DUXBURY – There is no place on the planet that makes oysters quite like the waters of Duxbury Bay. If you want them fresh, you have to go see The Oysterman.
Located less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean, The Oysterman is a small but spirited eatery serving all of the classics you love, like lobster rolls and fried seafood, along with some inventive dishes.
“We wanted to celebrate the local oysters and have a raw bar,” said owner Dermot Loftus. “There wasn’t a raw bar in town and then we built a menu out around it. We wanted to have something for everybody, from seafood dishes to burgers and filet mignon.”
When he first moved to Duxbury, Dermot was captivated by the local oyster farmers.
“I spent a lot of time down at the harbor. I was fascinated by watching the oystermen at work out there and started to learn a little bit about the process, and then was really surprised to find that there wasn’t actually a raw bar in town.”
So he set up shop and designed the space around the oyster bar, which is always staffed with experts.
“Our shuckers that work here all work on the oyster farms themselves. It’s great to have them in here, and to have them talk about the oysters, to share their experiences. It’s interesting to watch people discovering oysters for the first time, and then having a farmer here who’s able to explain a little bit more to them.”
When you are dining at The Oysterman, the obvious way to kick off your meal is with something from the raw bar, where oysters are delivered on a daily basis. Selections usually include oysters from the world-renowned Island Creek.
Other starts to our meal include a beautiful Caprese Stack, Thai Shrimp Nachos featuring sautéed shrimp in a red curry sauce, beautiful Buttermilk Fried Oysters, and zippy Buffalo Cauliflower.
“Probably our most popular dish since we opened,” Dermot said. “Just a take on Buffalo chicken that everyone’s familiar with. Here we do a light batter on the cauliflower and then toss it in our Buffalo sauce, serve that with a little bit of blue cheese and blue cheese dipping sauce. Great way to eat vegetables.”
If you are looking for a great way to eat some meat, nothing beats the Oysterman Egg Rolls, stuffed with tender steak and gooey cheese and served with an addictive Maple Dijon dip. Then there is a glorified version of a grilled cheese.
“It’s a play on a simple grilled cheese, but when you add a little sautéed onion, a little bit of slow braised short rib, it just takes it to another level,” Dermot described.
The Oysterman also offers more substantial sandwiches like their lobster roll, which is lightly seasoned with lemon and mayo and served on a brioche bun. Or, you could go for a New England / New Orleans fusion, and order the Oyster Po Boy.
“That’s fried oysters. There’s lettuce, pickles, house brined tomatoes, spicy aioli, and it’s served with our hand cut fries,” Dermot explained. “It has that feeling of New England, the feeling of Duxbury.”
Believe it or not, even though this is a seafood shanty, the burger here is king. It has become an instant hit because it is modeled after one of America’s favorites.
“We figured, what is the bestselling burger in America? It’s a Big Mac. So how do we set about doing a fresh Big Mac? Two patties, double served with fresh chopped lettuce, our own secret sauce. It’s been a huge hit for us. Certainly fresher than a Big Mac.”
The beef continues right through the entree section of the menu, with slowly braised short rib served over pillowy gnocchi, and one of the best filets on the South Shore.
“The filet mignon is served with a red wine demi glaze. We’re doing a warm German potato salad and seasonal vegetables,” Dermot listed. “If you’re going to treat yourself to a steak, you certainly want to have a good steak.”
For a classic seafood dish, nothing quite tops Shrimp and Lobster Scampi.
“Just a classic dish, almost like the seafood version of a filet mignon. It’s a wonderful treat. We make that here with fresh linguini, and the same lobster that we use in our lobster rolls and shrimp,” Dermot said.
Whether you are a burger guy, someone who likes a good filet, or a great grilled cheese is your thing, you can get it all at The Oysterman.
You can find the Oysterman at 30 Railroad Avenue in Duxbury and online at anchorandoysterman.com.
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