Once upon a time there was a restaurant called B&G Oysters in the South End of Boston. And when it first opened, Chowhounders raved about and just couldn't get enough of the place. But over time, dissenters began to raise their voices, and other places, most notably Neptune Oysters, appeared on the scene, sapping away much of B&G's buzz. Notwithstanding this, IMHO B&G's star has never faded. Last night I had one of those meals that reminded me what all the excitement was about when we all first discovered the place.
Two friends and I were seated at the counter at around 8:30. Tara, who, even if you don't know her name, would be familiar to anyone who has gone to B&G with any regularity, was working the counter. We started off with some fried clams (drizzled with tabasco sauce; mmm) and then shared a lobster tasting menu of our own making: lobster bisque, lobster carbonara (made with the root vegetable salsify rather than pasta), and a lobster special comprising lobster served over roasted vegetables served with some wonderful butter-based sauce (it reminded me of, but was not quite as good as, the homard poêlé -- lobster in a pan -- at Markt, in NYC, which is one of my favorite lobster dishes anywhere). Tara then treated us to one of the evening's special appetizers, crab croquettes (or maybe they call them crab beignets; I can't remember). It was a wonderful and satsifying meal at a very reasonable price: about $115 with one drink each. Of course it's easy to spend a lot more at B&G when you add in oysters, lobster rolls, and more booze, but it needn't be ridiculously expensive. As has always been the case, desserts at B&G are a weak spot, so we headed over to Francesca's for coffee and a chocolate-buttercream-peanut-butter-cookie sandwich.
I hate to perpetuate the B&G vs. Neptune debate on this board because both are great places and, as evidenced by the lines out the door of both places every evening, there's clearly room for both. But if I had to vote for just one, my vote would go to B&G.
BTW, they now accept reservations for half of the dining room on opentable.com. Not wanting to discourage walk-ins, half of the dining room remains first-come-first-served.