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Aug 24, 2008 12:26 PM

Neptune Oyster Ooh La La!

Today was the perfect day to hit the North End for lunch. I have been dying to try Neptune because all of the glowing reviews. It was pretty easy to get in and sat. We were given an oyster menu and we had a dozen of different kinds of oysters. They were all distinct and amazing. My husband and I both got lobster rolls. I got the cold one and he got the hot one. We took one bit and looked at each other moaning. I have eaten a hundred million lobster rolls in my life but this one was the best. The lobster tasted freshly cooked because it had a nice to spring to the bite. Not mushy frozen lobster meat but fresh. It was stuffed in a brioche bun and over flowing. The fries were hand cut, dark brown and addictive. Now I know why everyone raves.

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  1. oh boy, you may have pushed me over the edge! thanks for the report.gotta go there now!

    1. Considering the pricing is essentially the same as Summer Shack you can see (er taste) why, by comparison, the food at SH is shameful.

      1. We're back in town for a shorter visit than we hoped, but of course had already planned on Neptune. We went for lunch today, and the lobster spaghettini ($36) Monday special was on the menu, but after reading your post we had to copy you ; )

        We started out with a couple of oysters each - Summerside (PEI - "med salt, juicy, sake finish"), and Evening Cove (BC - "low salt, sweet, cucumber finish). Being in Phoenix for the past 6 months, I've been craving fried clams for weeks. Oh wow - just perfect. A generous portion that we couldn't finish, and we almost wished we had split one lobster roll instead of each getting our own (one hot, one cold). With a couple of glasses of d'Arenberg Hermit Crab viognier, a friendly "welcome back" from Vinny, and great service from Amelia at the bar, a leisurely late lunch doesn't get much better than this.

        BTW, for buddernut, I did ask our friendly neighbor at the bar enjoying the lobster special if it was spicy. He said "a little spicy, not too much".

        5 Replies
          1. re: Rubee

            They both look great, but WHOA that lobster roll!

          2. re: Rubee

            Just commenting on our second visit on Wednesday, where we went to Neptune hoping for the sea urchin ditalini special, but unfortunately they didn't have it.

            We made up with other great dishes though. This time there were four of us as we brought my mom and dad. To start, we shared the sauteed squid with broccoli rabe and fried cherry peppers, the fried clams again, and the crudo special with fluke, crispy shallots, and brandade with cherry pepper dressing. All was so good, but filling. We could barely finish our next courses - though they were delicious - dad and E the cold lobster rolls, mom the big bowl of PEI mussels with fennel, toasted garlic, and sausage in a creamy broth, and for me the grilled oysters with fontina and speck. A friend met us as we were finishing and said she loved the "tuna ribbon" salad - a take on nicoise - with tender slices of raw tuna, hard-boiled egg, potato aoili, and capers and olives. I was too full to take a bite.

            I have to comment as usual on the service here too. Vinny was working and I introduced him to my mom and dad. At the end of the meal he sent out glasses of Brachetto dessert wine (a sparkling red). A lovely touch that impressed my parents so much and made them love this place even more.

            BTW, after lunch my gf and I strolled around the North End. I noticed a new restaurant called Damiano's on Hanover - nice looking place, and the menu looked very good too. Has anybody been?

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

            1. re: Rubee

              i was there wednesday and had the urchin ditalini! it's one of my favorite dishes in the city. we had oysters, of course, and the fluke crudo with cherry pepper vinaigrette, whipped brandade and fried leeks -- killer.

              we also had the nicholas joly coulee de serrant which was divine with the urchin sauce.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                Oh, lucky you! Though I'm a little jealous. We were there around 1:00. I agree - a standout dish. I'll have to remember your wine rec for next time.

                That fluke crudo was delicious, wasn''t it? The first time my parents tried brandade too; I'm glad it was at Neptune.

          3. Maybe it's me, but did you indicate which was the better lobster roll for you, hot or cold?

            1 Reply
            1. re: bakerboyz

              You know, I was trying to decide and it was a tough one. Both are so good, but since I love butter, I'd have to give the VERY slight edge to the hot (pic is of the hot buttered lobster roll).

              Also, some have mentioned in the past that the brioche roll was too buttery, and I noticed this time it wasn't so rich, just lightly buttered and grilled. In the past the roll tasted like it had been dunked in butter.

              BTW, for those who are fans of the sea urchin ditalini, it's the Wednesday special. It was one of my favorites when Neptune first opened. Looks like we'll have to make a second visit to Neptune this week.

            2. Neptune Oyster is one of our favorite places in Boston.

              In fact, we scheduled our plane reservation based on the fact that we would arrive in Boston to catch an early lunch at Neptune Oyster. Exactly at 11:30, just as they were unlocking the doors, we were seated, ready and waiting.

              The place is cute, somewhat of a hole in the wall with a huge long bar area for those who want to eat there.

              My husband started with clam chowder. He happens to like a thicker version, but I thought the chowder was much more authentic as served – not gummy, gluey with too many potatoes and too much cream.

              I had 3 types of Oysters-
              From MA. - Cummaquid – medium size, medium salt, plump, buttery leeks and chive hints (They provide you with a cheat sheet that describes the oysters.)
              From WA – Kumamoto – small size, plump, sweet, hints of cucumber, creamy
              From AK – Windy Bay – large size, low salt, sweet, buttery, briny, melon finish

              Now we ordered fried clams with bellies!!!! They didn’t realize that we each wanted an order, but as it turned out this worked out in our favor. We ate the first order piping hot and then got a second batch, equally piping hot. I had clams three other places on this trip and I must say that these were the best by far.

              Wonderful place and I would give anything to have this restaurant transplanted to Los Angeles.

              Photos here: