Need Oyster direction...
I am a California-based food writer who is heading to Falmouth next week to research oysters for a book. I'll be finishing up two days on the Cape with two days in Boston (already have reservations at Harvest), but know nothing of the lay-of-the-land or geography at all. I'll have a car and some friends have recommended I head to Wellfleet. Is that a good use of time if I'm based out of Falmouth?
Any direction on amenable farms I could visit and am definitely looking for restaurants that showcase the bivalve would be most appreciated!
If you haven't read Shucked by a formerly Boston-based writer, definitely check it out. It will be helpful to you.
Try Island Creek farm in Duxbury, their restaurant Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston, and definitely head to Wellfleet - try to make plans in advance with the (extremely nice and knowledgeable) Shellfish officer there to see the operations in the harbor and potentially meet farmers. You can enjoy the Oyster from the harbor in the Bookstore Restaurant across the road from Mayo beach at Wellfleet Harbor - stick to the raw bar only, not their food, and you'll enjoy it.
Neptune Oyster is an amazing bivalve showcase in the North End in Boston - it is tiny and fills upon opening without offering reservations, so plan to stop in early, leave your name and the kill some time in the North End - it is very worth the trouble - their oysters are varied, pristine, and handled with extreme care. Dining there at off-peak times on weekdays helps in securing a seat if feasible.
Many of the oyster beds in on the south shore were shut down (including IC's I think). I do not know if they have reopened.
Yesterday they shut down more on Martha's vineyard. I dont think Falmouth or Wellfleet are affected by I dont really know.
"The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) today announced the closure of oyster beds in Plymouth Harbor, Kingston Bay, Duxbury Bay, Bluefish River and Back River in the towns of Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury and Marshfield following an outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) tied to oysters harvested from the area. "
Its probably way too far for you, but the most perfect place for eating oysters in our area New England is a sunny day on the deck at Matunuck Oyster Bar in southern RI.
In Boston, Neptune, B&G, and ICOB are all good..
I remember reading an article about the Mass Oyster Project (http://blog.massoyster.org/) trying re-cultivate oysters in Boston Harbor proper, to help clean the water. They can't be eaten - so they limit their visibility so people aren't tempted, but its a good story about how cool oysters are for a healthy ecosystem.
It's a good drive to Wellfleet; the Bookseller Restaurant farms there own ersters so ya can't go wrong.
Check out Ocean and Bay side beaches for sheer beauty.