To say that we loved Eventide Oyster Co. would be a huge understatement. We ended up back here three times in the four days that we were in Portland (and I became the mayor on Swarm, haaa). After a long five-hour drive and resting at our lovely Homeaway, we made our way to Eventide and were seated immediately by the bar, where we were greeted by the enormous block of granite that had the different oysters and shellfish that Eventide had to offer nestled in layers and layers of ice. Other than in markets, I had never seen such a display of product out in the open for everyone to admire in a restaurant—it was awesome. The guy shucking our oysters informed us that the granite was placed in the middle of the restaurant, and the bar was poured around it.
We started off our meal with a half dozen oysters, all extremely fresh and perfect with the cocktail sauce and tabasco ice that we chose as our accoutrements. I also ordered a cocktail, the Twisted Tea, which came in a mini milk bottle, something I thoroughly appreciated. The drink was strong, but tasty. I left with a pleasant buzz at the end of our meal (sorry Kevin). We ordered a brown butter vinaigrette lobster roll, a fried oyster bun, and the tuna tartare to share.
I think what completely won me over about the lobster roll and fried oyster bun was the soft bread that they used to encase the filling; it resembled the same kind of bread you would get with a traditional pork bun. It was soft, fluffy, and absolutely delicious! We inhaled both the lobster roll and oyster bun in a matter of seconds. The lobster to bread ratio was perfect in the lobster roll, but I really wish there was more fried oyster in the oyster bun. However, the crunchy pickled vegs and tartar sauce were the perfect accompaniments to the oyster bun.
Because there was a bit of a wait the second time we came, we ordered take-out: another brown butter lobster roll, another fried oyster roll, the fried chicken bun, and the dashi chowder. I thought the dashi chowder would have the same consistency as a classic clam chowder, but I was wrong. Because I was looking for a clam chowder, I admittedly didn't enjoy the soup as much as I would have liked. And unfortunately, we weren't able to try the New England Clam Bake the third and last time we made our way to Eventide, but this won't be my last visit to Portland (or Eventide) for sure.