Thursday, March 5, 2009

B&G Oysters: A Oyster Sampling

Though I have been to most of Chef Barbara Lynch's restaurants and stores, it was only until recently that I had lunch at B&G Oysters in the South End. But it won't be the only time I dine there.

B&G Oysters is an oyster bar and seafood restaurant, occupying a small place just below the level of the sidewalk. The centerpiece of the restaurant is a large, marble-topped bar with three sides. There are a number of other tables in the rest of the restaurant though I think the bar is the most compelling spot. The kitchen area is behind the bar so you can watch the cooks preparing your food.

The menu is small, with seven appetizers ($14 each), 6 entrees ($25 each), 3 lobster dishes ($25 each), and a raw bar. If you dislike seafood, then you should go elsewhere as there are almost no non-seafood options available. But if you enjoy fish and other seafood, then you will find much to entice you, from New England Clam Chowder to the BLT with Lobster.

I also liked their wine list, with many intriguing choices by the glass, including plenty that will pair well with oysters. I decided to have a glass of the 2006 Champalou Vouvray ($11), a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley in France. A crisp, medium-bodied wine with very nice citrus flavors as well as green apple.

Then, I ordered some oysters ($2.55 each), one each of the ten varieties the had available. The oysters came from Massachusetts, Prince Edward Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington and British Columbia. They were shucked as I watched and then arranged atop a plate of ice for me. Accompanying the oysters was some lemon, a Prosecco mignonette, and cocktail sauce with horseradish. There was a good diversity of oysters, and I enjoyed all of them, though I preferred the ones from Massachusetts, the Island Creek and Taylor Bay oysters.

I also tried the Lobster Bisque ($14), which has butter poached lobster and celery. They prepared the bisque while I watched, rather than just ladeling it into a bowl from a large pot. It had a deep orange color and a good consistency, neither too thin nor too creamy. There was a decent portion of lobster and it did have a very buttery taste. The bisque itself was very tasty, spiced well, and was one of the best I have had in some time. The Fried Oysters ($14) come with home made tartar sauce. You receive six oysters, nicely plated in oyster shells atop a glob of tartar sauce. I enjoyed the fried oysters, which were good-sized and not greasy at all.

Service was excellent. Overall, I was impressed with this restaurant and very much enjoyed the food. Though it is not inexpensive, they are running some value specials right now and are also participating in March Restaurant Week so this is the time to check them out.

B&G Oysters
550 Tremont St.
Boston, MA
Phone: 617-423-0550

B & G Oysters on Urbanspoon

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