If you do a quick search of Boston’s food scene, you’ll notice that seafood is its own food group here. Among the many seafood restaurants in Boston, Neptune Oyster’s name comes up quite often.
Neptune is the God of the Sea. After my dinner at Neptune Oysters, I’ll happily worship at the altar of Neptune, and return to dine at his table. Hee.
My half a dozen of oysters to start. Clockwise, there is: 2 Chathams, 2 Mookie Blues and 2 Kumamotos. Aside from the Kumamotos, the other 2 types of oysters all came from Massachusetts. I ordered two for each type of oysters, because I like to eat the first oyster naked, with no added sauce or condiments, to taste the natural flavors of the oysters, then add a little lemon juice or grated horseradish for the second one. Overall, my half dozen went down in less than five minutes. The oysters were so fresh, they were incredibly tender and sweet.
At Neptunes, they give you a sheet with the different oysters they have available for you to pick, and they have descriptions for each type of oyster. For Chatham, they said it’s medium sized, high salt with a butter finish. I didn’t actually get the butter finish with the Chathams I had; there was actually a slight metallic taste in the end, but still delicious.
Mookie Blues is described as medium sized, medium salt and a citrus finish. I loved the Mookie Blues. It had a lighter flavor overall and finished tasting like blue cheese. Amazing.
Kumamotos is small, with low salt, creamy with hints of honeydew melon. This was the definition of small and sweet. Also very enjoyable, but not as surprising as Mookie Blues.
I honestly could’ve had a another platter or two. If you are so lucky to try your first oysters at Neptune, it will be like the ultimate oyster shooter experience.
The uni toast. This was a special for the night. I sort of expected the toast to come piled high with slivers of fresh uni, but they actually whipped the uni with butter before generously spreading it on the thick cut bread. This was still delicious. The bread was toasted with a crunchy crust and drizzled with olive oil. The whipped uni butter was sweet, with a subtle taste of the sea urchin. The fresh chives on top didn’t clash with the very delicate sweetness of the uni.
Roasted Icelandic Char with parsnip crema and chard. If I have a favorite fish to eat, it’s probably char. While I enjoy a fatty black cod, I like char because it’s similar to salmon, but just more elevated, sweeter and more buttery. Neptune’s roasted char was made to perfection. They roasted the fish on the meat size, instead of roasting it skin-side down, so the meat was cooked pink but still very tender. On the other side, closer to the skin, the fish was still raw, but just slightly warmed enough to start rendering the fat in the fish, but not actually melting the fat. I’ve got my omega-3s for the next couple of days, for sure. The chard was soft and wilted and added some greens to the plate, but both the chard and the parsnip crema just sort of complimented the dish without adding anymore strong flavors.
If I ever visit Boston again, I will probably still come back to Neptunes. However, it’s very important to note that Neptune is incredibly busy and does not do reservations, even for larger parties. The restaurant itself is also incredibly cramped. I visited on a Thursday night, during the dinner rush, and though I was seated in about 30 minutes(perks of being a lone diner, woot!), most people that came in 2 or 3s had to wait at least an hour to an hour and a half. They also only had 2 people behind the bar and literally 1 person running the front of the house. So busy staff and an even busier restaurant. So plan accordingly and enjoy the bounties of the sea with Neptune.
P.S. After Neptune, if you can stomach it, go down to either Cross St and get a lobster tail at Maria’s Pastry, or walk one block to Hanover St. and visit Modern Pastry. There are so many little gems in North End.