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Island Creek Oyster Bar--best place in the whole world!

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suzysue2 Oct 25, 2010 10:11 AM

Hallelujah! Boston needed this so badly!

Had a great dinner there last night. Ambiance is beautiful with lovely muted gray-blue tones, oysters were fantastic, lobster roll was generous and tasty with great coleslaw and homemade chips, mussels in almond cream was subtle and delicate with plump, fresh Snug Harbor mussels, lovely fried halibut cheeks were the mini fish and chips I desired that left room for the lobster roe pasta with short ribs--a rich and delicious finish to a great meal. Service was friendly, informed and on-point.

Garret and crew have really hit the nail on the head here, ICOB is approachable enough to send any tourist visiting Boston to while satisfying to the palate of the most discerning foodie. It is great value in comparison to other seafood restaurants, not cheap by any means, but you get what you pay for. Finally, I can recommend a seafood restaurant in Boston, go figure.

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

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  1. b
    Blumie RE: suzysue2 Oct 25, 2010 10:18 AM

    Such a glowing review -- "ICOB is approachable enough to send any tourist visiting Boston to while satisfying to the palate of the most discerning foodie .... Finally, I can recommend a seafood restaurant in Boston, go figure" -- makes me nervous! I mean, it's not like we didn't already have Neptune and B&G!

    Here's the menu: http://boston.menupages.com/restauran...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Blumie
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      suzysue2 RE: Blumie Oct 25, 2010 10:24 AM

      Those are both great places, but Neptune doesn't take reservations and both are small. ICOB is what Legal's should be, but isn't.

      1. re: suzysue2
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        Blumie RE: suzysue2 Oct 25, 2010 10:26 AM

        I so hope you're right; that is a niche we badly need filled in this city!

        1. re: suzysue2
          barleywino RE: suzysue2 Oct 25, 2010 10:46 AM

          Both ICOB and Legals overcook their fish, in my experience... but i guess neither claims to be fine dining...or do they?

      2. Prav RE: suzysue2 Oct 25, 2010 11:28 AM

        Is their lobster roll the cold/lobster-salad type, or the warm buttered stuff like at Neptune?

        3 Replies
        1. re: Prav
          typhoonfish RE: Prav Oct 25, 2010 11:36 AM

          Skip could have opened a dry cleaners and the South Shore groupies would say it was the best dry cleaning service on the planet.

          1. re: typhoonfish
            t
            T.Clark RE: typhoonfish Oct 25, 2010 07:16 PM

            South Shore Groupies? Where does that come from?

          2. re: Prav
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            suzysue2 RE: Prav Oct 25, 2010 08:24 PM

            Cold lobster-salad type, with minimal celery and mayo, lots of lobster.

          3. hiddenboston RE: suzysue2 Oct 25, 2010 11:43 AM

            So what you're saying is you liked it. :-b

            1. rlove RE: suzysue2 Oct 25, 2010 01:01 PM

              Really enjoyed my visit and looking forward to trying more of the menu.

              I particularly enjoyed the grilled razor clams and fried halibut cheeks. Oyster selection very good, including a delicious wild oyster. Cape Cod scallop ceviche just okay.

              Cocktails were great. Ambiance, service, and space are all very good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rlove
                b
                bostonhound RE: rlove Oct 25, 2010 02:31 PM

                I am wondering if they have any $1 specials as several restaurants in the area seem to offer Island Creek Oysters for us bargain hunters. Their website has no info yet...

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                Island Creek Oysters
                296 Parks St, Duxbury, MA 02332

              2. w
                Wannabechef21 RE: suzysue2 Oct 27, 2010 09:51 AM

                Though I loved my experience at ICOB, the drinks left something to be desired. I ordered the Snug Harbor Smash, and for $11 it was basically a rum snow cone. Ice should not exceed the rim of the glass. I then ordered what I though to be a glass of wine, and it was a syrupy wine cocktail that I had to send back. Drinks were my only issue with ICOB, otherwise I found the service, food, and atmosphere outstanding.

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                  alberta RE: suzysue2 Oct 27, 2010 10:03 AM

                  I also have to chime in and say that I had a great experience here last weekend as well. A really great spot for late night oysters and cocktails. The oyster selection was great, local and west coast. Had some great Olympias and a Belon oyster from Maine.

                  Had a Wildwood and another cocktail whose name I cannot remember...it was very fall oriented and brown liquor based. They both were up to par to anything I would get at Eastern Standard, Deep Ellum or Green Street.

                  The staff was really friendly and informal (in a good way) and really seemed to be interested in talking about the cocktails and oysters themselves. I just really echo the great feeling that there is a great oyster place with either reservations or easy late night walk-in availability. I love Neptune but it's not always the best choice for situations where waiting for a long time isn't an option.

                  I haven't eaten anything prepared here yet but as for a late night oyster bar, it's great.

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                  Eastern Standard
                  528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                  Deep Ellum Bar
                  477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: alberta
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                    alberta RE: alberta Oct 27, 2010 10:11 AM

                    Looked at Menupages, Spanish Caravan, that was the drink, preferred the Wildwood but sazerac-type drinks are my weakness.

                    1. re: alberta
                      Mike5966 RE: alberta Oct 27, 2010 10:25 AM

                      How were the Maine Belons and how much were they? Have you had Belons from France before, and if so, were they comparable? A quick search reveals that even in Maine, these guys are pretty rare as only 5000 of them are harvested per year.

                    2. r
                      Ruprecht RE: suzysue2 Oct 27, 2010 01:29 PM

                      Anyone know if this place has any non-seafood options? I would love to go, but my dc does not like fish.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Ruprecht
                        b
                        Blumie RE: Ruprecht Oct 27, 2010 02:09 PM

                        Yep.

                        http://boston.menupages.com/restauran...

                        1. re: Ruprecht
                          BostonZest RE: Ruprecht Oct 27, 2010 06:54 PM

                          Yes, I raved about the braised Pork shank over here.
                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/699688

                          In fact I just suggest meeting friends at ICOB so he could have seafood and she could avoid it.

                          Penny
                          http://www.bostonzest.com/

                        2. s
                          sallyt RE: suzysue2 Oct 28, 2010 10:20 AM

                          Thanks for the rave review - for those who've been there, it is super loud, or good atmosphere for a birthday dinner? Thanks -

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: sallyt
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                            peelmeagrape RE: sallyt Oct 28, 2010 10:50 AM

                            Definitely not super loud. Just right, I think, for a birthday meal as it isn't so quiet as to be somewhere where you would feel like your entire conversation would be overheard, nor so noisy that you would have to shout across (or down) the table. If you've been to ES, picture something significantly quieter but by no means stiff.

                            1. re: sallyt
                              yarm RE: sallyt Nov 16, 2010 12:17 PM

                              They did really good things with the acoustics in there. It's not a loud echo chamber. One hypothesis is that the wall of oyster shells acts like acoustic (dampening) tile.

                            2. c
                              cookg RE: suzysue2 Nov 4, 2010 07:35 AM

                              I have some customers coming here from Japan in two weeks. Is the atmosphere suitable for a business dinner? They LOVE seafood and I'd like to take them if it is appropriate enough.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: cookg
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                                suzysue2 RE: cookg Nov 4, 2010 07:44 AM

                                I would say yes, maybe not on the night that you are having your most important meeting of the two week period, they will love it because they can sample a lot of different items. You won't look out of place if you arrive in suits and ties, but you could also dress a bit more casually if you like.

                                1. re: cookg
                                  barleywino RE: cookg Nov 5, 2010 06:22 AM

                                  tell them to try the Totten Virginicas, if the restaurant still has them by then

                                2. aadesmd RE: suzysue2 Nov 4, 2010 10:34 PM

                                  Boy, what a great place! My DC and I put away three dozen oysters, including the Belons, that were delicious but rather tame. Magnificent fried clams, and the service was truly wonderful. Zac knew every part of the menu, and spot on with his advice. Bravo!

                                  1. Chris VR RE: suzysue2 Nov 5, 2010 06:37 AM

                                    I'll pile on with the raves. We really enjoyed a meal here recently. Both servers we interacted with were extremely personable. The first one, a woman, seemed really well informed on the sparkling wines, and described notes in the wines that she thought paired well with oysters (one was a touch salty, the other had some strawberry).

                                    The oysters themselves were outstanding. I lost my slip which described what we had, but we tried 6 kinds. Our favorite were the locals- I *think* it was an East Beach Blond? and of course the Island Creeks and Moon Shoals (a bit too briny for me but he liked them). We were intrigued by the Misty Points from Virginia, thought the west coast oysters (can't remember what kind, but similar to kumamotos) were just too metallic for us. There was a PEI oyster as well, too briny for us. The broad selection really is outstanding and they do a very good job of describing them in advance and also being sure you know what you're eating at the table. You're encouraged to take the slip home as well, to remember what you liked.

                                    The fries were good and the housemade malt vinegar was even better.

                                    We'd filled up pretty well on steak tartare and bacon cashews at Drink beforehand, so I lost steam when it came to our mains, but the scallops were perfectly done and my husband's fish (can't remember which kind, but it was pan seared and served over cranberry beans) was good. I loved the beans, he loved the crust (which was a bit too crusty for me).

                                    I was pleased to see an interesting array of non-alcoholic mixed drinks. It drove me nuts when I was pregnant to see how few places offered anything interesting for non-drinkers.

                                    We glanced at the dessert menu but we were really to full to do more than window shop. I saw some nice aperitifs there but don't recall any of the desserts particularly.

                                    This does feel like the place we've needed in Boston, which we can enjoy on its own merits and also recommend to out-of-towners for that much-sought-after Boston seafood meal.

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

                                    1. ScubaSteve RE: suzysue2 Nov 14, 2010 10:40 AM

                                      stopped in at the open yesterday and had two of every oyster they were offering, 11 types iirc. all were excellent, well cared for and opened expertly. i was happy to see Bob from ESK behind the bar and really enjoyed his Snug Harbor cocktail.

                                      will be back soon to check out the rest of the menu very soon.

                                       
                                      1. s
                                        sallyt RE: suzysue2 Nov 16, 2010 10:28 AM

                                        Going here tonight to celebrate my birthday - any recs for what to order? Don't shoot me, but I'm not a big raw oyster fan... What else would you recommend?

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: sallyt
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                                          sallyt RE: sallyt Nov 17, 2010 06:33 AM

                                          A RAVE review for ICOB - when I booked on OpenTable, I indicated that it was a birthday celebration - our menus said "Happy Birthday" with my name, and they gave me a free glass of wine and an extra dessert as part of the celebration... In addition, the food was outstanding - I shared a small plate of fried clams with my DCs for an appetizer, and had the lobster roll for dinner (outstanding). My DCs had the clam chowder (only complaint was too many clams), and the burger. We shared the chocolate pudding, pumpkin cheesecake, and received the apple cider donuts gratis. All of the desserts were fantastic, esp. the pudding. The service was outstanding as well. An excellent meal - thanks CHers for recommending it!

                                          1. re: sallyt
                                            BostonZest RE: sallyt Nov 17, 2010 07:05 AM

                                            Now you have me craving those fried clams. I hope they open for lunch at some point. I would walk over for the fried clams right now.

                                            Penny
                                            http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                            1. re: BostonZest
                                              barleywino RE: BostonZest Nov 17, 2010 07:19 AM

                                              i found their fried clams to be pretty chewy, some of them i could not eat.

                                        2. c
                                          cornFusion RE: suzysue2 Nov 19, 2010 07:54 AM

                                          Going there for my birthday meal tonight! After reading all these posts, my expectations are pretty high and I am so looking forward to it. Thanks very much to all.

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: cornFusion
                                            s
                                            sallyt RE: cornFusion Nov 22, 2010 07:47 AM

                                            Make sure that they know that it's your birthday - they really made a big deal out of mine, which was fun...

                                            1. re: sallyt
                                              c
                                              cornFusion RE: sallyt Nov 24, 2010 10:48 AM

                                              Well, I am not into fanfare so i didn't. We had 42 oysters and 2 bottles of wine and fish and chips and Oysters Gregory and Oyster sliders and after 3 hours of gourmandistic bliss almost missed the bus home! I am not easy in my critique of restaurants (as some of you may already know) - but I put this place up there with the top 3 places I have ever eaten at. As far as Oyster shucking goes - I had one tiny (imagined?) shard. Compared with Summer Shack (which seems to add shards to it's oysters) or with Neptune (which I used to love also but almost always encountered shell bits in each platter) - ICOB rocks! Our waiter was totally awesome. Can't say enough about the place except I hope they keep it up (or if it is possible - get better with time). Boston now has something to brag about!

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                                              Summer Shack
                                              310 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

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

                                              1. re: cornFusion
                                                Nab RE: cornFusion Nov 24, 2010 11:02 AM

                                                glad you mention the shuck-job -- even at Neptune they can be careless -- it doesn't matter what quality of oyster you're procuring but if they're dry as the gobi desert, the whole point is lost.

                                                1. re: Nab
                                                  h
                                                  hydraaa RE: Nab Nov 26, 2010 07:59 AM

                                                  Going this weekend...what are the "must get" dishes...wife doesn't like oysters...but she likes other seafood...

                                                  1. re: hydraaa
                                                    c
                                                    cornFusion RE: hydraaa Nov 29, 2010 05:47 AM

                                                    The oysters gregory were excellent. She may become a convert with those. Stay away from the fish-n-chips (that was not so good). If you see the pork hocks, you should try them and report - I wanted to (after reading all those rave reviews), but they didn't have any that evening.

                                                  2. re: Nab
                                                    c
                                                    cornFusion RE: Nab Nov 29, 2010 05:50 AM

                                                    I have returned dry oysters at Neptune (and encountered pushback) - that was one more fault (which I am glad you mentioned) I forgot to mention earlier.

                                                    1. re: Nab
                                                      Mike5966 RE: Nab Nov 29, 2010 05:56 AM

                                                      Had a dozen Moon Shoals and six Maine Belons this weekend and they were really good. I agree about the quality of the shucking. I still can't get over their weird cocktail sauce, however. More like a salsa than a cocktail sauce. I wish they would change this because although I prefer mignonnette in general, sometimes a little bit of ketchup and fresh horseradish really hits the spot.

                                                      Also had the BBQ shrimp appetizer... Wasn't so great, and mainly tasted like grilled shrimp slathered in ketchup. Polenta was nice and creamy, but this dish would have been so much better without the red, ketchup-y sauce. Meanwhile, the squash soup with balsamic drizzle and steamed lobster claw was pretty good, as were the fries. I still haven't tried their main dishes yet, but so far, I like getting oysters and drinks here and then walking down the street to Eastern Standard for more drinks and more food.

                                                      1. re: Mike5966
                                                        c
                                                        cornFusion RE: Mike5966 Nov 29, 2010 06:01 AM

                                                        I agree with the wild belons - had a few myself - they were incredible. I normally have wasabi with my oysters and they didn't have any on hand. I chalk that up to opening days and hope they will have wasabi next time I go there. As for the unevenness coming from the kitchen - I hear there is someone who went over to ICOB from Eastern Standard - perhaps to lure customers back... hahaha

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                                                        Eastern Standard
                                                        528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                                              2. gini RE: suzysue2 Dec 16, 2010 06:14 AM

                                                Finally got to ICOB last night. I love what they did with the Great Bay space! It finally doesn't feel like a giant cave.

                                                The makeral tartare was definitely the highlight for me, with oyster sliders coming in a close second. Lobster roe pasta lived up the hype and the cod cheeks were perfectly fried. We finished with a savory bread pudding with fig ice cream - definitely delicious.

                                                Thanks for all of the recommendations on this thread!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: gini
                                                  c
                                                  cornFusion RE: gini Dec 17, 2010 07:24 AM

                                                  It is always easy to recommend a great resto - not so easy to find them.... glad you had as good a time as the rest of us had!

                                                2. restaurantbrat RE: suzysue2 Feb 21, 2011 01:07 PM

                                                  Don't know about THE WHOLE WORLD, but I do love ICOB. Boston does have it's fair share of amazing seafood restaurants (B&G and Neptune spring to mind), ICOB fills a bit of a different niche, and with its emphasis on sustainable aquaculture, it is definitely one to check out (and savor). I love that it is such a learning experience - the different varieties, tastes, textures, merroirs.. Amazing. Here is an excerpt from a recent review at http://restaurantbrat.com (as you can tell, I was impressed).

                                                  If the sea were a vineyard, oysters would be the wine. A rainbow spectrum of varietals, from the European to the New World, the East Coast to the West; from the small to the large, the mild to the briny – each little oceanic gem a study in taste and context. Good oysters are unparalleled electricity: clean-tasting, with a strong approach and various understated shades of pure and pristine to finish. The sheer diversity of flavors carried by this one mere type of mollusk in its gamut of species is astonishing. I have had in the past oysters that tasted of tropical fruit, and some that have instead evoked floral bouquets. Yet others have tasted like butter, earth and strange concoctions of mineral and metal – unintuitive at first, yet pleasant in moderation. Island Creek Oyster Bar, opened in Fall 2010, is a relatively new entrant to the Boston seafood scene – the upstart in what must be the most saturated section of the restaurant market in a city that cannot seem to get enough. An offshoot of Island Creek Oyster Farm in nearby Duxbury, MA, this restaurant is simultaneously a shrine to seafood and shellfish, and (perhaps more significantly) a guiding light in the movement towards local and sustainable aquaculture.

                                                  First impressions are deceptive. I had perhaps expected more of an shabby chic place – a function of my characteristic Manhattan sensibility that immediately assumed anything tagged with “organic” or “locavore” necessarily meant bearded men in skinny jeans and chicks with nose rings kitted out in Anthropologie. Hippie hideout this was not. Instead, the crowd comprised mostly the blazer and designer jeans set, more Nantucket than Nolita. Ladies in cocktail dresses, men with slicked back salt and pepper, mingling with little breathing room at what seemed an absolute sardine tin of a bar. Luckily, the dining room was a bit more spacious, a bit more civilized. Soaring loft ceilings, walls decorated in abstract oystershell craftwork, banquettes filled with pre-nightclub patrons, downing cocktails and shooting bivalves – it struck me that Island Creek Oyster Bar would not have been out of place in Manhattan’s meatpacking District. I (genuinely) am not sure if I mean that as a compliment or not.

                                                  The menus at Island Creek are extensive, and complicated to read. Printed on a large sheet of paper and folded into quarters, with print on every alternating surface, it takes a little getting used to. To start, an exploration of the Raw Bar menu. This is compulsory. Going to Island Creek without sampling the oysters would be akin to going to New York Fashion Week and missing the Marc Jacobs show. Make no mistake: they may be petite in size, they may be the first to arrive at the table, and they probably won’t fill you up, but the oysters here are the main event. Island Creek Oyster Bar features an extensive assortment of oysters, including East Coast favorites and their West Coast cousins. Each type of oyster is listed alongside the name of its farmer, a fitting tribute in an establishment where knowing where your food comes from is paramount. Indeed, every single one of Island Creek Oyster Bar’s employees must spend a day at the Duxbury oyster farm, learning about the ins and outs of modern aquaculture. As a result, the serving staff will speak knowledgeably on the subject, and are expertly trained in describing the differences between geographical and genetic varieties. For advanced oyster connoisseurs, they will suggest specific kinds to pair, so as to better highlight contrasting or complementary traits.

                                                  On a recent visit, a dozen freshly shucked oysters (six types, in twos) arrived at the table to start. Massive Moonstone Oysters from Point Judith Pond, RI, paired exquisitely with slightly smaller Misty Point Oysters from Pope’s Bay, VA – the former plump and juicy, the latter a paper-thin sliver. Both displayed an intense brininess (but not overpoweringly so), that gave way to a clean, light salt on the aftertaste. Brilliant Kumamoto Oysters from Puget Sound, WA, fat and buttery, were paired with larger Hama Hama Oysters from Lillywaup, WA. Kumamoto Oysters are some of my favorite of all, and these did not disappoint. They were simply extraordinary, tasting of melons with a faint metallic undertone. Each tiny shotgun shell of love lay seductively in its iridescent shell, just begging to slide down my throat. I complied willingly. Blue Pool Oysters, also of Lillywaup, were creamy and complex, as were the absolutely outstanding Shigoku Oysters of Bay Center, WA. As is typical of West Coast oysters, these last two selections were delightfully multifaceted. I tasted cucumber, citrus, a hint of copper and a distinctly algal smoke. Merroir, a term used by oyster aficionados in the manner an oenophile uses terroir (but with “mer”: French for “sea”), has never been more apparent to me. It underlines the importance of the water profile in which an oyster was cultivated; the salinity, the mineral composition, the current, the temperature – it is this which defines the oyster’s taste. Though vastly different in texture and flavor, all of them boasted fantastic finishes, and a lovely, crisp bite. Spoonfuls of mignonette used? Zero. The taste of an oyster is something so subtle, so sensual, so absolutely primal, that I did not—I could not—want to alter the experience. None of them tasted of sand or silt, a problem I have had in the past when ordering at lesser restaurants. I sipped on a flute of champagne in between shots of mollusk, bubbly offsetting the briny. My eyes were closed, my mind drifting away into a sensory overload of the dreamiest kind.

                                                  After a round of such spectacular bivalve heaven, it is easy to forget that Island Creek Oyster Bar is more than just that. Get a starter plate of Smoked Trout – orangey-pink and flakey, on a bed of superb walnut pesto. Pile the fish and the decadent, gravelly pesto on a slice of toasted rye; the combination of flavors is at once stunning. Sour and herbaceous notes from the bread, a monster truck of nutty oiliness from the pesto, and a marvelous smokiness from the fish. It is a hodgepodge of strange contrasts that somehow fits together beautifully. A bowl of Local Clam Chowder is less impressive. Watery and bland, I’ve had better in a neighborhood deli. Even buttermilk biscuit chunks aren’t enough to save the sad, rubbery clams and the inordinately tough bacon bits from drowning in the thin broth. A rare misstep in an environment of overall excellence.

                                                  Your server will recommend the Seared New Bedford Scallops as an entrée. Take his/her word for it. They are enormous, plump, tender and juicy. Seared to a brown crisp on the outside, snowy white and pure as a virgin on the inside. Sweet potato puree lends a sugary kick to each forkful, and (in keeping with the bivalve theme), crunchy oyster mushrooms provide textural interplay. A fantastic dish. A mere four scallops may seem insignificant, but fear not, these beasts are massive – little brown-and-white rock sculptures on the plate, rivers of puree settling in the canyons between. For fans of more traditional New England style seafood, Island Creek devotes a section of their menu to the breaded and fried. Try a Fried Fish Sandwich – Island Creek’s version is very good. The meat is exceptionally sweet and flaky, the batter is ethereal and light, and the slaw is fresh, cool and crunchy. Old Bay French Fries take the experience up a notch. Tangy and crispy, and served in a tin can lined with discarded print. Like the majority of the preppy crowd, this rendition would not have been out of place in an All-American clam shack in Cape Cod. It tastes of a sunny day at the seaside. A happy-go-lucky slice of summer.

                                                  Island Creek Oyster Farm’s commitment to sustainable aquaculture is admirable, and founder Skip Bennett (also co-owner of Island Creek Oyster Bar) has imbued his passion and love for the bounty of the sea in every aspect of the restaurant. It shows in the quality of the food, and is evident in everything else ranging from the expertise of his waitstaff to the creativity of his kitchen. A special mention must go the people behind Island Creek’s stellar drinks list: Co-owner Garrett Harker has vast experience with cocktails (as owner of the neighboring Eastern Standard) and General Manager Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli is one of Boston’s star mixologists, as former bartender at Cragie on Main and also the aforementioned Eastern Standard. Bar Director Jackson Cannon has put together a wonderful selection of artfully crafted cocktails that should keep even the most discerning bar crowd happy. His mastery of classic drinks is apparent – try the Wildwood, a potent tribute to the Sazerac that uses bonded rye, sweet cinnamon and blended bitters with a dash of absinthe. A spectacular drink; I had three. I will certainly be back to Island Creek Oyster Bar to further my crash-course in bivalve appreciation – until such a day when my sleep is no longer haunted by dreams of transcendent Kumamoto beauties, glistening in their pearly half-shells and seducing me with their lustful charms.

                                                  http://restaurantbrat.com

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: restaurantbrat
                                                    b
                                                    Bighead RE: restaurantbrat Feb 23, 2011 09:22 AM

                                                    good read, love the first line! so true. it's astounding the difference in taste of oysters based on where they grew up, even those in close proximity like down on cape cod.

                                                    "If the sea were a vineyard, oysters would be the wine"

                                                  2. C. Hamster RE: suzysue2 Feb 28, 2011 05:47 AM

                                                    How slammed will the bar be at 5:30 on a Thursday nite (like this Thurs?)???

                                                    And do they have any weeknight bar specials??

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: C. Hamster
                                                      MC Slim JB RE: C. Hamster May 16, 2011 11:41 AM

                                                      You'll have to start watching the Sox schedule.

                                                      Judging from my experiences of the past few weeks, the pre-Sox crowd hasn't fully discovered ICOB yet, but they will. I've gotten there around 5:30pm a couple of times and gotten seating at the bar or at the counter seats lining the front windows, both very comfortable perches. I imagine it won't take more than another home stand or two for this place to be just as jammed with baseball fans as Eastern Standard, and every other decent place within a stone's throw of Fenway.

                                                      No bar specials that I'm aware of, though there are daily-varying seafood specials without promotional pricing.

                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                      -----
                                                      Eastern Standard
                                                      528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                                                    2. t
                                                      T.Clark RE: suzysue2 Feb 28, 2011 05:53 AM

                                                      Get your fill of Island Creeks soon folks. You may not see them for a few months.

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: T.Clark
                                                        q
                                                        qianning RE: T.Clark Feb 28, 2011 06:04 AM

                                                        OK, I'll bite, why not?

                                                        1. re: qianning
                                                          t
                                                          T.Clark RE: qianning Feb 28, 2011 07:25 AM

                                                          I shouldn't have been so brief, makes it sound a bit ominous. From what I've heard there has been a bit of kill-off in some of the beds recently. Apparently there was seed stock that hasn't fared too well. Farmers using different seed haven't had the problem. Harvesting won't completely stop but current supply will dip in the next few months. Some restaurants may not see a change in supply, but I'm told there will be a shortage. I'm sure ICOB will, if push comes to shove, get their supply. But other fringe spots may get cut out. It is only a temporary situation and it's nobodys "fault", just a natural phenomenon that will right itself. I wish the farmers a speedy recovery.

                                                          1. re: T.Clark
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                                                            qianning RE: T.Clark Feb 28, 2011 08:46 AM

                                                            interesting. do you know if island creek and rocky nook were effected?

                                                            1. re: qianning
                                                              t
                                                              T.Clark RE: qianning Feb 28, 2011 08:58 AM

                                                              I don't. It sounds like it was specific grants using specific seed, but there are more grants affected than were not. Hopefully someone else can shed some light, or I'll have to grab a Guinness at the Winsor House to see if I can gather specifics :)

                                                              Some farms in Maine were mentioned as maybe having some kill-off too.

                                                        2. re: T.Clark
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                                                          T.Clark RE: T.Clark May 4, 2011 12:52 PM

                                                          According to their facebook page the rumors are true. Major ICO shortage coming soon. Bummer.

                                                          1. re: T.Clark
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                                                            Gabatta RE: T.Clark May 4, 2011 03:39 PM

                                                            Bummer for sure, however something tells me that ICOB will still get their allotment.

                                                            1. re: Gabatta
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                                                              T.Clark RE: Gabatta May 4, 2011 07:02 PM

                                                              yes the last mohegan standing will be ICOB

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                                                          LAC06488 RE: suzysue2 May 8, 2011 04:53 PM

                                                          I would not agree with the best in the world as the noise level is distracting. The food, I agree, is superb..spread the bread with creamy butter and then dip in the salt bowl on the table..then move on to raw oysters or clams...the fried clams are plump and crisp served over a bed of crspy homemade fries ...no traces of grease...try the modern version of surf and turf...roe noodles with lobster and braised shortribs....it is hard to decide as everything looked enticing

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                                                            Ricardo Malocchio RE: suzysue2 May 16, 2011 09:13 AM

                                                            Dined at ICOB last Friday, May 13 - still the best place in the whole world!

                                                            Again, GREAT service. Zach, you are amazing. Wine service woman - I wish I knew your name, as you too are amazing. I cannot possibly sing your praises highly enough.

                                                            Once again, I found myself in that most unusual situation for a Boston restaurance - a relatively small wine list, yet one filled with bottles that I love or am dying to try! This time, it was the 2009 Chidaine Vouvray "Les Argyles". Wow. I've long been a fan of Chidaine's Montlouis, but I'll be stocking up on this year's Vouvray as well.

                                                            Love the bread. A bit of rye in the dough (not overwhelming, butter with honey and spice (cayenne?). Only downside - so good, that I didn't feel the need to order a side of biscuit!

                                                            Oysters. Still serving the Island Creeks, and the Kumamotos are always a fave. Really enjoyed the domestic Belons. Wine was a featured Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine (forget the producer), and it was lovely. A bit fleshier and fruiter than most muscadets I've had, but still plenty perfect for the oysters. I think it's "Muscadet month" or something at ICOB. Thank god for the Loire.

                                                            Softshell crab. Served simply, perfectly. My first of the season. May well be the best.

                                                            Gravlox (a freebie!). Wow. I'm not usually a fan of the more intensely flavored versions. This was light, mild, almost like sashimi. Loved it.

                                                            Striped bass with fiddleheads and ramps. Bar none, the most perfectly cooked piece of striped bass I've ever had. Ramps were deep-fried. Fiddleheads delicioso. My wife had the seafood casserole - quite good with a wonderfully savory lobster sauce flavor, but likely the weakest dish of the night (but up against some true powerhouses).

                                                            Doughnuts and Tokaji. Yum. Another freebie of cookies and milk. This was a favorite of my wife's already, and what a wonderful end to a meal that approached the Platonic perfection of meals.

                                                            Yeah. Wow. When can I go back?

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Ricardo Malocchio
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                                                              robwat36 RE: Ricardo Malocchio May 16, 2011 09:28 AM

                                                              Was there Saturday and have to concur on the crab and the bass. Loved the tempura ramp. DCs got the lobster roe pasta, which killed as usual.

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                                                                Ricardo Malocchio RE: robwat36 May 16, 2011 11:25 AM

                                                                The lobster roe pasta has to be my next order! I had every intention of getting that last Friday, but the striped bass special was just too good to pass up.

                                                              2. re: Ricardo Malocchio
                                                                BostonZest RE: Ricardo Malocchio May 16, 2011 11:21 AM

                                                                I had that soft shell last week and it was fabulous! And i'm still thinking about the strawberry rhubarb donuts. I may have to walk down there tonight for dessert.

                                                                Penny
                                                                http://www.bostonzest.com/

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