Getting great seafood isn’t always easy. It’s pricey, it needs to be fresh to be any good, and some of it requires that you wear an article of clothing that’s normally sold at Buy Buy Baby. Sure, there are plenty of quick and easy seafood shacks around here (and we love them) but sometimes you want shellfish that isn’t covered in flour, fried, and shiny enough that it could be used as the before picture in a Neutrogena commercial.
Eventide is the more casual, counter-service sister restaurant of a well-known place in Portland. The original location definitely falls into the “seafood is hard” bucket, thanks to waits that often start at 40 minutes and extend into the better-stretch-out-your-core-before-you-come-here zone. But at the Fenway location, you'll get the same top-tier seafood without waiting so long for a table that you’ll end up doing dessert at the chiropractor.
This is a bright, airy space that only gets crowded during Sox games, making it a great spot to come to by yourself, with a friend, or (because it’s so quick) someone who’s not really a friend. Either way, you’ll order at the counter, pick out a high-top seat, and then be amazed at the fine-dining quality seafood that comes out quickly in cardboard boxes.
To be clear, there is some fried seafood here, but you won’t find grease-stained buckets of scallops, clams, and onion rings mixed together. Instead, you’ll find hockey pucks of sushi rice topped with a handful of fried clams, uni, tobiko, and yuzu mayo. You’ll find chowder that has big, whole belly clams in it instead of tiny, chopped up pieces that look more like clam confetti than actual clam meat. And, if for some reason you came here wanting something other than seafood, you’ll also find outstanding fries and a burger with pickled onions and gochujang-tallow mayo that’s delicious even though you can’t choose the temperature it’s cooked at.
And then there’s the lobster roll that’s taken over Boston. It’s doused in brown butter, filled with big chunks of lobster meat, and it comes in a steamed bao bun instead of a hot dog roll. It’s excellent, but really rich, and you should order the small one so you have room to explore the rest of the menu.
A seafood-loving president near and dear to Boston’s heart once challenged us to go to the moon precisely because it was hard. But doing things the easy way is great too. That’s why we have remote controls, plastic surgery, toilet paper that can be delivered to our front doors, and, now, white tablecloth-quality seafood served to us fast-food style.
It’s sort of khaki-colored instead of white, but don’t avoid it just because khaki is a boring color. With big chunks of bacon and whole belly clams, this chowder is excellent.
As with the clams in the chowder, you’re not going to have any trouble finding the lobster in here. That’s great, because even without it, the coconut mushroom broth would be good enough to eat on its own.
The thing that sucks about everything being served on paper here is that you’re going to be mad about the ginger-scallion sauce seeping into the tray instead of your mouth.
Uni Fried Clams
It’s not, as you might assume, a traditional fried clam dish topped with uni. Think of it instead as a traditional uni dish topped with fried clams.
Brown Butter Lobster Roll
We don’t know you, but you’re human, so you’re probably going to like this.
They don’t let you pick the temperature it’s cooked at, but it’s all about the toppings, anyway: lettuce, gochujang-tallow mayo, pickled onions, a lot of cheese, and a perfectly-sized bun.
Nori Dusted Potato Chips
They’re kind of cool, but not as good as the fries - get those instead.