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May 1, 2013 05:28 AM

Oysters north of Boston?

Hi all,

Husband has an interest in oysters for our Friday night date. Any place you would recommend around Reading?

I do not have a hankering for oysters :-) so would enjoy recs that offer other good food, too.

TIA, Sara

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  1. The Beacon Grille, on 128 in Woburn is probably in your range, and has oysters. Haven't had them there, but I'd bet they're ok. Not the most datey place, but around Reading not a lot of options. If I were you I'd go into Cambridge or Kenmore Sq.

    Like your handle, just reading it for the first time. Big John Irving fan.

    4 Replies
    1. re: justbeingpolite

      :-) It's one of top five books. I'm currently listening to his latest one (In One Person) in the car - many JI themes already present just a few chapters in.

      Should have said in my initial post that we have a time crunch that prevents us from straying too far from home on this particular Friday night.

      Beacon Grille might be just right - close and they have a very good version of the Boulevardier cocktail and I understand they are closing soon (?).

      1. re: owen_meany

        Yes, on their website they say July 2013, being replaced by Strega Prime, and Italian Steakhouse run by Nick Verano of the NE Streaga (yay!- [weak, sarcastic, and unenthusiastic])

        1. re: owen_meany

          Shouldn't you be posting in all caps? I guess most people would just think you were being rude...

      2. I have had them at Oye (by Jordan's Furniture)

        1. Is Turner's Seafood in Melrose close enough? It's always been good to great for me - and has an honest to goodness oyster bar (open to 10p on Friday) - they don't take reservations but are really good at dealing with the large volume they attract.

          3 Replies
          1. re: rlh

            Good suggestion-Dont know why I didnt think of Turners, seeing as I live in Melrose! Bought some delicious scallops from their fish market last week- and if the good weather lasts til this weekend, I think swordfishh on the grill may just be in order.

            1. re: rlh

              Oh, very good suggestion! Thanks.

              1. re: rlh

                I second the Turner's recommendation. I frequently run in and pick up items in the market there. I love some of the pre-made items too. The stuffed shrimp is a great quick dinner, just toss in the oven for 10-12 minutes and it's done!

              2. Joe Fish in North Reading- they have oysters rockfeller, as well as on the half shell. If you like fish, they will surely have something for you, too- though their non fish menu is limited

                13 Replies
                1. re: macca

                  Yes, I forgot that this place is now open and very close!

                  1. re: owen_meany

                    We were there for a quick lunch today, and I took a look at the raw bar menu on the wall. Looked like 4 or 5 varieties of oysters today, along with cherrystone and littleneck clams.

                    1. re: maestrette

                      how was your meal? We almost went yesterday..

                      1. re: chompie

                        It was fine, but we just had sandwiches and fries. I think Joe Fish is rather hit and miss. We've been several times - nothing has been bad, but nothing had been fabulous either. I keep hoping to find something I love since it is so convenient for us. Now that I know they have a raw bar, I will definitely be going for drinks and oysters sometime soon.

                        1. re: maestrette

                          I have only been once- for lunch- but I did enjoy my haddock sandwich- and I liked that I could choose to have it grilled instead of fried.

                  2. re: macca

                    Has anyone tried Lauries 909 in wakefield. Its supposed to be steakhouse and raw bar. I went once a while ago and wasn't that into it, but don't know how the raw bar is. Lobster Claw has fried oysters, but prob not what ur looking for.. Does Sushi Island do oysters?

                    1. re: chompie

                      We've been to Laurie's 909 once and it was very good, but nothing that seems to call me back. They claim that their crab cake is a signature dish and the owner came over and spoke in GREAT detail about how it rivaled authentic Maryland Blue Crab cakes. After living in Maryland for 15 years, this was music to my ears as the New England version of a crab cake truly pales in comparison. We ordered it as an appetizer, and, frankly.... I wouldn't call it my signature dish.

                    2. re: macca

                      Have you tried the Maryland Style crab cakes here? I lived in Maryland for 15 years so I'm always suspicious. Would be great to find a place that has truly good crab cakes.

                      1. re: UnclePH

                        i had the greatest crab cakes one can imagine, growing up in Chicago at Les Nomades. The London Times agreed, annoying the owner, who promptly stopped making them.

                        They were then equaled by those i had at Jean-Georges in New York; sadly, I think that they are off the menu.

                        The secret is lots of crab and pastry dough.

                        1. re: UnclePH

                          My hubby is from Baltimore and loves Maryland crab cakes (lump crab meat with very little filler and Old Bay seasoning). The best one we have found here is at Atlantic Fish. Not exactly the same, but fairly close. I'd love to find some decent ones on the North side of Boston.

                          1. re: maestrette

                            Legal Seafood makes a really good one. The best I've had in Boston. I'll have to give Atlantic Fish a try.

                            1. re: maestrette

                              the best crab cakes i have tried were at les nomades in chicago and jean-georges in nyc. The secret was lots of freshly made crab and a small amount of pastry dough.

                              will we ever get that in Boston; I do not expect to live that long.

                            2. re: UnclePH

                              Never tried them there, have only bee once- but I am off to the Outer Banks in a few weeks, and crab cakes are on my list of things to eat!

                          2. Thanks for the recs everyone. We drove by Turner's that evening but it was totally packed and wouldn't have allowed us time to relax (time constraints!) so we headed to Beacon Grille. They had a seafood special (some shrimp, oysters, and a crab leg). Husband was perfectly happy with that, plus another order of oysters and the tomato salad (which we split - actually they split it for us in a really nice presentation).

                            I also had the grilled shrimp with gnocchi. The shrimp were quite good but the gnocchi (and pesto) a bit heavy for me (my issue not theirs, I think).

                            The Boulivardier cocktail was delicious as always, as was husband's martini.

                            We definitely have Turner's on our radar screen thanks to the recs on this thread and will certainly head there on a night when we have more time.