I went to Boston as my boyfriend was running the Boston marathon and a few months before I had already found all the restaurants I wanted to visit in Boston and had booked them, with the exception of Neptune Oyster, that you could not book, but I was very keen to try. I love the US seafood restaurants that offer anything from jumbo prawns to chowders, and I was researching these before my trip and Neptune Oyster seemed to be one of the best if not the best in Boston.
We went to Neptune Oyster on our first day for lunch, and we walked from our hotel to the North End, Boston’s restaurant area, which has many Italian restaurants and which you are always advised to visit, when in Boston. Neptune Oyster opens at 11.30 and we got there at 12.30 but by this time the whole restaurant (it is very small and cramped) was already totally full and people were waiting to put their names down on the waiting list. We did the same and the waiter explained that we would have to wait 1h30 before we could get a table and he asked us to leave our phone number and he would call us when the table was ready. As we did not have a US mobile, the waiter did not want to take down our UK phone and just told us to come back in 1h (not 1h30). My boyfriend initially did not want to wait, but I persuaded him, saying this place was amazing, and so we waited 40min in a coffee shop and then came back, and after 5 minutes of us being in the restaurant we were given 2 seats by the bar. We were lucky as we only had to wait 45min instead of the 1h30 we were promised, but you are advised to come here early, at 11.30 preferably, to avoid the wait.
Once inside we were studying the menu and I have never seen so many different types of oysters on the menu in one place, as I saw here. There were oysters from different coasts in the US, and I felt so sad that I don’t eat oysters as I am allergic to them as I was watching people order various delicious oysters and then slurp them, I even took a picture of other table’s oysters as they looked so amazing. If you are not having oysters (most people have them here) you can order appetizers, things from the raw bar, like clams, crabs, shrimps and lobsters, as well as salad, main courses and sandwiches. This place is very popular for one of their sandwiches, the lobster roll ($25) and you can either have it hot with butter or cold with mayonnaise, and we saw a lot of people order this, but the reason we did not go for it is we decided to have lobster in another dish and we were not that keen on the fries that accompanied the lobster roll, as they did not look that great.
When we sat down a lovely waitress helped us chose a wine. The wine list is very good and extensive (they don’t serve any other alcoholic drinks here apart from wine), and the wine the waitress suggested was excellent. We wanted to have some crab claws, as after visiting Joe’s (a restaurant in Miami and Chicago) both of us have fallen in love with these, but unfortunately Neptune Oyster had run out of these, so we settled for prawns and Maine lobster cocktail to start with and then my boyfriend ordered the clam chowder (made fresh to order) and I went for the “Neptune Caesar salad with white anchovies, pecorino, toasted sunflower, lemon”. The prawns were massive (the picture actually makes them look smaller than they were), and I could only manage to eat one and a half as they were so big and filling, and the accompanying horseradish and ketchup sauce was extremely delicious and lovely with the prawns. The lobster cocktail was incredible, extremely tasty and there was so much lobster, we were feeling very full from just eating this. I have not seen such a huge lobster dish in many places before. My boyfriend also very much enjoyed his clam chowder, it was extremely thick and full of goodness, the clams and the potatoes inside the soup were very tasty. I also very much enjoyed my Caesar salad, and thought the presentation was very funky, they gave me a huge chunk of lettuce leaves with the core still attached and it was topped with cheese, croutons and anchovies, and it was a super delicious salad, not sure what really made it so special, but the taste was lovely, and the white anchovies were much nicer than the usual extremely strong flavored ones you can get in this sort of salad. I have also taken a picture of a seafood platter that one of the other tables ordered with oysters, prawns, mussels, lobster to show the quality and size on ingredients you get in this place.
I loved Neptune Oyster, and this is one of my favourite seafood restaurants in the whole world. The cramped restaurant only added to the cool atmosphere of the place, and the quality of the seafood as well as the size and presentation was top class. I love American seafood restaurants as they always in my view do better than the European ones and Neptune Oyster stood out even compared to the Americans. There is no coffee or desert in Neptune Oyster, but you don’t really need it after such an incredible meal.
Price for 2 people with a glass of wine: $79.72 (and including service charge we left $95)