Restaurateur Garrett Harker Debuts the First of Four New Venues

All That Fish + Oyster opens in the Fenway, and the new Eastern Standard is on deck.

A somewhat casual restaurant with bright lighting and pops of yellow and blue is filled with diners.

All That Fish + Oyster. / Courtesy photo

The Harkertown revival begins today: Restaurateur Garrett Harker—of the late, great Eastern Standard and more—opens All That Fish + Oyster, the first of his four Fenway projects in the works a short walk from his former Kenmore Square empire. (One of these projects is a new Eastern Standard; stay tuned.) This first restaurant is, as the name suggests, all about seafood, with Harker and culinary director Nemo Bolin promising bold global flavors.

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“We wanted to stay really focused on great seafood that celebrates the true bounty of the sea, always searching for the best fish and shellfish we can find locally as well as from afar,” Bolin tells Boston. “We want a fun, lively restaurant, and we want the food and drinks to match that energy. That means high-toned acidity, bright aromatics, lots of herbs, and interesting spices.” From raw bar towers to whole fish dishes, the menu will draw inspiration from around the world—this is a seafood restaurant in New England, not a New England seafood restaurant.

Diners might start with, for example, some raw bar items, including ceviche, followed by something “chilled and crunchy,” like lobster in tiger’s milk with sweet potato chips and passionfruit. Watermelon and tomato salad with cilantro, jalapeno oil, and citrus could be a palate cleanser before digging into the heftier dishes, like a charred hamachi collar with soy sauce, sesame, and pickled ginger crisps or a whole grilled fish with salsa verde, curtido, radishes, charred corn salad, and corncakes. (There are a few items for those less enthusiastic about seafood, too, including Korean fried chicken.)

A hand grabs an oyster from a silver plate of ice and shellfish at a restaurant table.

Oysters and more at All That Fish + Oyster. / Courtesy photo

Bolin is particularly excited about All That’s rotating selection of flatbreads—which currently includes a soft, flaky coconut flatbread “with some slight charring from a hot plancha” and a “crispy, slightly chewy” scallion pancake—and six house sauces. The flatbreads and sauces pair well together, but “they also complement so many other dishes,” says Bolin. “You can scoop up the last bite of sea bass tartare with the coconut flatbread or add a spoonful of lime and green herb sauce to seared cape bluefish with creamed corn and chilis for a touch of extra brightness.”

On the beverage side, longtime Harker collaborator Jackson Cannon is running the show, focusing on rums, tequilas, and mezcals. A creative cocktail selection includes frozen slushies, which are sure to prove popular when the 40-seat patio opens (soon!) Craft beers and fish-friendly wines round out the selection—lots of whites and rosés, with some red options that also play well with seafood. (You’ll be seeing plenty more of Cannon at the other forthcoming projects, too—particularly the cocktail bar Equal Measure. As longtime fans of his work at the now-closed Hawthorne, the cocktail-focused Eastern Standard sibling and neighbor, we can’t wait to see what he does with his new drink playground.)

New York-based Parts and Labor Design worked on the space, giving it a simple, utilitarian feel that draws inspiration from fishermen’s ice huts and New England oyster shacks: think sturdy, wooden surfaces and a polished concrete floor, livened up with some splashes of bright colors and warmed by Harker’s signature hospitality. And this place has views, both inside and out—peek into the open kitchen as you eat, or keep an eye on Fenway Park through giant windows.

Chunks of octopus in a spicy red sauce are mixed with charred corn kernels, served on a crispy tortilla.

All That Fish + Oyster’s spicy octopus tostada with lazy street corn. / Courtesy photo

It’s no surprise that Harker is opening a seafood restaurant. He has a long history in the fish game, having opened B&G Oysters in the South End in the early aughts (with chef and restaurateur Barbara Lynch), followed by Island Creek Oyster Bar in Kenmore Square, Row 34 in Fort Point, and, later, more locations of the latter two. Bolin also worked at B&G Oysters at the beginning, later moving on to Craigie Street Bistro and then the West Coast before returning east to open his own restaurant in Providence—the acclaimed Cook & Brown, which operated for nearly a decade. Before Bolin’s West Coast move, Harker had given him the opportunity to join the opening team at the original Eastern Standard, but Bolin wanted to spend time in other places to expand his culinary experience. Years later, after the closure of Cook & Brown, an opportunity came anew to join the Eastern Standard team, and this time Bolin took it—shortly before COVID hit, and the restaurant closed.

Now, Bolin finally gets to make his mark on ES Hospitality, Harker’s restaurant group, as culinary director of all the new venues. Watch for the openings of the new Eastern Standard, Equal Measure, and another business later this year and into 2024, all at the Bower building on Beacon Street.

In the meantime, get ready to dig into some seafood, served by what’ll likely be one of the most hospitable crews in Boston. “We care deeply about the raw ingredients we use, the food we cook, and the drinks we make,” says Bolin, “but we never want to lose sight of the end goal, which is to offer a fun experience and hopefully make people happy.”

A thick filet of white fish with crispy skin is topped with chives and tomato and sits in a pool of pale yellow puree.

All That Fish + Oyster’s Cape bluefish with Verrill Farm creamed corn, green chilis, and coconut milk. / Courtesy photo

All That Fish + Oyster is open for dinner to start (Wednesday through Sunday), with weekend brunch starting this fall. Starting in December, lunch and dinner will be available daily. 771 Beacon St. (the Bower), Fenway, Boston, 857-305-3095,  

Visit our Ultimate Guide to Boston Restaurant Openings, Summer 2023, to learn more about other exciting new openings this season.