Pond to Plate from Bristol Oyster Bar

This Hope Street seafood joint dishes up bright summer specials for all tastes

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Set foot off the Seastreak Bristol Ferry or pedal over to Hope Street from the East Bay Bike Path and come to a charming destination for pond-to-plate fare. Centrally located in historic downtown, Bristol Oyster Bar is the flagship establishment of the East Bay Restaurant Group with owner Jordan Sawyer and corporate chef Andy McWilliams at the helm devising a menu around the region’s bounty. 

If you’re lured here by the “oyster bar” in the name, you won’t be disappointed. “Our raw bar features Rhode Island oysters and littlenecks from local farms and diggers including our own, Aquidneck Oyster Farm,” shares Sawyer. During summer, snag a seat on their bustling patio Tuesday through Thursday from 4-6pm and be treated to half-price raw bar happy hour.

Once you’ve had your oyster fill, chances are good you’ll stay for the variety of other creative dishes crafted by executive chef Matt Lerish and cocktails dreamt up by general manager Simeona Bullock. “Highlighting local seafood, poultry, and produce, there are offerings for lovers of the land and the sea,” says Sawyer. For the latter, there’s the shareable Lobster Fritters with sweet corn and tangy tarragon aioli or the Yellowfin Tuna Crudo, which uses sushi-grade tuna with pickled shallots, togarashi spice, and crispy puffed farro. “It’s a refreshing summer starter and natural accompaniment to our other chilled raw bar offerings.” And for landlubbers, Sawyer recommends the Barbacoa Tacos with Narragansett Creamery queso fresco. 

Arriving by boat, bike, or car, and regardless of whether your palate leans briny or earthy, Bristol Oyster Bar is a summer hotspot. 

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