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Island Creek Oyster Bar taking over Great Bay Space

T.Clark Apr 6, 2010 08:00 AM

I found this interesting.



Great Bay
500 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Island Creek Oysters
296 Parks St, Duxbury, MA 02332

  1. t
    T.Clark Oct 18, 2010 08:33 AM

    I hope ICOB does well. The farmers and the ICO distribution guys are genuinely nice people. I do however question if, moving forward, there will be any backlash by restaurants that also sell their oysters. Isn't ICOB now their competition?

    1 Reply
    1. re: T.Clark
      typhoonfish Oct 19, 2010 05:24 AM

      Correct T.Clark...they are not pleased. (at all).

    2. w
      westside1izzy Oct 18, 2010 06:49 AM

      Went on Friday when they opened and it was fantastic! The space is very open and has a chic and comfortable vibe that makes you want to stick around for a while. The menu has some very cool items and things that will become staples that I will crave. The wine list has some really interesting choices that you can tell were well thought out and so reasonably priced. The staff was all very nice and excited to be there. These guys did a great job and I am ready to go back again.

      1 Reply
      1. re: westside1izzy
        BostonZest Oct 18, 2010 03:28 PM

        I'm glad it's nearby because it could become a habit. We had reason for a minor celebration yesterday so we called to confirm they were open. Walked over and, had a wonderful evening. Great service from entry to exit and everywhere in between.

        I surprised myself by ordering the pork shank instead of seafood. I love braised meat this time of year! It was plated with parsnip puree, roasted vegetable hash and then the hunk of pork with it's bones falling apart on top. The sauce with it was luscious.

        My husband had oysters, house smoked salmon, and haddock. It was a big portion of haddock with a great brioche crust. And, great roasted cauliflower under it. I kept stealing pieces of it.

        We shared a chocolate Mousse dessert and had to take the cookies that were a treat from our bartender Ginny home with us.

        Great wine list with lots of value in it and plenty of choices at all levels.

        Bartenders last night were Vic, Bob from ESK and Ginny from #9, Drink and Russell. We had a wonderful time with her.

        Ed did a first look report on it today with photos.


        The music was sort of Islandish- slightly annoying but at least it was not too loud once the room filled up. Maybe they'll change that one flaw with time. At least I was able to forget about it for most selections.


        Island Creek Oyster Bar
        500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

      2. Mike5966 Oct 17, 2010 11:50 AM

        Went here a few hours after opening night on Friday. They have about 8-10 oyster varieties, about half of which are $2 each, the rest are $2.50 or $3 each. There were four varietes from MA, and some others from elsewhere on the east coast. Comes with lemon slices, a nice mignonette, and cocktail sauce. I usually prefer plain ketchup and grated horseradish for the cocktail sauce (the kind you get to mix yourself). The cocktail sauce here was a little smoky which I didn't particularly care for, so I stuck with the other condiments. Oysters were very fresh and delicious.

        The bar area is spacious and has more of a New York vibe to it. This place is as big as you'd expect it to be given that it took over the old Great Bay space. There are 10-12 high top tables in the bar area, and then a bunch of regular tables on the far side of the restaurant further in. The place was half-packed for the first few hours of service and people seemed to be enjoying their dishes.

        Other items on the menu that I didn't get to try (just had oysters and some wine) but sound interesting: a bunch of cooked oyster appetizers, lobster bisque for $9, clam chowder for $10, two or three salads, fish and chips for $18, lobster roll for $19, burger for around $15 (can't remember the exact price but I saw someone else eating this and it smelled/looked good with good-looking fries). They had 5-6 fish entrees in the $25 range, as well as fried clams (forget the price), and some kind of roast chicken entree they were running as a special. You can order fries for $4 as well as 5 or 6 other sides.

        A lot to try on this menu... very seafood-focused, and carries all the standards you'd expect from a downtown seafood joint, plus some really creative-sounding appetizers and entrees that sound like they could be very good. They have a big wine list with white wines predominating; these begin at $30 (about 5-7 bottles under $35) and then goes up from there. Will be heading back there soon. I can see this place becoming a more affordable, accessible and potentially very delicious option for those who don't want to shell out the extra cash for B&G or don't want to trek all the way up to the North End where there is no parking whatsoever, only to have to wait for hours for a table at Neptune Oyster.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mike5966
          barleywino Oct 17, 2010 03:52 PM

          Enjoyed the Totten Virginica oysters (and Island Creeks), fried clams were ok, whole grilled black bass was overcooked. Had high hopes that (foodwise) it would be more than your typical oyster bar but so far haven't seen it.

        2. ScubaSteve Oct 10, 2010 10:23 AM

          heard yesterday from a Reliable Source that the staff has run through a couple of Scripted Services and should be opening the doors to the public within a week.

          7 Replies
          1. re: ScubaSteve
            gramercyfoodie Oct 11, 2010 06:31 PM

            yippee - us brookline folks are hopeful to find another spot other than neptune for fab seafood. Saw that Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar is also opening w/i a couple of weeks in Fenway. Interested to get the story on both places.

            1. re: gramercyfoodie
              Kinopio Oct 12, 2010 09:31 AM

              I really hope they go all out on the seafood front. If its just another place for a raw bar and cocktails, then the neighborhood will soon have some serious redundancy with it, Eastern Standard and Citizen.

              Eastern Standard
              528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

              1. re: Kinopio
                jeff Turton Oct 17, 2010 05:53 AM

                They are now open as of Friday night. The liqueur license came through Friday afternoon. We were there last night before heading over to Eastern Standard for our meal. some fun cocktails on the menu. Menu is nice and very seafood centric. Since we were having dinner at ES, we just opted for a couple of cocktails. Garrett and Jackson were both around making sure things went smoothly for the first weekend. After leaving ES we stopped by and ICOB was packed at 9PM. So the word is getting out quick they are open. We'll be back for dinner in the next couple of weeks.

                Eastern Standard
                528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                1. re: jeff Turton
                  Ora Moose Oct 17, 2010 06:31 AM

                  So I'm wondering... since there's no middleman, whats the oysters/dozen price, any cheaper at this place?

                  1. re: Ora Moose
                    hotoynoodle Oct 17, 2010 07:25 AM

                    no menu on website and the hours listed only as nights, but for sundays.

                    1. re: Ora Moose
                      StriperGuy Oct 17, 2010 08:39 AM

                      I assure you with the cost of running a place in that location, the cost of the oysters is the least of their worries. Don't expect $0.50 oysters.

                      1. re: StriperGuy
                        hotoynoodle Oct 17, 2010 08:45 AM

                        i wasn't expecting a difference between here and anyplace else. what the market will bear, ya know?

            2. ScubaSteve Apr 6, 2010 12:00 PM

              i'm hopefull....

              7 Replies
              1. re: ScubaSteve
                hotoynoodle Apr 6, 2010 12:28 PM

                me too. i'd love an alternative to neptune and that great bay space is BIG.

                1. re: ScubaSteve
                  BostonZest Apr 6, 2010 03:21 PM

                  My one fear is this line in the Globe article, "high-energy oyster bar and seafood restaurant," Island Creek Oyster Bar is slated for a late summer opening."

                  To me "High Energy" is code for loud, unappealing and so-so food-- after all, "you're here for the scene." Hope I'm wrong.


                  Island Creek Oysters
                  296 Parks St, Duxbury, MA 02332

                  1. re: BostonZest
                    globalgourmand Apr 13, 2010 07:09 AM

                    BostonZest said: To me "High Energy" is code for loud, unappealing and so-so food-- after all, "you're here for the scene." Hope I'm wrong.

                    I hope you're wrong too, but fearful you may be right! Still, even if that is the case, I'm not opposed to popping down to Duxbury in the afternoon to pick up a bag on the cheap and cracking them open at home. I do love Island Creeks. Lets see what happens...

                    1. re: globalgourmand
                      hotoynoodle Apr 13, 2010 08:01 AM

                      it's a pr release! eastern standard could be called high-energy, so could temple bar and a million other places that are busy and popular. doesn't mean it has to suck.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                        MC Slim JB Apr 13, 2010 08:08 AM

                        Yes, please, let's all have a look first. Reading tea-leaves on places months from opening doesn't strike me as very Chowish. I suppose if Nick Verano, SomersPubs, Glynn Hospitality or BBRG were involved, you could have certain cynical expectations, but this team has a slightly different track record.


                        1. re: MC Slim JB
                          hotoynoodle Apr 13, 2010 08:11 AM


                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                            zcicala Oct 12, 2010 10:27 AM

                            I think the people currently associated with the project point us in quite the opposite direction: http://boston.grubstreet.com/2010/09/...

                            While I doubt you're going to get the reserved intimacy Tom brought at Craigie, you're certainly not going to get The Kells. I imagine, as other poster have pointed out, you're going to get something along the lines of Eastern Standard. It would tough to ever call that a loss.

                            Eastern Standard
                            528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                            Kells Restaurant
                            161 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                  2. g
                    Gabatta Apr 6, 2010 08:45 AM

                    Well, I only went to GB once, and I love Island Creeks so this can only be a positive thing. Sustainable seafood & Island Creek oysters...exciting news!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Gabatta
                      hotoynoodle Apr 6, 2010 10:09 AM

                      great bay was sadly underwhelming, even when i attended special events there. interesting concept to put smack next to esk, though, huh?

                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                        typhoonfish Apr 6, 2010 11:03 AM

                        I need to hire skip's PR team. Got to hand it to him, he does a great job marketing. Can't make money with the distributors, go straight to the consumer.


                        1. re: typhoonfish
                          hotoynoodle Apr 6, 2010 11:23 AM

                          what on earth makes you think he's not making money? lol.

                        2. re: hotoynoodle
                          MC Slim JB Apr 6, 2010 03:24 PM

                          Given that Garrett Harker is a partner, I imagine they will manage any competitive overlap with Eastern Standard.


                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                            hotoynoodle Apr 8, 2010 08:01 AM

                            that's great news.

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