9 New Must-Try Oyster Dishes for Spring

Stuffed into sliders or layered into tacos
May 13, 2015
by Scott Kearnan

The weather is fine and we're readying for a summer of slurping oysters. But while you can't go wrong with some simple specimens straight from a raw bar, we thought we'd hunt down a few more inventive preparations around town. Here are some of our favorites. 

Southern fried oysters at ArtBarWe love to think of oysters as a New England favorite, but this Cambridge restaurant inside the Royal Sonesta Hotel takes a down-South approach to things. Here an app of oysters ($13) is fried and served with a chipotle-BBQ sauce, Great Hill blue cheese and green onion. 40 Edwin H Land Blvd., Cambridge; 617-806-4122

Oyster flatbread at Bastille Kitchen. Speaking of Southern spice, the behemoth Fort Point French trades the continent for Cajun influence with this new flatbread ($18), an homage to the spicy cuisine created by New Orleans' French-Acadian population. The crispy flatbread is topped with fried oysters, a Cajun rémoulade, pickled onion and Gruyère. 49 Melcher St.; 617-556-8000

Oyster sliders at Island Creek Oyster BarDuxbury's Island Creek Oyster Farm is responsible for harvesting some of the most popular bivalves in the region. And though we love them fresh off the boat, we also love to pop the now-signature sliders ($4 each, pictured above) at the team's Kenmore Square restaurant, where each crispy oyster is served on brioche with lime-chile aïoli. 500 Commonwealth Ave.; 617-532-5300

Oyster trio at Legal Crossing. Downtown Crossing's elevated one-off from the Legal Sea Foods brand prepares its oysters in many ways: baked with spinach and cheese, slow-grilled with a butter and Parmesan base, and fried with pickled relish and BBQ aïoli. But even the simple, freshly shucked approach gets spruced with this trio ($9, pictured below), which features three different, seasonally rotating sides of sorbet; cucumber, roasted melon and jalapeño have been among the tasty picks. 558 Washington St.; 617-692-8888

Grilled oysters at Loco Taqueria & Oyster BarThis hot South Boston Mexican restaurant and oyster bar tops its freshly shucked picks with unique flavored ices: from black pepper-pineapple to pickled habanero and Thai basil. But you can also get these oysters grilled over charcoal ($11, pictured below) for satisfying smokiness, topped with a simmering dollop of red pepper butter and "ash salsa," a housemade medley of charred onions, peppers and tomatoes, finely chopped. The whole splay is served on a plate with (nonscorching) coals, for presentation's sake. 412 W. Broadway, South Boston; 617-917-5626

Old Cove oysters at Loyal Nine. We're already loyalists to this East Cambridge newcomer (which, incidentally, just opened its patio for the season). Handcrafted attention to detail is central to the concept, which even boasts dinnerware personally pottered by one of the owners. On the culinary side, chef-owner Marc Sheehan (formerly of Menton and Bondir), makes about 10 varieties of vinegar in-house. Among them is the smoked porter vinegar used to give these Duxbury-harvested oysters their zip ($18 for a half-dozen). 660 Cambridge St., Cambridge; 617-945-2576

Dock Square mini oyster tacos at The Tap TrailhouseNot your traditional tacos. The Freedom Trail-side venture tends to put twists on traditional (typically American) dishes; in this case that means tacos ($13 for an app of four, pictured at page top) stuffed with fried oysters, bacon, spinach, picked red onion and a tangy mustard aïoli. Protip: Wash them down with the house brew, the Freedom Trail Ale. 19 Union St.617-367-0033

Oysters at Tasting CounterOkay, we're jumping the gun a bit on this one. We're just really excited about the concept of this tasting-menu-focused destination that is among our Most Anticipated Openings of the year. (Right now, the date is slated for June 2.) Housed inside the same Somerville building as Aeronaut Brewing Company, Tasting Counter is an experiential idea that comes from chef Peter Ungár, previously of Boston's late, esteemed Aujourd'hui and the Michelin-starred Paris restaurant Le Grand Véfour. It will offer a three-course tasting menu for lunch and a nine-course tasting menu for dinner, with just 20 ticketed seats available per meal. Menus will vary, of course, but we're told to expect some cool oysters when it debuts (pictured): they're topped with a cucumber seaweed gel, nashi pear and candied Meyer lemon. 14 Tyler St., Somerville; 617-299-6362

Roasted oysters at Tavern RoadIn April the Fort Point restaurant announced that its annexed casual concept, TR Street Food, would have a temporary "takeover" of the main dining room. The idea was pretty well-received, so you now have several more months to catch some of the new, inventive bites in a sit-down setting. (There's no definite end date to the takeover yet; it may last well into the summer.) Among them: oysters roasted with chorizo, parsley and lemon ($14 for a half-dozen). But you may want to double-check with your server, since they're occasionally prepared with razor clams instead. 343 Congress St.; 617-790-0808