaurant. Run by the same owners as its neighbour Eastern Standards, the high ceiling large restaurant setting has a full service bar next to the oyster bar where continuous shucking takes place to placate the demand.
Oyster
We of course started with the oysters. They are indeed fresh and although they do have a large variety the selection was limited at least at this particular visit to only East Coast Oysters, a little disappointing. But the ICOB does provide some novelty with the actual fisherman who provides the oysters printed on the menu so you know not only where the oysters are sourced from but from whom.
Lobster roe noodles
For the main I tried the Lobster Roe noodles which comes with grilled bite-sized pieces of boneless spare rib, green chickpeas, maitake mushrooms and of course large chunks of grilled lobster. A little bit too oily and I couldn't taste the lobster roe at all but, other than that, great taste and good serving size (small by American standards but just enough for me).
Ricotta gnocchi, maine lobster, chanterelle mushroom and corn
Mr Z tried one of the specials of the night the Ricotta gnocchi served with sweet corn, chanterelle mushroom and chunks of main lobster. Admittedly this has some similarities to the lobster roe dish but I was surprised at how close the two dishes were. Apart from a slightly sweeter taste (largely due to the corn) and less oil the sauce used in both tasted almost the same.

One other thing that really bothered us was the temperature of the food when it arrived. The oysters were fine but the pasta was not really hot. Either the air conditioning needs to be toned down, the serving plates need to be kept warmer or they need to serve the food faster once it is prepared. Other than this the service was excellent despite it been quite a busy evening.

So okay this is not the perfect replacement for Neptune Oysters but if you can’t wait or are with a large group and just need a seafood/oyster fix then this is the place to go to.

Sidebar
Food: Seafood and fresh oysters
Must try: Oysters
Setting: Modern chic but still casual
Service: Excellent service
Damage: ~$12 for appetizer, ~$25 for the main
Hot chocolate: None
Visit if: you can't get into Neptune Oysters but are still craving seafood.

Island Creek Oyster Bar
500 Commonwealth Ave
Fenway/Kenmore
Boston, MA 02215
U.S.A.

Island Creek Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

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