B&G Oysters: A Disappointing Dining Experience

I love oysters and luckily Boston has a lot of options for good oysters. One place that kept getting recommended to me was B & G Oysters, a Barbara Lynch restaurant located in the South End. After the 5th person told me I had to the, I made a reservation, busted out my “fancy” dinner fund and ventured to the South End.

Now, since this place came highly recommended I had very high expectations. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with my experience at B & G. I made a 10:30 reservation for me and two friends, and right when we walked in we were treated like we were inconveniencing the staff there. I’m sorry but if you don’t want people eating that late, then don’t allow people to make reservations so close to closing time. After sitting we ordered a bottle of wine from a decent looking, but overpriced list. I was ready to spend a lot of money on this dinner but I don’t like when restaurants have such a limited wine price-range. The cheapest bottles of wine were $48 and there were only about 4 in that range. The wine we got was good and was a perfect bottle for a seafood meal.

When it came time to order food, we knew we wanted to get some oysters, so we got a mix of two dozen oysters. Bread came with the oysters (3 tiny pieces for 3 people) and when we asked for more the waitress brought over 2 stale pieces and told us they were out.

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We then ordered a couple appetizers and a couple entrees to split between the three of us.

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jumbo asparagus
fried egg/pickled ramp/bottarge

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salmon tartare
harissa vinaigrette/puffed wild rice/lucques olives

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Jonah crab tagliatelle
eggplant bolognese/Jonah crab

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pan roasted cobia
baby artichoke/walnut purée/English peas

The appetizers were good. I thought the asparagus had a nice mix of flavors and I love everything with a fried egg on top. It’s my weakness. The salmon tartare was also tasty and I thought that the puffed wild rice added a nice crunch and flavor to the dish. While both appetizers were good, I wouldn’t say they were anything to write home about.

The entrees were … Small. I don’t need huge portions, but if you are charging me $30 a plate,I don’t want to leave the restaurant hungry. The tagliatelle was very good and had a nice balance of flavors with a little spice from the sauce mixed with the sweetness of the crab. While the dish was good it left me wanting more. The pasta portion was small and I felt that they skimped on the crab. The cobia was also flavorful and the fish was cooked to perfection. While the fish was good it was thrown off by the walnut purée which had a chalky taste to it and was quite bland. There was also one baby artichoke. Both entrees were flavorful but there just wasn’t enough substance to either to round out the dish as a complete meal.

We also had a dessert a peach tart (which actually was made with nectarines) which was the right amount of sweet and was a nice, light finish to the meal.

Overall, I had high hopes for B & G and while the food tasted good, I don’t think there was anything that blew me away. The service was OK and I just felt that for a place that was talked about so highly I had a disappointing experience and meal.

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