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Neptune Oyster

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bedn0009 Oct 26, 2007 10:36 PM

If you really.... REALLY want fresh New England style seafood, and you aren't going to blink at a $2.50 oyster, or a $20 Lobster Roll, then you MUST go to the Neptune Oyster.

Quality of the Shellfish/service/cocktails cannot be over emphasized. When talking to the owner, and asking him why he opened the restaurant, he simply stated "Because my wife and I LIKE wine, and we LOVE Oysters."

Enough said. Go there.

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  1. Rubee RE: bedn0009 Oct 27, 2007 10:02 AM

    One of my favorites! In addition to the oysters and lobster roll, they have great fried clams too. I also love that the menu is really creative and changes frequently. A couple of my other favorites are the crudo and the Monday special lobster spaghettini.

    Here's a Chowhound get-together from last month with pics:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/444590

    Also, it's a board favorite so attached to the link below, you'll find lots of other suggestions for your next visit to Neptune!

    -----
    Neptune Oyster
    63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

    1. MC Slim JB RE: bedn0009 Oct 27, 2007 09:30 PM

      Not many arguments about Neptune on this board. I had some raw clams the other night that were about as pristine and perfect as any I've had, really extraordinary, plus some West Coast Kumamotos that were like briny little dollops of custard, just lovely. I'm not entirely convinced that the new chef isn't a step down from Nevins on the cooked items, but it's early in his tenure yet. I suppose the proof will be in the new dishes he adds, not his faithful recreations of the menu he inherited.

      14 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB
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        chezchristine RE: MC Slim JB Oct 28, 2007 06:27 PM

        We had dinner there last Sunday. I found both the clam chowder and the artichoke crusted cod dish underseasoned, where there didn't seem to be any salt. The lobster roll, fries, and crudo with yellowtail and watermelon were fine, but I found the crudo less interesting than in the past. Maybe it was lacking in a certain richness that their crudos usually have.

        The clam chowder, while tasting very fresh, tasted too much of celery, was undersalted, and the potatoes were on the verge of being undercooked. I'm not opposed to the thinner, more brothy-er version, but it was definitely not worth $11. Legal's is better IMO, but I also find them inconsistent.

        1. re: MC Slim JB
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          KansasTornado RE: MC Slim JB Nov 5, 2007 10:57 AM

          Went there last week and had perfectly amazing Pemaquid oysters. The lobster roll conversely was very salty and the meat was uninspired to say the least. Fries were cooked fine, but average at best. Uni crudo was ok.

          I think the food has dropped off considerably since I was there this summer.

          1. re: KansasTornado
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            Kbee RE: KansasTornado Nov 5, 2007 11:14 AM

            I have to admit also that I finally tried the lobster roll (after many visits where they were sold out) and was disappointed as well. It was extremely salty, like KT said. I found myself wishing I had gotten the fried clams, which are always amazing. We also had a langostine app. that was sort of a letdown as well -- I think there was a total of 2 scant forkfulls of meat there, and for $14 or something it wasn't worth it. Next time I'll stick w/the oysters and fried clams...mmm.

            1. re: Kbee
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              KansasTornado RE: Kbee Nov 5, 2007 12:04 PM

              Kbee, you reminded me that for the first time ever we didn't consume every morsel of the fried clams. While they were okay they weren't up to the miracle fry job I'd experienced before. The batter wasn't bad, but didn't have any "interest" to it like previous visits.

              1. re: KansasTornado
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                Kbee RE: KansasTornado Nov 5, 2007 01:00 PM

                NOOOOO! Don't say that! They were so good.... (I can't bear to think that they're slipping)

              2. re: Kbee
                andytee RE: Kbee Feb 25, 2008 07:09 PM

                I love love love Neptune, but I gotta say, I stopped in mid afternoon last week to try the fried clams after reading about them on here and was not so impressed. Oysters were awesome as per usual, but the clams were just ok, a little to much fry and not enough clam, and a little over-cooked, some on the rubbery side. Their tartar sauce was a little wierd too. All in all, I can do better without even making a trip to the North Shore at Pescatore in Somerville, or maybe even Kelly's. Don't get me wrong, I have never had even one bite at Neptune actually taste BAD, but these were just not up to snuff.

                Also, am I the only one who thinks their wine pricing is atrocious? Wine is restaurant is always at a good premium, but their list has far too many bottles that retail in the $10-12 range going for $9-10 a glass.

                Still love the place, I'm just sayin..

                1. re: andytee
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                  lisa13 RE: andytee Feb 26, 2008 06:51 AM

                  I noticed a big jump in their wine prices last time we went. I suspect, but am not sure, that this may have coincided with the changes in the kitchen. As for the clams, they were good when we went, but the portion was measly compared to previous visits, and the price was up (I think it was $18 for the app)

                  1. re: lisa13
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                    phatchris RE: lisa13 Feb 26, 2008 09:18 AM

                    I do not think that the new chefs in the kitchen have quite the same touch when it comes to frying as Nevins did.

                    1. re: phatchris
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                      lisa13 RE: phatchris Feb 26, 2008 10:43 AM

                      agreed. the fries on that visit were actually rather soggy. Not quite nasty, but definitely not up to par.

              3. re: KansasTornado
                yumyum RE: KansasTornado Nov 5, 2007 11:20 AM

                Man. I hope that's not the decline in cooked foods that Slim mentioned above. I thought the fries there were great the one time I had them and I always enjoy the crudo and oysters. The lobster roll isn't my favorite around and I've yet to get the clams but now they are on the list for my next visit. Will be interesting to see if the owners feel the same as you and can get the kitchen back to being consistently excellent if it's not as good as before. Time will tell.

              4. re: MC Slim JB
                cook2eat RE: MC Slim JB Nov 6, 2007 06:13 AM

                I disagree Nevins was earnest, but when strayed into cooked dishes and specials the plates were mucky messes with too many ingredients and no finesse. I think the best thing about Neptune has been the classic raw bar repertoire... The new kid needs to gain some confidence--I agree he needs to get his own stuff on the menu.

                1. re: MC Slim JB
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                  gramercyfoodie RE: MC Slim JB Nov 8, 2007 03:50 AM

                  We were at Neptune last night (coincidentally their 3rd anniversary), this was our third or fourth time with the new menu/chef. I can't tell if I don't like the new menu as much or the new chef or a combination of the two. The menu is very limited and for app's if you don't want oysters or a salad there's really nothing exciting. For mains they could also use a bit more diversity. Ugh. I hope they get this fixed soon. I still love it there but I do think a few things need to be tweaked.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                    steinpilz RE: MC Slim JB Dec 7, 2007 03:45 AM

                    Where did the old chef go anyway, and why did he leave? The owners apparently didn't make a successful effort to keep him at Neptune.

                    1. re: steinpilz
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                      phatchris RE: steinpilz Dec 7, 2007 08:42 AM

                      He went back to Connecticut where he is from to start his own restaurant. I totally forgoet what city though.

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                    ameria RE: bedn0009 Oct 28, 2007 10:12 AM

                    I was interested to note in Wednesday or Thursday's Boston Globe that Neptune charges less per oyster than many other (much less pleasant) Boston area raw bar restaurants.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ameria
                      yumyum RE: ameria Oct 28, 2007 11:05 AM

                      I always end up dropping a lot of money at Neptue. I love the place and will pay for the quality they offer, but it's never been truly affordable. The lovely wines by the glass do add up. I should start remembering to buy a bottle and take the remainder home. Ha ha. What remainder?!

                      1. re: yumyum
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                        phatchris RE: yumyum Oct 29, 2007 02:59 PM

                        I recently had the short rib with lobster stir-fry which is a new creation. While each were very good i didn't think they went together well. The short rib was braised in Geary's ale and fork tender and extremely flavorfull and rich. The lobster stir-fry was an asian inspired dish that had too much soy sauce. Pretty good on their on, but two totally different flavors that didn't pair well IMHO.

                        1. re: phatchris
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                          emilief RE: phatchris Oct 29, 2007 03:10 PM

                          How can you combine lobster asian style and short ribs braised in ale. Sorry, I like their oysters and plain dishes like fried clams there, but to put lobster with short ribs is extremely ill-conceived and destined to fail.

                          1. re: emilief
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                            gyppielou RE: emilief Oct 29, 2007 03:46 PM

                            Oh but have you had there striped marlin two ways?!?

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                      Zatan RE: bedn0009 Oct 29, 2007 06:34 PM

                      I have to say that some of the dishes they serve up with the "surf and turf" concept are interesting but don't always work well. However, the oysters, YES, and the fried clams are the best I've had in this region. Lobster roll too. So, always worth a visit. And yes, the wines always get me too, but it's a very pleasant way to spend too much money. I like their wine selections.

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                        shaebones RE: bedn0009 Nov 2, 2007 10:07 AM

                        Finally made it to Neptune Oyster after being on my must go to list for a very long time. Took hubs out to celebrate his birthday. Had a GREAT time. Arrived early to avoid the lines and got 2 cozy seats at the bar. Ordered the tuna crudo per rec from the tender and it was fabulous. Rare tuna over grilled iceberg lettuce wedge w a pomegranite dsg and watermelon. Sounds like and odd combo but it worked beautifully. We devoured it in minutes. I ordered the artichoke crusted cod and hubs got the cioppino. The cod was amazing. Generous piece over creamy mashed in a rich sauce w REALLY tastey smoked mussels, and greens w citrus. I LOVED this dish. Hubs loved the cioppino too but after tasting his I was happy I chose the cod. Rarely do I return to a place twice... b/c frankly there are too many places to try in a lifetime....however will have to make an exception w Neptune. Bravo!!

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                          gltsoi RE: bedn0009 Dec 6, 2007 02:00 AM

                          Hubby and I hit Neptune last night for dinner and really enjoyed our meal. We shared steamed PEI Mussels, Fried Calamari, and Striped Bass.

                          The mussels were great; they were done with sausage, fennel, roasted garlic and caraway cream. It was quite a departure from the standard old white wine, garlic and lemon. The mussels were sweet, tender and briny. I wished we had bread to sop up the rest of the cream, but strangely enough, they don't serve a bread basket (probably the only restaurant in the North End not to). Instead they give you a small dish of large, rustic oyster crackers, which is cute, but not appropriate for sopping up sauce.

                          The fried calamari was the plate of the day and as you know, we can't pass up the chance to try another version. The calamari was very good; it was tender, crispy, not greasy and it came with a garlic aioli. I have two complaints about it. One, not enough tentacles and two, there were what we called “stealth peppers.” Peppers that were sliced as the same thickness of the rings and once fried, virtually indistinguishable from the calamari. You would popped one in your mouth, expecting squid, and all of a sudden there would be a rush of vinegar. Still, a good calamari, but certainly not as good as Daily Catch.

                          Lastly, the fillet of striped bass was pan-fried and served on a bed of ham hocks and swiss chard. Homemade sweet potato chips finished the plate. I found the bass a little over-seasoned, and I think the strong flavor of the ham hocks overwhelmed the mild fish. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the ham hocks, but as they say on Iron Chef, “this dish does not highlight the main ingredient.”

                          Our waitress was great, very friendly and attentive.

                          gltsoi.livejournal.com

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: gltsoi
                            Joanie RE: gltsoi Dec 6, 2007 03:50 AM

                            I wonder what's up with their anti-bread bias.

                            1. re: Joanie
                              lissy RE: Joanie Dec 6, 2007 05:21 AM

                              When a group of us was there a couple months ago, there was plenty of bread.

                              1. re: lissy
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                                sullz79 RE: lissy Dec 6, 2007 06:39 AM

                                We went a few weeks ago and no bread. Big bummer.

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