Finally. I’ve always wanted to go to Neptune Oyster ever since I first heard about their fresh raw seafood and famous lobster rolls. I love seafood. I love it more when they’re raw. When a friend called to catch up over a lunch date, I suggested Neptune Oyster right away.
Neptune Oyster is a well-known seafood restaurant in North End, regarded as one of the best 50 restaurants in Boston. I constantly read and hear that it serves some of the best seafood in Boston.
But to eat here, you have to pay a price: your time. Neptune Oyster does not take reservations, so it may not be for the less impatient or for those who come hungry. Our waiting time was two and a half hours! We put my name and phone number in, and roamed around in the area until they called us to announce that they were ready.
The place was packed, and we could only sit at the bar area. It wasn’t too bad, although we’re both short and were a little uncomfortable, as we had to sit at the edges of the stools to have somewhere to place our feet on. We didn’t complain – we were hungry by then.
When seated, we were given a piece of paper with the day’s seafood from the raw bar. We ordered some oysters, crab claws, and a shrimp. It was fun comparing the descriptions of the oysters on the paper with what we could taste. The crab claws were very hard to eat, but fairly enjoyable. My favorite, however, was the shrimp: big and plump, the shrimp snapped as I bit into it, releasing the subtle sweetness as I chewed. I wished I had ordered more and considered getting more, but was afraid I would be too stuffed if I did.
The Buttermilk Johnnycake we ordered to share as an appetizer was so good! The johnnycake was incredibly soft with crunchy edges, and had a buttery and sweet taste that was made even tastier with the smoked tartare. With the caviar? I don’t even think I have to explain. I’ll be ordering this every time I go.
My friend got the Seared Georges Bank Scallops, which she said was amazing. I tried a bite, and I agree! The scallops were seared beautifully (although some look burnt on the picture), and the garnish were nice as well. My friend has a smaller stomach and normally doesn’t finish her plate, but emptied it clean. She must have loved it!
The hot Lobster Roll with butter was the main reason that I wanted to go to Neptune Oyster, so I ordered it without a second’s hesitation. The roll comes toasted and warm, with a heap of lobster and butter on it. A generous serving of fries also comes with it.
My thoughts on the roll? I have to say that I was slightly disappointed. Although the roll was good, the lobster was sweet and fresh, and the fries were crispy, all just like I had read and heard about, the lobster was slightly overcooked, making the texture a little rubbery and tough.
Don’t get me wrong – I did enjoy it. The roll, butter, and lobster combination was fabulous – I just wish that the lobster were cooked better. Perhaps I was expecting much more after all the ravings about this roll. Maybe I had bad luck that day, but as one of the top regarded restaurants, I thought I would mouth “wow” as I ate it. I might give it another try sometime, but as for my next trip there, I think I’ll try something else.
In general, Neptune Oyster is worth the wait and the prices. The seafood was fresh and of great quality, and the appetizer we got was wonderful. When I’m around North End and crave good seafood, I’ll definitely go back – that is, if I’m not hungry and the waiting time’s not too long!
63 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113