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Apr 1, 2011 01:01 AM

Neptune Oyster This Sunday; Recs Please?

Looks like this sunday will finally see our baptism there.I've read the threads from end of last yr. Anyone gone recently and have recs? I've spent alot of time comparing seafood menus but this one really grabbed me - with so many unusual and appealling things.

Lobster roll sounds great but we'd likely get more unusual dishes. Love sturgeon and never see it on menus, so am tempted by that. Their fish tacos are beloved by some CHs though cornmeal crust and flour tortillas deter me. Vitello tonnato sandwich? Johnnycakes w/ smoked trout? Yellowtail?

Also, I can't remember- are PNW oysters generally better later in the year?

Do you think 2-4PM a better chance of quick seating? Thanks much for your help. We're psyched!

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

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  1. I've only had the basics, so can't comment on your specific requests, but looking at the menu, the vitello tonnato is 'cooked to order' which I believe, is not a good sign (no expert here), since I believe the authentic recipe requires an intensive braising of the beef, usually a day in advance.


    1. The Fried Clams.
      The Neptune Burger.

      9 Replies
      1. re: marcusnaz14

        I believe the * on the vitello tonnato refers to the fact that the tuna is raw (tartare), not that the veal wasn't braised. It's the health warning required by the state.

        I've only had the lobster roll and the pork/fried oyster dish, both of which were outstanding, My DC's have had the clam chowder, the burger, yellow fin, and the raw bar, all outstanding.

        I've been right when the open on weekend days for lunch and within an hour the place was mobbed.

        1. re: Madrid

          The Veal in the Vitello Tonnato is sliced very thin, almost like roast beef then topped with tuna tartare, spicy mustard, and cucumbers if I recall correctly.

          1. re: phatchris

            hmmm chris, thanks for the info. Sounds terrible :)

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              In Italy, it is a fantastic dish :) Thin veal strip with a tuna sauce, not tartare.

              1. re: Trumpetguy

                yahhhhh!! i had just re-watched tony in sardinia w/ this orgasmic spaghettini w/ bottarga shaved on top etc. Shaved as in long thin slices, not powdered :-)

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  That sounds amazing for sure, but I was referring to the Vitello Tonnato :)

                  1. re: Trumpetguy

                    ah yes, sorry. i love tuna tartare but i just feel that the NOyst sandwich in question would not be my idea of good.That robust cooked tuna/anchovy/mayo/lemon flavor
                    so necessary for a great vitello tonnato. But then i am not a surf and turf person much (w/ the exception of bacon of COURSE!)

              2. re: opinionatedchef

                One of my favorite sandwiches in Boston.

                1. re: ILoVermont

                  Vt, i was looking over this post today and am laughing major. I feel really silly reading my vitello tonnato skepticism(i have no memory of tghat post, truth be told) because this N.O. sandwich eventually became one of my 2011 food epiphanies, and my go-to dish there this last summer. So your enthusiasm, and other CHs'- lodged in my mind and got me to break through my close-mindedness- so Thank you so much!!

        2. Our favorites are:

          Fried Clams - homemade tartar sauce is amazing
          Lobster Roll with butter - french fries are incredible
          Scallop entree is always amazing no matter what the preparation is.
          Bellinis are great, flavors change depending on the day/season

          When you arrive they will take your name and phone number so you can go and sit and have a cocktail or a glass of wine down the street.

          Have a great time.

          1. Were were there last night. It was just OK. The oysters were great as usual, we stick with the east coast oysters (I'll eat the west coasters when I am out there). The lobster cocktail was great as well and a decent portion for the $$.

            We also ordered several crudos. The scallop crudo was excellent and I would highly recommend. The special crudo was black bass served over a puree which featured ramps. While the accompaniment was excellent, the black bass was fairly tough. I'm not sure if it was the fish or the way it was cut, but chewy fish isn't my thing.

            We also ordered the special of the day which was a sardine dish. I guess I have never been to Neptune on a Thu, but I did not did the way they did sardines. First of all, the sardines were huge. I always have the ideal of simple grilled sardines in my mind. These monsters were deep fried, however the dish was cold when it hit the table. Also, with the sardines so large, the bones were a bit much and were noticable on the way down. The waitress noticed it was left half eaten and pulled it off the bill, which was much appreciates. She offered to bring something else, but we opted for dessert at Modern. Service was much friendlier than past experiences, but we were at a table and not the bar. Still, order your drinks ahead as getting a 2nd beer was a challenge. Too bad it wasn't Monday as we love the spaghettini. Overall it was a disappointment that both specials were misses.

            On previous visits we thought the lobster rolls were good, but there are better and more generous versions around IMO. They do a great crab louis salad which is not on the menu unfortunately. The crudos are a favorite, and the mussels are always food. We generally don't order the entrees there, specials are usually reliable (just not last night). I would go heavy on the raw bar and maybe split at least one roll to see what it is like for yourself (hot buterred version).

            2-4 should be your best timeframe, but the sun is supposed to come out on Sunday so it might be somewhat busy. Remember, you can leave your name/cell# and walk around the NE. Go on the earlier side and the wait should be less than an hour at worst (hopefully).

            1. Fried clams, for sure. Lobster roll, I prefer the butter version but both are good. The johnnycake dish is outstanding. Fish tacos are pretty darn great as well.