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Summer weather calls for patio dining, cold cocktails, and lots of seafood. Coastal living is at its best this time of year, and Boston chefs are certainly doing a good job showcasing the bounty of our beautiful seas.

Select Oyster Bar

From the first time I heard about Select Oyster Bar, I couldn’t wait to try it. I absolutely loved Neptune Oyster when Chef Serpa was there (worst photos in a blog post EVER) and attended a delicious Backyard Farms event where he made an amazing lobster Caprese. When two of my favorite ladies and I decided to get together for dinner, Select was at the top of our list.

We got a coveted seat on their small patio behind the restaurant and tucked into the menus, definitely having a difficult time not choosing everything. We started with a round of cocktails, mine, a classic and refreshing Hemingway Daiquiri.

cocktails

We proceeded to share a bunch of plates, each of which surprised and delighted us with unique flavors and freshness.

salmon crudo

Salmon Crudo with Pistachio Oil and Lime was tender and tart, nice and light for a warm summery evening.

lobster salad

The dressed lobster let the Maine lobster be the star of the show, with hints of lemon and herbs, a simple, luxurious dish.

Oysters

We had to have oysters at Select Oyster Bar, and we chose a selection of mostly East Coast oysters with three Kumamoto oysters thrown in for balance. Wellfleet and Island Creek oysters proved once again to be my favorite, briny, slightly creamy, the taste of summer.

octopus

The octopus was a standout for me. I love grilled octopus, and this was perfection.

squid

We were all really excited about the squid special, but it was the least favorite item of the night. It was still good, but not something we would order again, given the selection.

hamachi

Flash Seared Hamachi was another favorite. Its meatiness paired well with lime slaw and whipped avocado.

bubbly and lobster Select has a great wine list with interesting and affordable choices by the glass and bottle. We toasted with a bottle of Mercat Cava, which was great with all of the seafood dishes and fun for a Thursday night celebrating nice weather and friends.

I would return to Select Oyster Bar again and again, for oysters and cocktails and to try all of the menu items that we missed. It’s a great addition to the Boston dining scene.

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Tags: Boston, coastal living, cocktails, Dining out, dinner, oysters, Restaurants, seafood, wine

Some people are talking about how summer is almost over. While they are actually wrong, and the season changes the third week in September (and boat season goes a month AFTER that) it seems like many people are in a hurry to get on with autumn. I have seen Halloween candy in stores, and at work we are planning Christmas events.

I, on the other hand, am enjoying each simple bite of this season, including seafood enjoyed by the sea. When my family visited a few weeks ago, we all went out to Quincy to Tony’s Clam Shop, where we feasted on all sorts of seafood dishes.

steamers

I have had constant cravings for steamers, so I polished these off without assistance. I love the sweet and briny flavors and the hot buttery finish of steamers.

fried seafood at Tony's

I also love all things fried, so I shared a fried seafood platter with my husband. Piled high with shrimp, cod, calamari, and clams, this plate was one we couldn’t finish!

Tony’s has an enormous menu that also features grilled items like burgers and hot dogs and Middle Eastern specialties. You can also get beer and wine if you want to make things a little more festive.

Tony’s has a great, large patio that is often full but empties out at a steady pace, leaving tables open periodically.

Tony's Clam Shop

And the views, well the views from Tony’s Clam Shop patio just can’t be beat. Watch the sun go down over Boston, smell the sea air, and listen to the waves gently crashing. It’s a mini vacation just a short drive or T trip away!

wollaston beach

While I am on the subject of seafood, I have to mention the Harp & Bard seafood specials. They often have twin lobsters, steamers, and a filling, heavenly lobster pie. (They also have great drinks, and it’s an overall really fun place.)

steamed lobsters

In short, there is still time to be living out your summer dreams! If anyone tries to tell you differently, send them my way. Smile

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Tags: Boston, day trip. seaside dining, Dining out, Food, Quincy, seafood, summer

Let me start off by admitting I went to the new Legal Oysteria twice in two days. It’s that good, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s pretty close to my office.  I didn’t spend much time at Olives, the restaurant previously in its space, except for the epic reopening party, where it seems Todd English spent all of his money on a seven hour open bar. . .

But I loved the space and location, and well, while Todd doesn’t seem to have a love for Boston, Legal does, and I had a feeling they would get it just right.

Legal Oysteria maintains that same bright, open layout and design that Olives had, with a beautiful white marble bar and a variety of types of seating, including a dining area, bar, and high tops.

The cocktail menu offers many aperitif and digestif type drinks; a number of them have bitter elements like Amaro. I started with a Prosecco Cocktail, a refreshing and too-easy-to-drink blend of Prosecco, Aperol, Aperitivo Rosa, Citrus, and Soda. The paper straw it came with was cute, but it disintegrated pretty quickly.

prosecco cocktail

Legal Oysteria is the perfect place to dine with friends who are up for trying lots of bites. Every single one was delicious, and we filled up before we had the chance tp even look at the entrée menu!

calamari

{Crispy Fried Calamari, Salsa Rossa}

Tender, salty, perfectly crisp, the calamari was a surprise. I often try calamari that I don’t love, but this one really was perfect.

caponata

{Eggplant Caponata with Grilled Focaccia}

I love eggplant, but I love it even more when someone else cooks it for me. This caponata was dotted with sweet raisins to provide a flavor contrast, and the bread was fluffy and buttery,

grilled oysters with fennel butter

{Grilled Oysters with Fennel Butter}

This is possibly the most heavenly and decadent way to eat oysters ever. Warm fennel butter mixed with plump grilled oysters was a combination new to me, but it is something I want to eat again and again.

 

ricotta fritters with spiced honey

{Ricotta Fritters with Spiced Honey}

These little fritters reminded me of donuts. They were awesome, but I think they might belong on the dessert menu.

shrimp and chickpea fritters

{Chickpea and Shrimp Fritters}

I had these both nights at Legal Oysteria. I loved the mix of shrimp and chickpeas in a piping hot fritter, and the spicy aioli was a perfect addition.

clam pizza

{Roasted Clam Pizza, Garlic, Oregano, Mozzarella, Pecorino}

The roasted clam pizza was our main course, and it was delightfully crispy and garlicky, the perfect end to the meal and the bite that put me over the “too full” edge.

Legal Oysteria is an excellent addition to the Boston dining scene, and I am certain it will become an after work favorite for me and my colleagues.

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Tags: Boston, Charlestown, cocktails, Dining out, Food, oyster bar, oysters, Restaurants, seafood, summer

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