Where to Eventide Fenway, the Boston outpost of Portland, Maine’s bivalve haven — a rite of passage for every northbound seafood lover.
What for Oysters, crudo, brown butter lobster rolls, lobster stew, and soft-serve in the heart of the newly gentrifying Fenway. This is a consolidated version of Portland’s fancier restaurant in a counter-service setting — though there are servers available to fetch more food should you need a refill or second helpings after settling in.
The scene Sleek and spacious, with floor-to-ceiling windows and light blue walls — on approach, you’d swear you were entering the Apple store. Stools and counters overlook bustling Boylston Street; there are also a few longer tables and stools without views. Order from a series of flat screens at the entrance, beneath which a friendly server stands, device at the ready, to take orders. You’ll receive a text when your food is ready. Pick everything up at a rock-walled counter topped with oysters on ice, and then relax: There’s mellow guitar music on the speakers, and you’ll (almost) forget the bustle on the other side of the glass.
What you’re eating Seafood, glorious seafood. There’s a rotating selection of oysters — today’s selection features Basket Island and Summerside varieties, among others — plus specials like tuna tartare and grilled octopus. On the standard menu: signature brown butter lobster rolls; fried oyster buns; namesake burgers with gochujang-tallow mayonnaise; and Maine lobster stew with coconut and green curry.
Care for a drink? There’s a smallish selection of unusual sodas — blueberry, maple cream, house caramel. There are also local beers on draft and by the bottle or can, a respectable selection of wines by the glass and bottle, and kombucha. Or just help yourself to water at the oyster counter.
Overheard Tales of neighborhood enthrallment, Barcelona, and hashtags. “I have my oyster store right here, my burrito store right here, and my burger store right here!” exclaims a sharp-dressed man to a friend. “We found a place that seems like Airbnb, but isn’t, for just $100 in Barcelona,” a young woman tells a friend. An older woman and two younger companions sit in a corner, sipping white wine. “I don’t know how you girls keep such late nights!” the older one says. They dig into brown butter lobster rolls. “These are so densely packed!” one of the younger women enthuses. A manager peers over their shoulder. “Do you know there’s a hashtag for those?” he asks. A hapless woman gets in line, stares up at the menu screens, and looks confused. “Do I order here? Do you text me?” she wonders. “Don’t worry. A lot of people are confused on their first time,” her server promises.
1321 Boylston St., Boston, 617-545-1060, www.eventideoysterco.comThe Quick Bite column is not a restaurant review, rather a first look and scene-setter. Kara Baskin can be reached at email@example.com.