Legal Oysteria
Legal Oysteria

Legal Oysteria

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.legalseafoods.com/restaurants/charlestown-legal-oysteria
  • Phone: 6177121988x
  • 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 WinnerNeigborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Legal Oysteria reviews from OpenTable diners
81 reviews since June 3, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.9
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelEnergetic
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (56)vibrant bar scene (42)fit for foodies (37)hot spot (34)good for groups (16)special occasion (14)notable wine list (14)romantic (11)great for lunch (8)late-night find (5)great for brunch (4)scenic view (4)kid-friendly (3)Show More
  • 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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    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!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    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
  • 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
  • Good time, great food!
    AlysiaVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Really enjoy the atmosphere at LO. We have dined here twice now and have enjoyed our meals both evenings. In both events, our appetizers and entrees were brought out a little too close together but I was looking forward to diving in to the Lobster Fra Diavlo so I had no issue with it. The Ricotta fritters are to die for! Looking forward to the next seasonal menu!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Nice spot in Charlestown. Extremely loud though. Not a place for a nice quiet meal at all. Could not even hear myself talk at points because of the extreme noise.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Legals Oysteria
    VotsieVogue
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    The food was good, the restaurant loud, and the waitress very inattentive. We had to wait 12 minutes after dinner for her to see if we wanted dessert or to leave the check. The whole fish was fantastic. Though it did taste good, the Silk Handkerchief Pasta looked too much like snot to enjoy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • lynnVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Just too noisy and was not thrilled with the selections on the menu.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Above and beyond on all aspects.
    maya
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Food was great. We ordered Seafood Appetizer, Pizza, Whole Fish, Rabi, and the cookie dish for dessert. Every dish was perfection. Delicate touch with seasoning. The portion of Seafood appetizer was disappointing, but the dressing was great for bread dipping--forget the drawn butter. Kyle, our server, went above and beyond, and we're a fussy group! Atmosphere is casual--not muss, no fuss. It's open, bright, and upbeat. I'm local and I'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Legal Seafood with a culinary twist
    MBFMaven53VIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    This place is great! Revamped in the former Todd English's Olives location, Legal Oysteria takes food to another level. The staff is friendly, the wine list has been thoughtfully designed to pair with the food and the food...well, it's touted as Mediterranean coastal food that the chef likes to cook at home for friends...I would like to be on the guest list! Menu is a combination of small plates and larger servings. Charred octopus was well executed, stuffed trout was delicious as was the swordfish salmorigilio. Will defiinitely return soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Legal Oysteria is trying hard
    gclabo
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    My wife and I have tried Legal Oysteria a few times. The times we sat at the bar were a pleasant experience from all aspects of food, drink, and service. The time we had reservations we stood at the reception desk while the 2 receptionists were on the phone never even looking at us. Not good. At the table the server was prompt, friendly and very observant. She noticed that my wife was not thrilled with her dish. The fresh pasta was undercooked tasting like uncooked flour. The GM came over and made it right by not charging for the pasta and desert. That is a sign of good customer relations that will keep us coming back...unless the food fails consistently. We want it to work badly...Charlestown needs it.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Work in progress but getting there
    Monkmayfair
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Big fan of Legal and good to see new concept and good dining in Charlestown. Like all venues, new ones have to work a few things out across the board - menu, recipes, service, attention to detail - all good qualities of the other Legal operations and locations. Food and menu balance will get worked out - service seemed to need a focus that needs attention - management always a big part of the service experience - surprised in a new location less apparent on the night we dined. Either way - will try it again as no doubt will settle down.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice Bar
    Maryco
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    This is a nice concept from Legal Seafoods. It has a huge bar in the middle with tables around it. So there is less seating at tables with the bar taking up so much space. The small plates are nice. The menu is limited with only a few main courses. The one thing that I did not like were the large TVs over the bar playing car racing and other sports. I found them to be extremely distracting since they are in the middle of the room. I couldn't look anywhere without seeing the screens which feel like they belong in a sports bar, not an elegant room with large windows overlooking the park.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pleasantly surprised
    frankc
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I live in Charlestown and have been wanting to try this restaurant. I had heard it was a Legal’s restaurant, but it served Italian food. It is actually seafood prepared Italian style. The food was excellent. Appetizers: Best octopus I ever had. The salad was delicious. The trout was very substantial and the swordfish with homemade gnocchi was fabulous. Prices are very reasonable. Truly a neighborhood gem. I will definitely be back often.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • night out
    kend
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    First time. All 5 of us , not local, off of boat for evening out, all agreed great new experince and reccomend to all.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The coffee was served hot!
    EAKAZANVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    The coffee at meals end was served hot...so many times this is not the case...a big plus! A few suggestions...the topping on the trout was 50% jalapenos YET no mention of spicy/hot on menu description. The grilled lobster came cracked (looked like smashed back of knife) BUT to the point where I was picking bits of charred shell from each mouthful. Why not provide nut crackers like other restaurants. Don't split the tail, this is New England we know how to open lobster.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Legal Oysteria- Great New place!
    SMG01VIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    What a great new Legal restaurant! Loved the food and atmosphere! Highly recommend to everyone!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • And dinner?
    bake
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    We had lunch on Sunday, which was superb. We hope it will be as good for dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worst
    BellaVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Terrible service, rude unprofessional staff that has had little or no customer service training Loud cavernous overcrowded space Food was poor quality not up to legal standards at all
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Sparkling wine and Oysters
    emilymaine
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    This was our second time visiting L.O. and it was even better than the first. We started with a dozen oysters of every available variety. They were briny, delicious and tasted fresh served with all the right accouterments. For my main course I enjoyed the green salad with pine nuts, grapes and cheese and an order of their tomato/pancetta mussels. I highly recommend this place. The service was awesome!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    The service was extraordinary. The oysters were delicious as was the salmon. My guests loved the linguini with clams and the anchovies dressing on the salad. It's a bright, fun place that deserves a return.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not great
    JoeTVIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    We ordered the baked oyster app and they were so yummy we ordered another. It came out almost raw. We sent it back and they gave us another and it was the same. My dinner was very salty and sent it back. My wife's trout was excellent. I am a big Legal fan but will not go back
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food and service but...
    SAGLG
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    There is a long rectangular bar in the middle of the dining room. Tables for four are situated around the edge of the room while tables for two are in the space between those and the bar. People standing talking to their friends sitting at the bar were inches away from our table for two. It was a horrible location, unless you like looking at behinds while you eat. Oh, and bring your noise cancelling headphones, you would get a sore throat from yelling to make yourself heard to your companion. Basicially, you are paying restaurant prices for a bar atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Legal is SPOT ON eith Oysteria!
    DandJSVIP
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    This was our first visit and will not be our last. Legal hit a home run with Oysteria when they created this mix of Legal's superb quality standards, absolutely fresh ingredients and attentive service with an Italian Bistro there. The menu has any number of very interesting choices and everything we had was truly outstanding. Legal's executive chief stopped by our table to check on us and we learned that the menu will change seasonally with new selections. All in all, a great evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.