My first experience at Neptune Oyster was years ago with two of my most untamed, wildest friends from home (DC). I recall laughing as hard as I cried in haphazard conversations, as we imbibed countless white wine and bubbly bottles. One friend is a brain cancer survivor; the other, a Salvadorian photographer. This chat, over oysters, lobster rolls, johnnycakes, and chowder would have probably scared half the bar away for good. The next few times at Neptune have not been quite as loaded in conversation, but the vibe and the quality of shellfish has not changed.
Neptune has 42 seats between its tables and the bar. Does it seem like plenty? It’s not, but that’s the beauty of it. When the crisp, painful, winter air rushes through the door as people pile in to drop names, the entire, seemingly 500-square-foot space gets a rush of the cold. It’s perfect though; eating oysters with a bit of arctic blast.
The bar staff is friendly and the hosts are apologetic to incomers who get hit with waits of an hour or more. My recommendation? Drop your name and hustle to Locale in the meantime for truffle pizza. Have a couple wines, get loose, and trek on back for a “dessert” round of oysters. That’s Boston for you; oysters for dessert…! We don’t care.
Jeff Nace, the owner of Neptune Oyster, found the ideal owner’s dream of supply and demand in Boston for oysters. I can’t imagine a day that he doesn’t fill every seat, every fifteen minutes.
The oyster list is extensive and graciously gives you not only the origins but the size and flavor profiles. You’ll find a dazzling array of New England offerings, with a dash of Canadian and West Coast classics. Even if the place is busy, don’t hesitate in asking more about the story behind all the half shells.