I can think of no finer way to whittle away a late summer afternoon or evening than with a dozen (or more) ice-cold oysters. Some people will say that oysters are best consumed in months that contain a letter “r,” the colder months. I buck that advice. You can find and eat great oysters in summer, too, and, yes, you definitely should. So, where should you get those slippery bivalves on the East End? We have your list right here.
If you are not already attending The Bell & Anchor’s Sunday night ode to oysters, you’re missing out. Every Sunday, irrespective of weather or season, the Sag Harbor stalwart serves up Montauk Pearl oysters for a dollar apiece. If you’re wondering whether or not this promotion is popular, just ask chef Sam McClelland, who recently posted a sales report on Instagram: over 1600 oysters sold in one night. Be part of that crowd. You won’t regret it.
Bell & Anchor, 3253 Noyack Road, Sag Harbor, (631) 725.3400, open Sundays through Thursdays, 5:30 to 9:30, Fridays and Saturdays, 5:30 to 10:30.
Talk about a room with a view. Salt looks out onto the water, and, if you’re lucky enough to have a boat, you can pull right up to the dock on Shelter Island and walk to the host stand. Oysters at Salt are a little, ahem, above market value, but you’re paying to be on the water, after all. Kick back with a jalapeño margarita and a dozen or so of these beauties and watch the world go by from the privacy of your waterside table. There are few better places to be.
Salt Shelter Island, 63 S Menantic Road, Shelter Island, (631) 749.5535, open daily 12 to 9 p.m.
Tucked away off the main drag in Greenport, this oyster-centric experience is the best place to go if you want the comprehensive bivalve tasting. The menu changes with availability, but you can reliably expect to find delicious, fresh oysters from local waters in a casual setting, along with beer and other snacks. There’s an outdoor area, too, where that casual vibe spills out, literally, onto the street.
Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market, 37 Front Street, Greenport, (631) 477.6992, call for seasonal hours.
Replacing Bay Kitchen Bar this year is Bostwick’s on the Harbor, which enjoys the same excellent bay front view as its fortunate predecessor. There, you can find Robbins Island oysters, shucked to order and served extremely cold—with cocktail sauce. At sunset, the orange orb appears to plummet directly into Three Mile Harbor, and it’s quite the sight to behold. The only thing better than enjoying a glass of rosé with this vista is enjoying a glass of rosé with this vista… with oysters.
Bostwick’s on the Harbor, 39 Gann Road, East Hampton, (631) 324.1150, open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 5 to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 5 to 11 p.m., and Sundays, 12 to 10 p.m.
In Southold, Tom Schaudel may not have the most picturesque property on the block—but he does have the best mignonette, and that’s reason enough to head there for the oysters. The renowned Long Island chef serves a selection of local oysters (they change with the market) alongside a cucumber verjus mignonette that has no fair equal. The restaurant abuts a marina, and has plenty of outdoor seating, so it’s perfectly summer themed, but, even if it weren’t, I’d go back.
A Lure Chowder House & Oysteria, 62300 Main Road, Southold, (631) 876.5300, open daily for lunch and dinner (check website for hours).
The new Duryea’s may not be the paper plate place we all loved way back when, but it’s still a stellar spot for those looking to bivalve it up with a view of the water. The restaurant offers both East (Montauk Pearl, Blue Point) and West Coast (Kumamoto, Beausoleil) oysters, served with a side of waterview. Does life get any better than this?
Duryea’s Lobster Deck, 65 Tuthill Road, Montauk, (631) 668.2410, open Mondays through Fridays, 12 to 10 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Read more about oysters in our archives here.