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May 10, 2007 02:06 PM

no reservations at neptunes

i'm planning on taking my parents there during grad weekend--they love oysters. they only prob is they dont take reservations. is it hard to get a table for lunch on sundays??
what are some must order dishes??

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  1. I walked in with 3 friends a few saturdays ago and had no problem getting a table. The fried clams are very good, the lobster roll is quite tasty, but the house burger is sub par-that's all I've ever had there, but the oysters are truly fabulous.

    1. Be forewarned: you'll be competing these next few weekends with a lot of like-minded recent graduates and their parents, so be prepared for a potential long wait, or have a Plan B.

      I find it tough to go wrong on Neptune's menu. It's the sort of place that doesn't just pay lip service to non-seafood items (like the fine short ribs dish). Most of the dishes are very creative and beautifully plated, showing a fair amount of refined French technique (complex sauces, for example). It's no beach shack.

      The raw bar items and crudos here are indeed fabulous. Great fried and poached oysters. Lobster spaghettini. The vitello tonnato is unusual and lovely (raw rather than cooked tuna, and served as a sandwich). I often get sardines or octopus if they're on the menu. Specials are generally superb.

      I haven't tried the burger, and I'm not crazy about the lobster roll (either hot or cold), because I think the sweet, eggy, toasted brioche roll they use overwhelms the lobster flavor. But mostly I love the place. Lots of interesting wines to go with the food.

      It is not cheap.

      4 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        I recently tried the burger. No surprise I thought it was awesome--a juicy, drippy, perfectly cooked patty, gratuitously--I say that with affection--topped w/ 3?4? fried oysters.

        1. re: tatamagouche

          I've only been there once --been dying to get back --but the one time I went we did have the burger, and I remember it being excellent. Of course the fried oysters on top put it over the edge (in a good way!)

          1. re: twentyoystahs

            I have to vouch for the burger too - E ordered it the last time we were at Neptune and we both thought it was great, especially topped with those crispy oysters, and juicy and perfectly cooked medium rare.

        2. re: MC Slim JB

          Can you tell us more about the lobster spaghettini? I understand it's only available on Monday evenings and of course I'm more apt to be there on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. What type of sauce do they use? I've been thinking that I need to venture out on a Monday. Love their fried clams and stone crab claws. I have to admit it though I've never tried a raw oyster at Neptune or elsewhere for that matter, maybe it's time!!

        3. I'll be there tonight, in Boston that is. any idea how late they stay open and it is open for lunch in case I get in too late for dinner? what is the location of this Neptunes please, from out of town so I have no clue...TIA

          2 Replies
          1. re: iL Divo

            Lunch seven days. Dinner till midnight Th-Sa, 11p otherwise. 63 Salem near Cross St in the North End.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              We were in last week from L.A and ate there twice in 4 days.....sit at the bar. Jeff is the owner. Very accomodating. He ordered our oysters for us and they were fantastic. Lobster roll to die for. Great ambeince....if they are busy the wait can be a while, but have a glass of wine and enjoy

          2. Must-order is the fried oysters, superb.

            They have cherrystones that are the freshest around.

            Watch the specials board, I had a soft-shelled crab on Tuesday night that was out of this world. It was lightly fried served over some kind of jam and topped with a curried mayo. The combination of flavors was decadent. You can't miss here.

            1 Reply
            1. okay, just back from the "Arlington T" green line ride to Neptunes Oyster. That was a fun travel, me being an LA girl. It took a bit of time to get seated, but I was expecting that [as when I called] they said it was a 2 1/2 hour wait. I went anyway, that sort of thing never deters me. Okay, [so I had] Crab Louis salad. Wonderful. Then I had 4 kinds of their oysters in their sauces on the side. Wonderful. Last but not least, I had the fried clams with tartar sauce and cocktail sauce and grilled sourdough. Wonderful. Dinner? Wonderful. Price, not cheap. Will I go again? Oh, you betcha!