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May 27, 2008 09:46 AM

Raw Bars on the North Shore???

hey now.
was up in Newburyport Saturday just kicking around and after talking to several bartenders we decided that there are no proper Raw Bars in that seaside town.
i also asked around Portsmouth and got the same answer.
what, is up with that?

all i want is a place with decent drinks, or a good selection of taps, with a few varieties of Oysters, Clams and even a Chilled Lobster or Shrimps. and i want the staff to know what's freshest and be able to open my oceany-goodness without having it look like they used a hatchet.

i know all the Players in Town so i'm only looking for North Shore rec's.


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  1. The raw bars north of boston all seem to offer the same thing. One or two types of oysters, cherry stone's, and shrimp cocktail. The ones I've visited you probably have also.
    Joe FIsh - N. Andover
    David's Tavern or Ten Center Street - Newburyport
    Finz - Salem

    Mission Oak Grill in Newburyport is one I have not visited, but I would bet they offer pretty much the same as everyone else.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Infomaniac

      Michael's Harborside and the Plum Island Grille also have the standard east coast oysters, clams, and shrimp. Lewis Restaurant and Oyster Bar (Essex) is a hidden gem with their clams and oysters.

      1. re: Sterndogg

        Michael's may sell 'em but again, not a Raw Bar.

        and i called Lewis' and asked if they actually had a Raw Bar and they said no, they just sell them off the menu.

      2. re: Infomaniac

        i keep forgetting about Joe Fish. thanks.

        Ten Center Street does sell oysters (and sometimes littlenecks) but does not meet my criteria for a Raw Bar.

        FinZ is just too tough to get to. living in Haverhill i can get to Neptune quicker than FinZ.

        i've had drinks a couple of times at Mission Oak and did not see any Raw Bar.

        1. re: Infomaniac

          The Rudder on Rocky Neck in Gloucester has a long bar with a very small section dedicated to raw bar fare. They are seasonal (not open in winter). The new menu/website does not even mention raw bar/oysters so I wonder if they even still do it??

          1. re: SEH

            from the rudder's home page:
            "Summer Hours: June 16th through August 30th
            Open: Daily at 4:00pm with expanded Summer Menu & Raw Bar"

        2. I am in Wilmington and We just visited Turner's in Melrose MA. Probably the best raw bar I have seen North of Boston.


          3 Replies
          1. re: mcalvo

            Yup, Turner's is really good. I especially like watching those little steam kettles.

            1. re: ScubaSteve

              op is 6 years old...

              that being said, i assume the tuner's in salem is the same owners? cuz, boy, did i have a mediocre lunch there not long ago. oysters were fine, but the bartender was utterly hapless, crab cakes were all filler no crab and my steamed veggies were limp, lifeless and clearly direct from a sysco bag in the freezer. wines by the glass all the same crap offered on lists written by lazy beverage managers.

              zero desire to return.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                Never been to the one in Salem so I can't say.

          2. Brine is in Newburyport - right on State Street - it is AMAZING!


            1 Reply
            1. Five corners kitchen in Marblehead does a beautiful job w/ raw bar and all their seafood. Stunning room, lively scene too.

              1. I would add Jumpin' Jays in Portsmouth, if you are looking that far north.

                1 Reply