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My Boston Bites: Neptune’s Oyster Bar

October 11, 2012

Forty-five minute wait for 2 at Sunday at 3PM at Neptune’s Oyster Bar on Salem Street.  Guess there is never a “good” time to try out this popular establishment in the North End.

Time passes fast though when there was an empty bar two doors down with the Jets game on.  After getting a call to summon us from the hostess, we spent another 10 minutes gawking anxiously into the small restaurant through the glass.

This was meant to be an early dinner before our flight.  Since it has only been a few hours since our brunch at Toro, we were faced with a limited capacity.  Even though we knew that there was not that much room, we had trouble saying no to the Neptunes on Piggyback.  Two juicy fried oysters “rode” to our table on top of a pile of tender Berkshire pork.  The scattering of golden raisin and the pistachio aioli added the perfect finish, sweet and creamy.

Another appetizer, the Buttermilk Johnnycake topped with a smoked trout tartare and caviar, was also hard to turn down.  This golden dense disc was crisp around the edges and soft and tender in the center, glistening from a slightly sweet syrup.  The column of smoked trout tartare with caviar was salty and creamy.  Spread thinly on the Johnnycake, this was another example of a wonderful combination of sweet and savory.  I could eat this for breakfast or dinner.  Frankly, anytime.

We chose to end the meal by splitting Neptune’s famous lobster roll with hot butter.  The overflowing lobster roll came out on a slightly sweet toasted roll and a generous pile of golden fries.  Despite all the accolades this roll has garnered from various sources, we both found this a slight let down.  The hot butter ladled over the lobster caused the meat to be just a tad overcooked.  And oh the butter.  There was so much butter that it soaked right through the bun making it soggy at the bottom and leaving a slightly unappealing puddle on the plate.  Was it wrong that we were both left craving the refreshingly light lobster rolls at Luke’s Lobster?  It felt a little wrong but we like what we like.

Despite the disappointing lobster roll, the Neptunes on Piggyback and Buttermilk Johnnycakes were worth the wait.  I was definitely still dreaming about that golden syrupy cake with the trout tartare and the plump oysters with lush shredded pork when we took off from Logan.

Neptune’s Oyster Bar | 63 Salem Street  Boston, MA 02113 |

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