When visiting Boston, the one place we were told that we HAD to go to was Neptune Oyster. We wanted to go for dinner one evening, but were also warned that there is usually a 2-3 hour wait and you can’t put your name in until you get there. Upon arrival mid afternoon, we noticed that the place was very small and cozy, with maybe only 30 seats available. I believe the bar is first come, first serve, but as we had four people, there would be no chance we would find that many seats next to each other (most people were either at the bar solo or with one other person). We put our name in and were informed that there was a 3 hour wait, but we would receive a phone call when our table was ready. We went and had a drink down the street, took in some sites around town and surprisingly 1.5 hours later, we got the phone call and headed over.
We were placed near the door (unfortunately) and since there is no hostess area, people waiting for their table were hovering over our table. We also had to continuously ask people (with help from the waitstaff) to close the door, as it was a brisk February day. This, to me was a huge con for the restaurant, but also I guess that’s what you get with a small (desirable) venue. Tip: If possible, avoid sitting at the first table near the door.
The food did make up for the cramped venue. We indulged in a Raw Bar selection of Oysters (East & West Coast), Fried Ipswich Clams, Yellowfin ‘Coyne’ Crostini, P.E.I. Mussels & a Maine Lobster Roll. Everything was fresh, delicious and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Tip: There wasn’t an apparent vegetarian option on the menu, so if you have dietary restrictions, I would ask if they have options prior to putting your name in.
At the end of our meal we asked our server what set them apart from other restaurants around town; he responded with a shoulder shrug and more or less said their reputation made them desirable. Is there a huge difference between them and other Oyster Bars around town? I don’t know, but I do know that their reputation and 4.5 stars (out of 3,500 reviews) on Yelp are probably due to the consistently delicious food that doesn’t leave you feeling weighed down, despite the amount of food you consume.
Would we go back? In a heartbeat. This won’t be my last time indulging here.