For centuries, ancient Italians worshipped Neptune, god of the sea. Today, Bostonians idolize Neptune Oyster, the 42-seat, North End neighborhood oyster bar with diners snuggled up on stools along the very long marble-topped bar or seated on the equally long carmine leather banquette. This is a no reservations, worth the hour wait, whiff of the sea in the air, fruits of the sea eatery with a superb, carefully curated wine list.
This is not a tourist on a budget destination. This is the kind of classic, dock to dinner plate, American seafood that gives Beantown bragging rights. Yes, cracking a lobster is fun and worth the mess and fuss---but maybe save it for the beach, picnic table, or backyard clambake? Instead, order Neptune’s iconic hot lobster roll. Bathed in butter and served hot on toasted brioche, this simple preparation showcases perfectly New England’s most iconic summer sandwich.
In for something a bit more daring? The tuna collar special turns heads as this sweet, tender, still-on-the-bone grilled monster is hauled from the kitchen and placed towering onto the space in front of your seat. Or, perhaps the crudo market special? This week with temperatures in the upper 90’s, slices of local Fluke arrive tucked among squares of chilled watermelon and finely sliced jalapeño.
This is not your mama’s cooking. It is, rather imaginatively flavored dishes and a second to none east coast meets west coast raw bar. Proprietors, Kelli & Jeff Nace, have cultivated an urban clam shack with a distinctly laid-back vibe. Culinary creativity, and friendly service will keep Neptune’s award-winning shuckers shucking and long lines cueing despite any forecast for rain, snow, or blistering heat in the Cradle of Liberty.