Neptune Oyster, North End
Went to Neptune Oyster last night and while I've enjoyed it in the past, last night's meal was good. Good, not great or fabulous. In Neptune's defense though, my heart had been set on omakase at Uni (in Clio) but alas, they were closed. So with bitterness in my heart and tummy, we set out to the North End.
Neptune was packed, which I was a little surprised by. Mostly because it was a Monday night and it was twenty thousand degrees in the restaurant. Neptune doesn't have AC. But, we were promptly seated at the back table, underneath the fan, so it was bearable.
We started off with an assortment of oysters, all of which were delicious. The oyster shucker is great because the oysters had plenty of juice. They were so flavorful that the condiments weren't needed.
We wanted a salad to accompany the main dishes. Unfortunately for us, Neptune's current menu, doesn't have ANY plain salads. They all had a lot of stuff on it. We settled for what we thought was the plainest salad - southern pecan salad with blackberries, onions with cornbread croutons. I loved the cornbread croutons. They came out warm with a slight crunch. But the salad itself was too busy and heavy. The onions were sauteed and then a lot of mayo and sour cream was mixed it. It was more of a potato chip dip then a dressing. The lettuce was completely glopped by this stuff.
For main courses, we split the hot lobster roll and the green garlic fish with an anchovy salad. The lobster roll was good but not great. There was plenty of lobster meat with a split top bun. Part of the lack of enjoyment came from the temperature rising with the arrival of the food. It was hot in there. Almost as hot as a Grotto dinner last summer. But, I digress.
The lobster roll, in theory, was lovely. Nice big chuncks of lobster meat. Combination of the sweet claw and the tougher tail. Beautiful bun. Unfortunately, the lobster meat was drenched in butter, obscuring the natural sweetness of the meat itself. I think the butter should accent the meat, not overpower the flavor. The french fries were delicious though. Perfectly fried and salted. Nice in crispy on the outside, softer inside.
I did love the fish dish. Tiny chopped pieces of green garlic atop a piece of white fish (the heat erased my memory of the kind of fish). The anchovy salad was great. Generous pieces of anchovies over baby greens. This is the kind of salad that I like at the start of the meal. Simple and delicious.
I've had great meals at Neptune, unfortunately, this wasn't one of them.
I've found that Neptune has always been very obliging about special requests. The last time we visited my husband wanted a plain salad. He asked and they made one for him. No fuss - no attitude.
I'm also sure they would have served the butter for your lobster roll on the side. I may ask for that myself next time. Between the brioche roll and the buttery lobster, it can be a tad heavy. A very yummy treat but if I put the butter on the side I might treat myself more often.
Ditto to what BostonZest said. I always get the lobster roll at Neptune with just lobster meat in the roll, and everything else on the side.