Haute Spot: Island Creek Oyster Bar

Designed by famed restaurant architect Peter Bentel, Island Creek Oyster Bar (500 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, 617-532-5300) draws its interior inspiration from its namesake oyster farm in Duxbury. Tens of thousands of oyster shells fill Gabion cages to create a stunning three-dimensional wall at the back of the restaurant (the art project took eight months to complete); a dark, oversized photograph of Duxbury Bay (snapped by local photographer Stephen Sheffield) is splashed across the far corner wall, providing diners with a South Shore-inspired coastal oasis amidst a bustling Boston metropolis.

The raw bar selection, a true highlight, showcases an ever-changing mix of 12-18 types of oysters daily with locally-harvested bivalves chilling alongside John Finger’s Hog Islands oysters from San Francisco, a West Coast treat that can’t be found anywhere along the eastern seaboard except ICOB. ICOB’s commitment to shellfish transcends your basic “shuck and serve” mentality: every member of the ICOB team, from bar back to bus boy and beyond, must spend one day working on the oyster farm in Duxbury to ensure authentic conversation around aquaculture and issues regarding sustainable seafood practices. You’ll come with an appetite, and you’ll leave with an education.

As an added bonus, ICOB has recently begun offering an appetizing brunch option, with cinnamon French toast and lobster omelets touted as the early favorites. Diners can also pair a fresh Island Creek oyster with a spicy bloody mary for a truly “life’s never tasted this good” moment.

For more information about Island Creek Oyster Bar and its new brunch menu, visit: www.islandcreekoysterbar.com

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