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Oyster Bar

katbri Jan 7, 2013 01:11 PM

Island Creek Oyster Bar is booked and Neptune doesn't take reservations. What's the next best thing?

  1. m
    mkfisher Jan 7, 2013 01:25 PM

    Did you try Mare?

    3 Replies
    1. re: mkfisher
      katbri Jan 7, 2013 01:33 PM

      Only opening at 10:00 pm which is too late. What do you think of Oceanaire? I want a fun atmosphere, nothing too sterile or fine dining.

      1. re: katbri
        hotoynoodle Jan 7, 2013 01:56 PM

        for oysters oceanaire is perfectly fine and the room is gorgeous -- a former bank.

        1. re: katbri
          azra Jan 7, 2013 02:19 PM

          Oceanaire is fine, but I find it a bit on the sterile side. There is only so much you can do with a former bank!

          Legal harborside is okay for oysters too. Only the second floor has that fine dining feel.

          How many in your party? There are quite a few places where you can have good oysters at the bar. I have also enjoyed the oysters at Lineage, Gaslight, Marliave, Citizen Pub, Summer Shack, Central Kitchen, Rendezvous, Russell House, Dante, and Summer Shack. Some of these place only had island creek, but others have at least 3 or 4 varieties of east coast oysters.

      2. b
        Blumie Jan 7, 2013 01:44 PM

        I'm a fan of B&G, which accepts reservations for a portion of their tables.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Blumie
          katbri Jan 7, 2013 01:49 PM

          no availability

        2. c
          cherrytomato Jan 7, 2013 02:01 PM

          Just show up. Be a walk-in. Tell them that you tried to book but could not get in. I am sure they will accommodate you. Island Creek not only have great food but their service is amazing too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cherrytomato
            Beachowolfe Jan 7, 2013 07:37 PM

            This... they almost always have some seats open if you hang around the bar long enough.

          2. q
            QCumber Jan 7, 2013 02:52 PM

            Did you call? Places often hold back a few seats from Open table listings, and you can get these if you call. Otherwise, I agree, just show up at Island Creek and see if they will seat you. if not, walk down a few doors to Eastern Standard which has good oysters as well. They are run by the same people as island creek, but the focus is broader than IC - i.e, not as many oyster varieties and more non-fish dishes.

            There is also the oyster bar at the much smaller Cognac Bistro on Harvard Street in Brookline - it usually has at least 4 kinds of oysters.


            1. c
              cambridgedoctpr Jan 7, 2013 03:46 PM

              there are a bunch of a 1.00 per oyster places around including Rialto on Monday nights.

              6 Replies
              1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                katbri Jan 7, 2013 04:17 PM

                There are 5 of us and its for Saturday night. Thinking of Gaslight, what do you guys think?

                1. re: katbri
                  chrisdapos Jan 8, 2013 08:12 AM

                  If you get to ICOB ~6 or before on a Saturday, they should be able to sit you at one of the high tops with no or minimal wait. To my knowledge the high tops cannot be reserved and are for walk ins only, but you could call and check?

                  1. re: katbri
                    Berheenia Jan 8, 2013 10:09 AM

                    Gaslight is just okay. Have you tried Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar? Loved the oysters and presentation there. Haven't been since last year.

                    1. re: Berheenia
                      kimfair1 Jan 8, 2013 10:40 AM

                      I've given up ordering oysters at Citizens Public House after 2 times getting chipped shells and oysters with shell fragments in them. The last time I went, the guy next to me had an oyster that was missing a huge chunk of shell, enough to cut up your lip if you weren't careful.

                      1. re: kimfair1
                        Berheenia Jan 9, 2013 08:33 AM

                        I guess we haven't been for a while. The oyster shucker we had was an older guy with the skills of generations in his blade. We sat at the bar and it was a pleasure watching him open them and even more of a pleasure to eat a plate of them.

                        1. re: Berheenia
                          kimfair1 Jan 9, 2013 11:17 AM

                          Yeah, the shucker both times was a younger foreign guy, who was quite nice, but really didn't know what he was doing. Next time I'm in if there's an older guy shucking maybe I'll get some oysters.

                2. m
                  meeps2002 Jan 8, 2013 08:33 AM

                  related, but not as a recommendation...

                  www.bostonchefs.com had ArtBar on a bunch of times for $1 Oysters. I can say this was one of the worst experiences. They literally half shuck them, many we chipped or still attached. The presentation was awful, simply piling them up on a small tray.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: meeps2002
                    teezeetoo Jan 8, 2013 08:44 AM

                    I like Cognac Bistro if you want to come into Brookline, or Lineage (here as well). And though it isn't a board favorite, nothing wrong with the excellent and well-shucked oysters at Summer Shack.

                    1. re: teezeetoo
                      justbeingpolite Jan 9, 2013 09:47 AM

                      2nd to all of Teezeetoo's suggestions(does that add up to a 6th?).
                      And, for that matter, I've rarely had a bad oyster at Legal Seafood, and they usually have a nice variety

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