Plain and simple, if you are in the New England area, get yourself to Boston and go to the Island Creek Oyster Bar as this place is not to be missed for many reasons:
Selection - I love discovering my east coast / west coast palate and ICOB was perfect for that experience. After looking at the menu, I started with one of every type of oyster, which turned out to be 6 east coast and 6 west coast oysters.
Quality - I overheard someone at a table nearby say, "We should probably stick to the local oysters for freshness." They couldn't have be more WRONG. At ICOB you are not going to be served an oyster that isn't top quality. One of the reasons to go is to sample oysters you otherwise do not have access to, like the Olympia and other west coast oysters. The Olympia is a rare oyster and does not travel well. So when you see them on a menu on the east coast, go for it. You don't get too many chances. That's why I had four of these little guys (about the size of a quarter) at $4 each. What a treat!
Ambiance - The wonderful and well thought out design has been talked about in many other reviews, so let me leave it at - go see it for yourself and enjoy. However, I wonder how many oyster shells are on the back wall. Any guesses? Also, I can't stop thinking about how great the oyster bar is. There is a lot of truth to the saying, "Don't order the oysters if you can't see them being shucked". The 12 different types of oysters were piled high, set on ice, and visible as they were being shucked. I love that sight! We even saw CJ jump behind the bar to help shuck some oysters for a wine/oyster class taking place that day. Classes like these are a must do. Check out the ICOB website for info on the monthly classes they offer.
Staff - I love nothing more than a knowledgeable staff. Educated on oysters, drink pairings and food selections, the ICOB staff we had nailed it. Some of them were still extremely excited for having visited and toured the Island Creek farm just a few days before. (A tour I hope to experience sometime!) Learning how oysters grow first hand allows the waitstaff to take more pride in the product they are serving, an important concept that isn't missed at ICOB. Many thanks again to Jill and George for taking such good care of us and to Kevin who recognized us. We are so happy to see that you are at Island Creek now and enjoying it so much.
We also really enjoyed the crispy oyster sliders, which were so delicious that Josh ordered two more, and the clam chowder, which was rich and warm with lots of clams and buttery biscuit floaters. We shared the mussels which were unique in that they were already de-shelled. The broth was so flavorful we finished it with spoons after the mopping bread was gone. The kitchen sent out the smoked trout appetizer with walnut pesto and blood oranges. It was a genius combination that we absolutely adored. All in all, we can't wait to go back! ICOB does it right!