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Aug 14, 2011 08:40 AM

Island Creek Oyster Bar - What did I miss ???

Went to ICOB with a small group of friends. Waitstaff was great, drink pour was good, space was modern, cool and comfortable. On the whole, the various items ordered were good ... I can't say outstanding. Of course, the raw oysters were sublime, but the clam chowder, although not bad, had its own "style and addition of herbs" that I just felt took away from the chowder. I did like the biscuits floating atop. I felt the menu was a bit underwhelming. Mussels were good. But the burger with oysters..... I think Neptune has them beat by a mile. There was way too much going on with the burger.....cheese, bacon (that was rubbery), tons of sauce, pickled onions and then the fried oyster. But this is where I am completely perplexed. The oyster was like it was pressed in a paninni press, with a very crispy outer crust and when biting into the oyster, there was no tender "belly or meat" It was Petrified ! I thought it was just a faux pas , until we got the dozen of oyster sliders. Itty Bitty Brioch rolls with ONE OYSTER inside... and it was the same thing. A very hard-crisp exterior, flattened and almost a dry hollow belly when you bit into it.

It was bizarre. Maybe its their style...almost like a double fry... but I'lve never had a dry, petrified oyster before. It just freaked me out on the place. Anyone else had the oyster sliders ? We all were actually hoping to get a couple orders of fried oysters along with the raw, but they don't do fried oysters...but do fried clams (huh???) For a place with such pomp and circumstance on their oyster quality and recent great press, I was sadly underwhelmed. Don't press my fried oysters to a pulp..... I want 'em tender, juicy and a nice light exterior fry.

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

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  1. I love ICOB. Never had an underwhelming meal there. The oyster sliders are wonderful. I really think they deserve all of the praise they get. Not only is their food spectacular but the staff could not be nicer and more accommodating. Can't believe you did not enjoy the slider and it is a homemade bun too. I think it is such a special restaurant.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cherrytomato

      were your oysters in the slider flat, hard with no tender interior .... was there just something wrong with the one's my group had. The rolls were indeed loveley... it was the oyster that was extremely offputting.

    2. Haven't tried the burger, but like ICOB's food a lot in general. It's pricey, which I'd say is a combination of high quality, very fresh seafood (few ways to cheap out on that), the usual hotel-setting premium, and the opportunity to siphon money from the pockets of Sox fans.

      Very glad to have another Jackson Cannon led beverage program in town; it ranks among our very best places to get a serious cocktail.

      6 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Again, there was lots to like about ICOB ..... but can anyone comment on the fried oysters in the sliders ..... Flat, dried, petrified, .... just darn weird. Just looking for some confirmation if I had a bad, refried batch, or if this is how they are made. If so, I will stick withe the raw babies.

        1. re: Buddernut

          Agreed, that does not sound good! At best, it's ill-conceived; at worst, that's a bad or a repurposed oyster.

          1. re: MC Slim JB


            My new word of the week!

          2. re: Buddernut

            i had a similar experience with their oyster sliders...just not plump and juicy as a fried oyster can and should be

            1. re: barleywino

              I've loved everything at ICOB,...except the oyster sliders, as well.
              I guess I was hoping for more of a fried clam kind of fry. To each his/her own, I guess, but I too find them flat, hard, and not very oystery. The shuck on the raw oysters, however, has been fantastic, and I'm a fan of the Lobster pasta dish.

              1. re: justbeingpolite

                you can get island creek oysters for a buck at various places; I prefer Mondays at Rialto. hmm, i think that i will head there tonight.


        2. Buddernut -- I've never experienced a flat pressed oyster in the slider. That's just strange that it's happened to several people here. I love that dish and especially like that you can order them individually so you can just keep eating until you get enough.

          A picture of the slider: (is this what yours looked like?)

          (Edited to add: it's a little flattened, but it has always offered a juicy gush when I've had it.)

          1. The place imho is over rated. There are a dozen places where I would first for oysters. Where I am not always a fan of legals, they do a great job on the raw bar.

            2 Replies
              1. re: will007

                What dishes do you not like at Island Creek?