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“A real treat - over and over again”

Island Creek Oyster Bar
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Ranked #20 of 3,329 Restaurants in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$50
Cuisines: American, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Bar Scene, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: Fenway / Kenmore
Cross street: Kenmore
Transit: Kenmore
Reviewed 9 December 2013

I am an English Red Sox fan who visits Boston for a homestand each year. This is my favourite place for a meal before the game. It gets busy because it's good, but half a dozen oysters, crab cakes and a glass or two of white Burgundy is the perfect preliminary to a Sox win. Staff always professional and friendly, however busy it gets, and so are your fellow diners. Love it.

Thank Max S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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922 - 926 of 1,809 reviews

Reviewed 7 December 2013

This will be one of those reviews that drive restaurant owners crazy, because I am being a little negative even though the food was very good, and perhaps my experience was colored by different expectations. But here goes.

I was in Boston recently and spent a long time scouting out where I wanted to have lunch. I wanted an unpretentious seafood joint where I could get fresh chowder and some fried clams, or a lobster roll. I found Island Creek on line and read excellent reviews. Tired of taking cabs, and wanting the fresh air and exercise, I walked three miles and had worked up a pretty good appetite.

Closed for lunch! How can that be, when I read their lunch menu on line? I assumed if they had a lunch menu, they would serve lunch. As it turns out, they are never open for lunch. The only day they open before 4 PM is Sunday and they have a Sunday brunch. So why would they post a lunch menu when they are never open for lunch and have a separate brunch menu?

Had I ignored the lunch menu and looked at their hours on the web site, I would have realized they were not open until 4 PM on a Saturday. No matter. I would hold out until 4 PM. So I went next door for a beer and bided my time until Island Creek opened at 4 PM.

At 4 PM I went in ready to order, only to discover that only the raw bar was open - no hot food until 5 PM. Again, annoyed - this detail was not on the website at all. I had a really nice wine and an excellent selection of oysters. The bartenders were well informed. Finally at 5 PM I ordered chowder and fried clams. Both were very tasty, the clams quite fresh. However, the chowder was overwhelmed with a house made bacon. Sure it was good, but I wanted the clams to be the most prominent taste in a clam chowder.

As for the fried clams, they had a fish sandwich, but they would not serve me a fried clam sandwich. OK, so I just got the clams. They were tasty.

The décor is white and stainless steel, spacious, very modern and stylish. Almost in an antiseptic way, like a restaurant in a futuristic science fiction movie.

I get what they're trying to do, marrying the farm-to-table movement with a sea-to-table movement, craft beverages, and riding the crest of the wave of the whole local and artisan food movement. Or it could have been a fancy way of saying "we serve fish fresh off the boat from local merchants."

All in all, the Island Creek Oyster Bar was the complete antithesis of an unpretentious Boston seafood bar. Whether that is a good thing or not is up to the individual consumer.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank BaddMonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2013 via mobile

Good lobster noodle. Nicely cook. Fresh seafood. They also added braised beef was a nice tough. Love texture of the noodle. I gave 4 out of 5.

Poor clam chowder. My heir waiter said it was good there. But I don't recommend this at all. Too salty. Too few clams. I gave 3 out of 5.

But their service was good. Lovely maitre'd. Nice deco and spacious.

In sum, I would recommend this place but don't just order calm chowder.

Thank K_ken25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2013

I made a reservation two weeks in advance for a Wednesday night and we still had to sit at a high topped table in the bar area rather than the dining room. This place is very popular and with good reason! The food is amazing. My Mom always goes for the oysters to start and the staff is knowledgeable about the various varieties offered, this time I had an appetizer of smoked trout on yummy rye bread croutons – the perfect accompaniment. My main dish was bluefish with mustard spaetzle and green and hers a trout with potato and chorizo hash….both were delicious. Our cocktails were good, they have many craft beers and a very small selection of wine by the glass. Service was fine, but confusing as we had several different people take our orders at various stages.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Lisa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Creative drinks, delicious oysters, soup, a fisherman's basket and some bluefish - as well as some French wine made for a fantastic, impromptu evening with friends. We sat at the bar and had fantastic service the entire evening. The atmosphere is great and it's easy to enjoy the company of your friends.

Thank Sean R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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