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Umbria is your oyster

It's not just an old wives' tale that oysters should only be eaten when there's an R in the month.

It's not just an old wives' tale that oysters should only be eaten when there's an R in the month. In cold waters like the northeast's, summer is spawning time and, generally, the oyster's flesh becomes flabby and has less flavor. Timely, then, that Umbria Prime added Oyster Bar to its name this fall, extending the range of seafood this longtime Italian restaurant offers. Wisely, Umbria's raw bar choice -- a daily rotation of around 10 types -- culls locally: Maine's Winter Points have a soft flavor and slight sweetness; Edgartown's Katama Bays are large and rich; New Brunswick's Fire Rivers are small and densely mineraly.

The oyster bar itself is a vibrant visual to the room, which was stripped back to old brick and humongous wood beams years ago.

Oysters make for a light low-calorie appetizer before a warming plate of pasta. Umbria's pappardelle coats thick ribbons in a rich, creamy woodland ragu of shredded wild boar and mushrooms. More delicate, the butternut squash ravioli -- both pastas are perfectly chewy -- has a honey sauce that's light and doesn't overpower the squash with sugariness. Another fine companion to oysters is a nice glass of white wine -- go with Prosecco or Conundrum Caymus, which is mellowed by the oyster's brine.

If you go

Umbria Prime & Oyster Bar

295 Franklin St. Boston

617-3381000

www.umbriaprime.com

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