When Diva #2 was planning her trip to Boston, she didn’t realize that she would be missing her high school reunion. A little saddened, she took comfort in the fact that she would be in Boston with friends from high school, so who was she missing after all? What she didn’t count on was having an impromptu reunion just the same.
While checking Facebook, she noticed that a friend had checked in to Logan International. After a few messages back and forth, plans were made to meet up for a 5 à 7. So Diva #2 and company met up with our old high school friend and had our own mini reunion, reminiscing over oysters and drinks. This is the best way to stroll down memory lane, slightly inebriated and enjoying oysters. When we told her of our dinner plans at B & G Oysters, she considered coming with us, but wifely duties won out, and she left to meet her husband. Thankfully, she made sure to tell us the must-order items at Barbara Lynch’s B & G Oysters restaurant.
We headed back to our hotel to get ready for our last dinner in Boston. All the reviews that praised the restaurant did not do it justice; B & G Oysters was beyond perfection. We arrived at the South End restaurant on Tremont Street and entered through the side door, following the sign that read “Bivalves,” Diva #2 was amused by the play on words. Greeted by hues of blue, funky lighting and a stainless steel bar, we were seated at our table directly across from the open kitchen. There is something about watching chefs in their element, especially when they enjoy preparing food, as much as their customers enjoy eating it.
We knew two things that we had to order, according to our high school friend, the fried clams and the lobster roll. Diva #2 and the Polish Pearl also knew that wine was a must and we ordered the 2011 No. 9 Park Pinot Blanc, a perfect dry white wine that had a great balance and complimented our fishy meal. This wine is made specifically for Barbara Lynch’s No. 9 Park restaurant.
B & G Oysters boasts a variety of twelve different types of oyster so it only seemed right to order the little critters. Diva #2 and Cuz left it up to the waitress to choose which ones we should try and she assured us we would not be disappointed. Presented on a tray of ice with lemon, horseradish, cocktail sauce and a Prosecco mignonette, the oysters were perfect. A card telling us which oysters were on the tray was nestled on the ice. This was a neat idea and we would love for restaurants in Montreal to have these little cards, especially when we order a plate with different types of oysters. We tried three types: Mermaid Cover, Standish Shore and Blue Point. Our favourite was the StandishShore, briny and delicious. The Prosecco mignonette was something new for Diva #2 and she hopes to see it again, it balanced the salt of the oysters perfectly.
“Jonah Crab Bisque – cauliflower, granny smith apples, celery” 13$
The crab bisque was flavourful, velvety, comforting and simple. And dare it be said, better than lobster bisque. Garnished with a few simple drops of oil, and a couple celery leaves, it was perfect. The cauliflower added a little body to the dish and the tartness of the apples complimented the sweet crab flavour.
Roasted golden beets is not a dish that necessarily jumps out from the menu, but at B & G Oysters it is something to try. Sitting in a smear of puréed pistachio, the combination of flavours was great and The Firm was quick to point out the subtle taste of tumeric. The ingredient that really made this dish stand out though were the pickled raisins. Not something you often see, they were very sweet, plump and when combined with the earthy beets and pistachios, tantalizing.
The halibut tartare was something special. Extremely fresh and meaty, it was a cool and satisfying appetizer. A generous portion, the slivers of crunchy kohlrabi and small cubes of red beets added punches of flavour with every bite, and the chorizo and vinaigrette was subtle. You do not often see halibut tartare on a menu, if at all, and it was a nice variation to the usual fish tartares.
A salad was also ordered but at least this one had more than green leaves on the plate. The arugula was dressed with a tomato based vinaigrette that complemented the creamy goat cheese. The Polish Pearl said it was too salty but this is often a matter of taste, and the Divas really only care for our own opinions.
We were still reminiscing about high school; well three of us were because Cuz did not remember half the people we named. But she is most likely still suffering from high school PTSD – a potential side effect of going to an all-girl private high school!
Our appetizers done, we eagerly awaited our mains. The Polish Pearl ordered the red snapper. It was cooked perfectly, the cranberries scattered around the fish added a tart burst of flavour, and the sauce was delicious. The mushrooms were rich with a crisp texture and it was served with a tortelloni, an oversized tortellini filled with sweet potato. This was surprisingly not over-the-top sweet.
Over the weekend, the Firm had quickly acquired a taste for crab and ordered the Jonah crab tagliatelle. It was made with an eggplant Bolognese sauce, topped with crab that has been poached in butter; this added richness to the dish. There was plenty of crab in the dish and each tender piece simply melted in your mouth.
Diva #2 and Cuz took our friend’s advice and ordered the fried Ipswich clams and the lobster roll, which, according to our friend, we had to order regardless of its price. Lucky for our friend, we loved her suggestions.
The fried clams were like popcorn and addictive. The clincher was that they left the belly portion on the clams! Our waitress recommended we order the half portion of clams, without the sides, since our other plate had the fries and pickles, and we agreed The clams were meaty, sweet and large. The outside coating was not too thick to mask the actual clam but had a good crunch. Another plus was that there was hardly any oil residue on the plate, rare for anything fried. Eaten on their own with a squirt of lemon or while being dipped into their house-made tartar sauce, this is definitely a dish that, if you are at B & G Oysters, should be on your table.
As our waitress told us, the lobster roll is one of their most popular dishes and they steam the lobsters daily, crack their shells and go through tons of lobster meat each day. Their lobster roll left us speechless. Steamed and dressed sparingly with lemon, chives and celery, the lobster was unbelievably fresh and sweet. A lot of lobster rolls are overdone with mayo and other additions, but this was simple and perfection. If that wasn’t enough, our roll had enough lobster to fill two buns handedly. The fries were crispy with just enough salt.
Everything at Barbara Lynch’s B & G Oysters was perfect, from the chill ambiance, the great service, and the excellent food. It is definitely a place worth visiting if you’re in Boston.
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: 02116, 550 Tremont St, Always on Thursdays, B & G Oysters, B & G Oysters Boston, Barbara Lynch, Blue Point, Boston, Catfish, Clams, Cod, Crab, Crab Bisque, Fried Ipswich Clams, Halibut Tartare, Jonah Crab Tagliatelle, Littleneck Clams, Lobster BLT, Lobster Roll, Mermaid Cove, Oyster Bar, oysters, Red Snapper, Reservations Needed, Roasted Beets, Seafood, South End, Standish Shore, Swordfish, Tremont, USA, wine