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Lunch Advice - Neptune Oyster?

I am going to lunch with my boss for my birthday. We go to lunch 2-3X/year for our birthdays and Christmas. In the past we have already been to places such as : Penang, Elephant Walk, Petit Robert, ESK, Rangoli, Sandrines, B&G. We like to share plates vs just ordering our own lunches. Not interested in corporate/fancy lunch spots/steak houses. We avoid chains and places that he has to eat at for business meetings. I've been reading a lot of posts about Neptune and it sounds perfect, and since it's my birthday I get to pick. (unfortunately since it's lunch with the boss, no wine - waah!)...but I digress. Since I have not had the opportunity to go to Neptune yet, I have a few questions: Should we get there a little before 12 to ensure getting seated at lunch? Is there a full menu at lunchtime, or do they scale down? Are they nice about people sharing? Any no-misses (sounds like everything from all the posts I've read!)? Is there a good ordering strategy? Note that we would want to sit at a table, not the bar, and my boss does not do raw seafood (the horror!) but love, love, loves cooked seafood! Thanks for the replies - lunch isn't until the 31st, so I'll report back after that.

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  1. They have a full menu at lunch. I've gone at 1 and not had to wait for a table. I can't speak to the people sharing. No misses are the lobster roll, the raw bar, the marlin duet and the raw tuna sandwich. I recently enjoyed the ciopinno.

    1 Reply
    1. Always share when I've been there and it's never been a problem. Love their fried clams, and used to love the stone crab claws, but they told me last week they weren't going to offer than any longer. Also, their cioppino is quite good.

      1. Ate there recently and everyone shared. Highlights were the marlin duet and the salmon.

        1. So far I always get a variety of oysters (not fried), fried clams, and beer/wines for lunch, I haven't been there for dinner yet but I have been wanting to do this.

          1. As others have mentioned, no problem sharing - we always do. There is no separate lunch/dinner menu, it's the full menu all day (one of my favorite things about Neptune!). Plenty of non-raw seafood items. Some examples off the menu from a couple of weeks ago: clam chowder, oyster stew, fried oysters, mussels, crab scampi, squid fra diavolo, rainbow trout, cioppino, salmon, roast monkfish with clams, red snapper, and sturgeon, to name a few.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Rubee

              i had the monkfish with clams last night and it was stellar! oysters were great and fried clams were light and crispy. the veal and tuna sangy looked good too!

              they had a blue snapper special last night, never heard of blue snapper before

              1. re: Bighead

                It was probably Bluefish. When Blues are in the 5lb. range they run together in big schools and are often referred to as "Snapper" Blues.

                1. re: Harp00n

                  nope, wasn't bluefish harpoon whcih i thought too. I catch and kill a lot of bluefish and you're right, the little ones are called snappers. but bluefish has a distnct color, texture and flavor. this "blue snapper" was bone white, dense and oil free. pretty much the opposite of our native blues.

                  1. re: Bighead

                    perhaps Japanese bluefish, which I've had as sushi. It's white in color, not oily and marvelous in taste and texture.

                2. re: Bighead

                  I thought that the monkfish dish lacked color. Everything was grey so it didn't look appealing. Tasted pretty good though.

              2. I've done Neptune for lunch three times. The first two times it was a nice day, and by 12:30 all of the tables were full, although there was plenty of room at the bar. The third time it was raining and the place remained very quiet throughout lunch.

                1. Thank you all for your responses. My boss and I had a fantastic lunch at Neptune's! I can't believe I have waited so long to try that place! We got there around 12:30 on a beautiful sunny day and the restuarant was about half full so we were seated right away. I can see how this place would get packed in the evenings, as it is not very big, so I'm glad we went at lunch so that we could take our time and not feel rushed/cramped. We started with splitting an order of fried clams. My goodness, these were some of the best fried clams I've had -the batter was so light and not greasy, the clams were sweet and tender, and the tartar sauce was tangy and delicious. Our next course was the cold lobster roll on the brioche. Excellent. Big chunks of lobster, minimal mayo and that was it. Pefrection. We loved it. I even loved the roll. The fries that came with it were excellent also. Then we split the red snapper entree, which I can't remember all of the ingredients, but it was very rich and was cooked perfectly. I remember some baby grilled artichokes in it, and there was an amazing sauce..sorry I did not take notes. Since it was a lunch with the boss, did not have wine (but definitely will go back, what a nice wine list!), but the iced tea and lemonade were both really great - the lemonade I am pretty sure was homemade. The tea was nicely brewed and tasted really good. Especially on a warm sunny day. Our waiter was really nice - he was happy to let us share plates, they did not divide the dishes up in advance, but that was OK with us. He was attentive and not overbearing, nor did he ignore us. After lunch we walked to Gelateria and got Gelatos for the walk back to the office. A lemon gelato was so refreshing and delicious after a lovely meal. I have to say, leisurely lunch in the North End is really something I'd like to try to do more - it was an extremely enjoyable adventure away from the office!

                  1. What about lunch on Saturdays? Is it reasonable to think that it will be pretty packed in the first half hour or so from when they open (I believe they open at 11:30am?)

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: meaganl

                      I rarely eat there on weekends, but during the week, 11:30 is the perfect time to get into Neptune.

                      1. re: Bostonbob3

                        I agree. Went there for the first time on Wednesday (to treat myself to lunch on my birthday) around 11:45 and I was the first one there. The hot buttered lobster roll was delicious (I'm tempted to use the word sinful). Next time I might ask for them to go a little easy on the butter though. Fries were pretty good. I like my fries crispy on the outside but mine that day were more of a mix of crispy fries and some mushy ones...good flavor though.

                        1. re: AnjLM

                          I get into Neptune all the time and at different times and agree that pre-noon usually works. Just keep in mind it doesn't take much for it to fill up. I hear the phone ringing with the "how busy are you" calls all the time

                          1. re: donjay

                            I go on Saturdays and Sundays around noon and never have a problem.