Best "Oyster Happy Hour" in Portland?
We're going up to Portland for the first time, and being that it's now high Oyster season, we're excited to experience some outstanding Maine Oysters. We've heard of "Oyster Happy Hour", and would like, if possible, to enjoy gorgeously fresh raw Oysters, at a happy hour price ($1/oyster?). We live in Massachusetts and eat a LOT of raw bivalves; we've a fairly discerning palate. Suggestions? We'll be there on a Monday.
We ended up going to Eventide for Oysters, and I am so pleased that we did. We ordered an assortment of six varieties of Maine Oysters, and we both loved every single one of them. The Oysters were perfectly fresh, perfectly shucked, and nicely chilled. I'm a purist and like Oysters with just a squeeze of lemon, but did try some of their signature accouterments, which were lovely but I felt that the accouterments and the flavor of the oyster muted each-other out, rather than highlighting, or complimenting the flavor of the Oysters. The wine-by-the-glass that I chose to have with them was freshly opened (the Spanish Cava), and a perfect pairing. The only mistake that was made was in ordering other food. We were disappointed in the Lobster Roll (lack of contrasting textures, under salted, and the Lobster was arguably a bit overcooked), and the Lobster Benny (again, lack of contrasting textures, the egg was hard-boiled instead of runny, and with cold, viscose hollandaise). Our server was friendly and attentive, and was happy to rectify the situation by taking the Benny off of the bill. Overall, a definite win, and we will be back for a double order of Oysters next time! Thanks everyone.
I've seen a couple of $2 oysters for happy hour. Old Port Sea Grill very nice bar and the last time there the only thing they did well happened to be the oysters and drinks.
Also David's at Monument Square where I think oyster were by the half dozen for $12. Actually they have an excellent happy hour with very good food and decent drink specials. Duck sliders were very tasty.
Otherwise, listen to sultana, bite the bullet, and just go to Eventide.
Eventide is my favorite place to go for oysters in town-they serve a good selection of oysters, both local and from away--but they definitely don't have any sort of happy hour discount. It's worth it for the ices they serve with oysters--horseradish, pickled ginger, kimchee, & tabasco--they're so good.
J's Oyster has cheap oysters all the time, but they're Chesapeake Bay oysters rather than local ones and don't have much to recommend themselves other than their low price and J's outside seating on Portland pier.
Hot Suppa is the only other place I've seen a $1 dollar oyster special advertised other than El Rayo so far, but they're not open on Mondays, unfortunately. Also, El Rayo tweets the provenance of their oysters on Mondays if you're curious about where they're from.
Enjoy your visit!