After my friend and I took a City Wine Tour in the South End, we wanted to get a bite to eat before joining our husbands at Jillian's for their annual softball team bowling party. (Bar food is just the thing sometimes, but neither of us were feeling it right then.) Once my friend realized I'd never been to B&G Oysters, it was decided that that's where we'd go. B&G is part of the Barbara Lynch Gruppo, a collection of restaurants I've barely made a dent in checking out, with visits to only Drink and The Butcher Shop. I was excited to check another off my list.
We entered through the back of the restaurant and were greeted by a small, minimally decorated, subterranean restaurant space with a New England-y vibe. The focal point of the restaurant was an oyster bar and open kitchen. Lucky for us, there were seats available at the bar, where we could watch the chefs at work while we chatted and ate. Keeping the wine thing going, we ordered glasses of bubbly and then glanced at the menu.
I couldn't see being there and not ordering the namesake food item off the menu, so we started by looking at little cards that listed the available oysters that day. Needing help deciding, we asked our waitress for advice. I explained that I liked small, briny oysters, and my friend wanted less briny, creamy, medium-size oysters. Our waitress made excellent recommendations for both of us.
We soon each had ice-filled platters with our three oyster selections, cups of mignonette and cocktail sauce with extra horseradish on top, and lemon wedges. We set to work slurping down oysters. Mine were fresh, cold, and awesomely briny.
Then we shared the steamed mussels with charmoula -- a North African paste that typically includes garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley; I think this version may have had paprika too -- and cilantro.
These were incredibly tasty especially when paired with a side of crispy, ever-so-slightly greasy, hot fries -- that we definitely dipped in the mussel broth.
My first experience at B&G was a great one. I loved the atmosphere, the food, and the service. Something tells me I'm going to find myself back there with a BLT with lobster in front of me some day soon.
Have you been to any of Barbara Lynch's restaurants?