It seemed I couldn’t scroll through my Facebook or Instagram feed without feeling a pang of seafood envy as friends from New England relentlessly posted photos of meaty scallops, giant buttery steamers and the ever gorgeous sunburnt Maine lobster throughout the summer. During my two week stay in Boston, loading up on seafood was a high priority.
One of the stops I made was Island Creek Oyster Bar with my sister & cousins. I’ve heard both friends & family rave about the restaurant many times before and could not wait to experience it myself.
The restaurant, at 5:30pm on a Friday, was bustling. The fact that it was game night, the Red Sox due to play in two hours, surely contributed to the headcount of patrons. The space between the bar area and “lounge” was tight. Having not secured a seat just yet we were constantly shifting back and forth to avoid people passing by, with full cocktails in hand it was not an easy dance. But as we were sat at a hightop and the 1st dozen of assorted east coast oysters arrived all was forgiven. Meaty and briny, my favorite characteristics of east coast oysters, particularly from Duxbury.
We also loaded up on dishes that provided sweet comfort. Jenny demanded buttermilk biscuits (which I thought seemed odd for a seafood restaurant) and crispy oyster sliders, all for good reason. The bicscuits, served warm and seeped in a runny honey and rosemary glaze, somehow made me long for cooler weather when I would enjoy its decadence completely. I never had the pleasure of an oyster slider before and realize that I’ve been missing out! Sandwiched between a brioche bun and lightly brushed with a lime chile aioli is a crispy fried oyster. It took one bite and the textures surprised with crunchy buttery warmth from my favorite bivalves. As I was nearly full, a dish of whole crispy black bass with a vegetable ratatouille was placed in front of me while my dining mates were starting to dig into their plates of Cape Cod bluefish and salmon. My sister eyed my entree enviously (whereas if the Brit were present he would have quickly recoiled). While the fish looked like it’s seen better days don’t let the rough exterior fool you; inside is a delicate white flaky meat that separates instantly from the bones, its flesh complimented by the gravy and soft vegetables.
My first seafood extravaganza back in Boston didn’t disappoint. I did however leave a wallet that was much much lighter than when I arrived.
Island Creek Oyster Bar
500 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 532 – 5300
Nearest T stop: Kenmore