(Re)consider the Oyster

Now that pristine local bivalves presented with a lemon wedge, sharp mignonette, and horseradish-forward cocktail sauce have become a blessed given in Boston, we turn our attention to “on the half shell” variants, taken to even greater heights with foams, sauces, and spices. Or, in the case of Island Creek Oyster Bar’s exclusive Row 34 oyster, with the full bespoke treatment. Created by Island Creek Oysters (which co-owns ICOB) last year, the Row 34 is a specialized bivalve that matures in suspended three-tier wire crates instead of on the Duxbury Bay floor, which lends it distinct differences in shape (teardrop), color (light brown) and flavor (earthy, nutty) from its round, briny sibling. Look for it at ICOB and, soon, at Row 34—the forthcoming Fort Point restaurant from the Island Creek team.


Photograph by Bruce Peterson. Food Styling by Rowena Day/Ennis.

1. Island Creek Oyster Bar
The Row 34 oyster.

2. The Kirkland Tap & Trotter
Grilled Browne’s Point oyster (Maine), pickled Jimmy Nardello peppers, white balsamic and champagne vinegars, house hot sauce.

3. Uni
Winter Point oyster (Maine), celery mignonette, tonburi, pickled celery, black lime–ponzu espuma.

4. Sycamore
Dennis oyster (Massachusetts), pickled ramps, Fresno chilies, cider vinegar, herbs.

5. Whisk
Blue Point oyster (New York) escabeche, raspberry, candied-orange mignonette, pickled mustard seeds, oyster liquor foam.

6. Asta
Island Creek oyster (Massachusetts), celery and horseradish juice, smoked-oyster oil, malt oil, preserved lemon.

7. Toro
Spring Creek oyster (Massachusetts) escabeche, cava, Rooibos tea, grains of paradise, lovage, citrus.