Neptune Oyster bar feels more like Brooklyn than Boston. It’s as if someone transported Prime Meats in Williamsburg, brought it to Boston’s North End and substituted steak for seafood. Needless to say, I’m a big fan.
Covered in subway tiles with a long bar that spans the length of the restaurant, there’s always a wait for a table, a buzz in the air, and a scene-y energy that makes me feel like I’m back in New York. I prefer a seat at the bar and a pint of a local brew, while scanning that evening’s oyster list. There are plenty of local bivalves and beers on tap, but Neptune also flies in West Coast oysters…my personal fave.
Start with a smattering of oyster selects and then move on to crudo; I tried both the hamachi ceviche with jalapeno-lime vinaigrette and the dayboat scallops with local apple marmalade…equally on point. The plated menu items are generously portioned and genuinely prepared with seasonal ingredients you can feel good about. The fare is “elevated seafood shack” featuring: fried Ipswich clams, buttermilk johnnycakes with smoked trout tartare and caviar, whole fish grilled a la plancha, and their signature dish, your choice of a hot butter or cold mayo Maine lobster roll served with french fries. For me, a hot buttered bun gets my vote every time.
Bonus: there’s not a TV playing a Boston sports game in sight! Like I said, elevated.
63 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113
Neighborhood: North End