If there’s one knock on Eastern Standard, regularly lauded as one of
the best bars in the country, nevermind Boston, it’s that the already
huge bar is usually so busy, it can be hard to find a seat. Taking over
the old Great Bay space in the same building, Island Creek Oyster Bar, a
new collaboration from the people behind Eastern Standard and Duxbury’s
Island Creek Oysters should alleviate some of that.
A number of a familiar faces have made the trip down the hall,
including bar director Jackson Cannon, head bartender Bob McCoy and
general manager Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli. In other words, the bar
program here is in really capable hands. The resulting libations echo
the theme of the restaurant’s farm to table philosophy, with an emphasis
on boutique spirits and daily fresh and seasonally appropriate cocktail
ingredients. The décor of the space falls in line too, with a towering
oyster shell bedecked wall, wooden beach slats and sandy-hued floors
that suggest the Duxbury beach.
“We’re keeping the cocktail list a little bit smaller, but every
bit as elegant as some of the more interesting offerings of Eastern
Standard,” Cannon says.
They’re also designed to match well with the seafood and
oyster-focused menu. Like the house cocktail Perennial, a classic vodka
sour made with spiced fennel syrup and finished with lemon.
“We’re trying to echo seasonality,” says McCoy, calling that drink one of their more accessible.
Others, like the Spanish Cararvan, made with Calvados, Herradura
Reposado, Lustau Sherry, Allspice Dram, and garnished with a dried,
spiced-apple hue skew toward the adventurous side that you’d expect
from an all star lineup like this.
Island Creek Oyster Bar
500 Comm. Ave., Boston