Legal Oysteria
Legal Oysteria

Legal Oysteria

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.legalseafoods.com/restaurants/charlestown-legal-oysteria
  • Phone: (617) 712-1988
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Friday: 4:00pm - 1:00am, Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am - 1:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Italian
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu

Getting there

  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet and street parking available
A word from Legal Oysteria
Legal Oysteria is a casual neighborhood restaurant serving coastal Italian-style seafood. Executive Chef Rich Vellante developed a menu based on the food he cooks at home for family and friends.

Legal Oysteria’s menu showcases the freshness and purity of its seafood offerings and other ingredients. Preparations are simple and authentic. A brick oven (with pizza oven and rotisserie) informs the menu. There are options for those who choose to table share or prefer more traditional coursed dining. Our bar program was designed to complement the cuisine. The all Mediterranean wine list is heavily focused on Italy and Spain and the cocktail program highlights the beautiful wine, vermouth, chinato and amaro of Italy and beyond.

By tradition, an osteria is casual, comfortable and accessible and Legal Oysteria aspires to afford that same experience.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Legal Oysteria reviews from OpenTable diners
134 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelEnergetic
84% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (92)vibrant bar scene (68)fit for foodies (63)hot spot (54)good for groups (30)notable wine list (27)special occasion (25)romantic (16)scenic view (10)great for lunch (8)late-night find (8)great for brunch (8)kid-friendly (3)Show More
  • Happy Diners
    Zuzzy
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    Second time my wife and I and our son and his girlfriend have eaten at this restaurant. It doesn't disappoint whatsoever. Service is top notch and our meals were to die for. We recommend the steak pizziola as it was absolutely delicious. Would totally recommend this restaurant !!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lively scene in the old Olives space.
    Melendy99
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Good food and energy. Space is completely dominated by the bar. Nice for a night out. Decent food, but nothing noteworthy.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Fun Night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We had a great time. Mary was friendly and competent, food was great, Gina was welcoming and professional. Nice wine list. One note: the lobster stuffed lobster seemed a little over spiced- I think sage?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful neighborhood addition!
    bhpandaVIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    This was our second visit - food and service have been outstanding both times. The hostess staff and management are also very attentive and accommodating. We can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Short Walk from the Residence Inn
    TomH
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    It was a 5 min walk (or less) from the Marriott Residence Inn by the USS Constitution. On-line reservation was simple, food was great, as was the service. Great local setting. Loved the Chowdaa....Beats the grits we try to serve in Charlotte!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • It's Great!!!!!!!!!!!
    frankc
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    I work downtown and live in Charlestown. I am thrilled to have a restaurant like this in Charlestown. Everything on the menu is unusual and everything is great. I am not a big seafood person, but I love all of the seafood on this menu. My favorite appetizer is the charred octopus. The oysters, prepared several different ways and very fresh, are all great. I've tried a number of the small plates - all great. The sword fish with gnocchi is fabulous. And the steak sandwich, although a bit unconventional, is one of the best I've ever had. The place is nicely decorated with a cool bar. Please venture out to the far away land of Charlestown (its 4 minutes from downtown and 2 minutes from the North End). You won't be sorry.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • disappointing food
    thetraveler5
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    I have enjoyed the food at Legals all over Boston but I thought the food at this location was unimpressive. We had taken the advice of our server and tried a few specials which were bland and boring. The bar is lively and loud so I think it is a great place to go for a drink and maybe split a pizza but not for a nice dinner out. Go to the North End for that!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What a gem!
    invitingVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We are never disappointed! It's our new favorite for food and service. Ask for Lyle, the best!!! Try the mussels and ricotta balls, must haves.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice evening with friends
    Deedee
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Had a 6p reservation on a Thursday eve and restaurant was very accommodating when 2 people in party were delayed by traffic for over 40mins. The servers were very attentive but we never felt rushed. We ordered apps, salad and pizza to share all were good, though nothing spectacular. Fun place to get together with friends! Would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never disappoints!
    Ahayes423VIP
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    I was recently here for a friend's birthday and everything was fabulous! Great bar, delicious food and good crowd. I like this Legals.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    The fish chowder and the salmon were fantastic. I cant wait to go back and try it again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • General overview
    KennVIP
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    Staff is friendly and attentive. Food is very good and nicely presented. Menu offers options for mostly everyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Backroom dining
    KennVIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    The backroom dining experience is much more agreeable to quite dining than the front. The sound absorbing features lend itself to being able to have a conversation with your dining guests.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • gulten-free & good
    lcoakVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Almost all menu options can be made gluten-free, so that was helpful. Everything was very tasty and not nearly as expensive as I thought it would be. We got 4 small plates, a pizza (good size for 2) and a bottle of wine for $80.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • happy in Charlestown
    happyandsatedVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We read about Legal’s Oysteria when it first opened and looked forward to our first visit. It did not disappoint. Bar and surrounding area a bit loud, but there is a beautiful room in the back that we will have to try sometime. I was lucky and got a spot on the street. Our waiter was wonderful and we were visited by the assistant manager. We felt very well tended and the food was delicious. We look forward to our next trip to Charlestown.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First timers
    VisitiBoston
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    This restaurant was recommended to us by our B&B owners. The food was good but nothing special. We ordered an appetizer which did not come. Our dinner was served and I mentioned we had not yet received our appetizer, they did bring it but I think it should have been a no charge item. We wanted a nice relaxing dinner but it felt like we were at a fast food restaurant. Considering there is nothing special about their food, I would recommend finding a different place to eat.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 5+ Stars!!!!!!
    invitingVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    Service is the key to our outstanding and phenomenal dining experience! Ask for Lyle, so knowledgeable and professional. The good is excellent too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expecting lobster
    Juliana
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Just ok. Broccoli Rabe terrible..maybe old..nice server...loud so hard to visit with our party of 5.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • On the top of my list!
    AmandaPowers14
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    I love everything about this place, and the staff is Amazing! Tasty food, amazing deserts, perfect atmosphere!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Dinner
    gretchenginjp
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    had heard good things and wasn't disappointed. Food was top notch with a varied menu. Oysters to start were wonderful!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • excellant service
    ctrd
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    If you like oysters this is the place to go, with three ways to satisfy your craving of this shellfish, raw, fried and grilled. And they were all delicious.The whole fish is a good deal with $20 but you have to know how to eat a fish with head and tail. Fish was delicious and meaty, enough for two people.One criticism:Appetizer portion was small for its price.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Too noisy! Good food!
    FishgirlVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    This is a beautiful setting for a restaurant but the noise level ruins the entire experience. I was with a group of four and we weren't able to hear the person next to us. The service was good and the food was much more interesting than the typical Legal. The grilled octopus and swordfish were excellent but I don't think I'll return on a weekend until the noise problem is fixed.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Loved the swordfish, and fine wine-by-the-glass options. The bruschetta and fried oyster salad were great--a bit pricey for the amount, however. Will you ever have oyster stew in the winter? We'll be back. Great menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not what I had hoped
    MaryF
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Cool atmosphere but way too loud. You can't have a conversation with the person you are with. The food was good but it is a very limited menu. Our waitress made me do the math for the bill for 4 people to be divided by 3 cards. Glad I went but we might not go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Loving new Legal's!
    SusieH
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Just had 3rd lunch here & every visit was great! Huge plus to experience was our server, Natalie, who made sure this vegan had a delicious meal. She is a great asset to the dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    This place is fun. The food is ok and they pay attention to your dining experience. It was very noisy both times we went and this was a distraction because it was difficult to hear across the table. Maybe best to sit at the bar, watch some football and eat oysters.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • alocal
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    .Excellent. So glad Legal's has come to Charlestown!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Enjoyed it
    Chrissyremix
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    I enjoyed Legal Oysteria, the atmosphere is excellent with their huge windows and so much bright light coming in. Swordfish was very good and they accommodated my 11 year old daughter with a pasta dish. Lobster Fra Diavlo was not good. Spice was great, but sauce was very thick and lobster was very dry. I would ask what kind of pasta they are serving it with, I had never seen that kind before, small thick shell-type, I was thinking linguini since most are served like that. My fault for not asking first. Loved my server, she was fantastic.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Great first experience there. The food was very good could use larger protions
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    This is my second visit to the Oysteria. During my first visit I thought the food was "good" but this time I thought it was absolutely delicious! I had the tuna special cooked medium rare with mashed potatoes and fennel salad. My friends had the salmon. We also LOVED the mussel appetizer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Something for everyone!
    HungryInBoston
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Menu has interesting and wide variety of selections. We were a party of 5. We ordered several appetizers & 4 different entrees and everyone was delighted. (One party member thought his pasta could have been cooked a bit less to be truly al dente). Seafood stew; linguine with clams; pasta with lobster; swordfish; gnocchi with cod; grilled octopus; all were delicious. Our waitperson was extremely pleasant & helpful. The desert menu was not too exciting. We shared the pear crostata which was quite good. I have only one negative comment: the noise level is very high given the location and size of the very lively bar in the center of the room. We were seated as far away from the bar as possible and it was still a challenge to converse!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Food
    Pamela
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    I really liked the service, I had a reservation at 8 but my BF and I had to wait for like 10 minutes. Not big deal because we just sit at the bar and got a drink. They follow all the recomendations about the table that i wanted and We got a very nice spot. It is a little bit noise, not too intimate. Food was really good, the appetizers, the entrees and dessert were phenomenal. It was my BF's birthday and I mention that when I made the reservation and they brought our dessert with a candle for him so that was really thoughtful. The service was fast. I will definitely recommend it.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • fancynancy
    fancynancy
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    The wait staff and the managers were very professional and efficient. I enjoyed looking at the menu. I was unfamiliar with most of the items, so I stuck with an old favorite pizza. The chocolate cake was divine. We enjoyed our night out in Charlestown
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not just Seafood
    mamamaria
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    Don't think that this is just another regular Legal Seafood. The food is exceptional, even the non seafood items. My son ate here a week earlier and had the chicken which he liked very much. I came this week and had the baked oysters which were crispy and cooked to perfection just like the stuffed trout. But have to say that my favorite menu item was the artichoke lasagna cooked in a fontina/romano sauce that was like nothing I've ever had before! Can't wait to go back and order it again! Service was outstanding and oh so friendly. Manager very welcoming and informative. So glad that Charlestown has another great dining choice once again in the old Olives location.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • the place peaks early
    Trugrit
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    disorganized at the reception desk at 9pm, mainly due to numerous diners lingering at their tables long after they'd finished their meals. management needs to coax, cajole and encourage finished diners to make way for the next set of diners who hold reservations and are HUNGRY. appetizers were disappointing; main courses were quite fine. wait staff seems exhausted. excellent food overall. ambience does encourage lingering. so, early hour and midweek reservation is your best bet. I will be dining there again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Did not disappoint
    AB88BostonVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    We've been wanting to try legal oysteria since it first opened. We finally had the time this weekend and it did not disappoint. Our waitress was on point and so was the food. The two dishes that stood out for us were the ricotta fritters and salted cod cod gnocchi with swordfish. I highly recommend both. Also, it's a great date night spot, but works well for larger groups too
    Special Features:
    hot spot, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really nice find
    HappyinTeton
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    We tried Oysteria after seeing a review in the Globe, and thoroughly enjoyed our meal. The menu is varied and prices are very reasonable for the quality of the offerings. We enjoyed a collection of small dishes - somewhat like tapas offerings, with a wonderful Brunello reasonably priced. Our server was enthusiastic and attentive. We will certainly go back again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not legal and not osteria
    CambridgianVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    We thought it had to be a great: we are huge Legal seafood fans.We love Italian Osteria restaurants. They could benefit from becoming either more like a standard Legal Seafoods restaurant, or more like an Italian bistro. It is neither. The service was indifferent, in stark contrast to the usual high standard at Legal. The food was odd at best. I had the silk handkerchiefs--which was basically pasta in a green souplike substance. The appearance was to say the least off putting. It actually tasted fine. We ordered the ricotta fritters, which were slightly overdone. The crostini were quite good. The bread was dry and served sliced, on a plate. The artichoke lasagne was so-so, and a bit small. If it succeeds it will be due to a great location.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • worth a try
    ellebeeVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    I love seafood and had been waiting to try this relatively new spot. I didn't love the menu, but had some oysters and then my date and I shared entrees. Both the swordfish and salmon were delicious and they even split the dishes for us in the kitchen. the table was small, so having the two large plates each was a bit awkward. The waitress was also strange and seemed to hover over the table when we were trying to talk.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It ain't Olives
    Eater272VIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Don't come here expecting the rebirth of Olives. The room reminds you of Olives, but the food, though good, is far from great. Terrific if you live in the neighborhood, but not worth a long trip.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate