Select Oyster Bar

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4.7
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909 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
Select Oyster Bar, the first solo venture from chef Michael Serpa, is a neighborhood oyster bar & seafood restaurant in the heart of Back Bay. Select offers fresh, local seafood with Mediterranean influences in a cozy brownstone space. A carefully curated raw bar, creative crudo, and thoughtful fish entrees round out the menu. A seafood centric wine program feature classic pairings as well as off the beaten path selections is the center of the beverage program, alongside artisan cocktails and craft beer.

Food & Wine America's Best New Wine Bars, Boston Mag Best New Restaurant & Best Wine Program, Improper Bostonian Best Seafood.

WE TYPICALLY SEAT PARTIES OF TWO & THREE AT OUR DINING COUNTER.

After 15 minutes past reservation time, we may seat your table. Please call us if you are running a bit late.

If you do not find the time slot you are looking for, give us a ring 857-239-8064.
Visit our website for more information on our reservations.

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Sun - Fri 4:30PM - 5:30PM

What 909 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KR
New England
17 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Declious, fresh seafood. Unique cocktails, small but great wine list and a vibrant space. Staff if knowledgeable, welcoming and efficient. Will go back!

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The service was stellar, as usual, from Steph. I had to take a star away for the food category because the salmon crudo has a slightly fishy taste to it. I had tried it on previous occasions with no issues and was disappointed when introducing it to my friends who were trying it for the first time. The oysters were also on the tinier side but tasty.

The remainder of our appetizers (scallop crudo/shrimp cocktail) and entrees (sea bass/lobster rolls) were mouth watering!

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N
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Pros:
- the food is phenomenal. We enjoyed every bite of the items we ordered. It’s a nice break from your typical New England seafood restaurants.
- The atmosphere is modern and young.
- The service is EXCELLENT! Although tip is included, we would have given 20% anyway.
- we don’t drink wine, but I understand their selection is excellent.
Cons:
- if you are a party of two, you’ll be seated at the bar. Unfortunately I didn’t see this on their website, but it’s possible to ask for a table when making a reservation. We couldn’t sit at the bar due to husbands back pain, so we waited a bit longer and was given a table.
- if you come and decide you don’t want to dine there, you’ll pay a no-show fee of $25 per person.
- it’s pricey, but in our opinion worth it.
- it’s a bit noisy. It might annoy some people, but it didn’t bother us too much.
- no dessert or coffee offered. We didn’t care, but others may expect it.

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4
New England
7 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect dinner except we were rushed out at 2 hours after we were seated, likely due to so many people standing around inside and outside the restaurant, waiting for a table.

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MF
New England
2 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

This was a $250.00 two-person dinner. Almost every bite was heavenly and we really well-thought-out but at this price point I measured martini pour is really tacky. Tasted like sugar. Pet peeve of mine. I ordered the steak and it came fatty with probably five good bites in it. The owners are almost there with the experience with the exception of these two things. Oh and also when I walked in for a reservation the hostess had the balls to tell me we have an hour and a half and our seats. TACKY!!

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Both swordfish and stripped bass excellently prepared - and accompanying starches, veggies, and sauces were paired/meshed nicely. Our waitress was superbly trained. She had command of the menu, both for drinks and food. She also was able to help us decide on dishes to select based upon asking us about our preferences, not what “she liked”.

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s
Los Angeles
51 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We were there in June 2019 and my and wife and I had the striped bass, lobster salad and of course oysters. The oysters were very good to excellent and are as good as you will get anywhere. We would rate the striped bass very good to excellent and would recommend to anybody. The lobster salad was ok. Lobster was not tasty as one would expect. Service good, but I would not consider excellent as the servers appeared perfunctory. I was very disappointed when I received the bill and a 20%gratuity as added. I eat out a lot and normally do give a 18 - 20% gratuity and have given more than 20% on many occasions depending on the service. I have NEVER been to a restaurant where a 20% gratuity was added automatically on the bill. I have been to many restaurants where 18% gratuity were added for large parties. This is understandable as the information is always provided upfront. Usually, they are the cases where I have given additional gratuities because of the efforts needed for larger groups. I have been to restaurants in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Diego, etc and have never been applied a 20% gratuity. Sometimes, these restaurants would add a 3% surcharge for kitchen staff, etc. However, these charges are clearly stated and are acceptable. I come to Boston about one to two times a year. I was here last May 2018. Unless tipping has changed in Boston in the past year, I will say that I will make it a point to address the 20% issue at Select Oyster Bar to my friends. I always consider myself a fair and generous tipper. Yes, the food is good at the restaurant. However, the 20% added gratuity STINKS.

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AK
New England
6 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Swank but unpretentious Back Bay Spot. Juicy oysters. Thoughtful food.

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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 4ambience 3

Rating of 4-5 on food and service... Rating of 1 on policies and prices... They have amazing, fresh great food with great service... Excellent Fish, oysters, crudo, etc... Enough almost said...

Except the automatic gratuity and price..... The check says 20% is included... "if you would like it removed, please ask to speak to management". As a person who eats out a lot and tips well, seems crazy.... We were a part of THREE. We had a dozen oysters, 1 salmon crudo, 1 scallop ceviche, 1 halibut, 2 salads with lobster, 2 house drinks each... Total cost of $373. Way too much money for what we got...

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WB
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great! Really good craft cocktails, amazing oysters and the entrees were top notch.

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OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Met a client for lunch to celebrate her recent semi-retirement. The service was excellent. The food was delicious. The noise level was just right. This is the third or fourth time dining at Select Oyster Bar and I’ll definitely be back.

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MN
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Too loud. We were at the back and there was a birthday group which was very loud and it made it hard to have a conversation.

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I
New England
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Nice place with real good food and wines
However, the space is very small to eat, and recomendable to increase the space for lunch or dinner of every client

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Reservation for two doesn't get you a table. Either a bar seat or seat at a community table

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LR
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Paradise for seafood lovers. We tried at least 6 of the seafood dishes and they were all spectacular! Very small space but fantastic food and good service.

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SH
New England
12 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We went to Select to celebrate our 43rd anniversary, having made that note on the Open Table reservation. Every dish was more spectacular than the last. We started with oysters which our server assisted with the selection. We then shared a special King Crab toast that was out of this world, as was the cauliflower. We shared the halibut that was probably the best execution I have ever tasted. My criticism was that when we arrived, as I was parking the car, the host wanted to seat us at the bar. My wife objected saying this was our anniversary. She was told we needed to specify a table when making our Open Table reservation. This is sort of absurd since there is no mention of that on the form. Besides, they made no mention of our anniversary, so they could not have looked at our reservation. They did "find" a table but only because there was a cancellation. Otherwise, we would have left and written a much different review. You need to ask for "bread service" which we were told was individually toasted to order. Two slices of bread with some olive oil. Kind of pretentious. One word of caution. They do not serve coffee or desert, which was fine because there is an Emack & Bolio ice cream shop just around the corner. Prices are very high but the quality was worth it. They do add in a 20% pre-tax service charge which they tell you up front. We had no problem with that since the servers work like crazy. I would go back but only for special occasions and NOT during graduation week.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was not as good as it should have been and has been in the past.

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A
New England
3 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Place is amazing. Chairs aren't that comfortable though.

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AJ
Montreal
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful place for oyster lovers.

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RC
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We had a delightful dinner at Select and because we were a large group I was able to sample multiple dishes. I tasted the halibut, swordfish and arctic char entrees and enjoyed all with the arctic char being the most outstanding. We also had a plateaux and roasted beet salad and the octopus. Everyone seemed to have a different favorite item on the plateaux but between us it was all devoured. The beet salad was also good and only the Spanish octopus got mixed reviews. Service was excellent, being both friendly and professional, even though it was a busy weekend night. Plus the waiter helped us select a wine that paired beautifully with all the seafood we ordered. The next time I am in Boston I will be back.

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C
Miami
27 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Michael and his staff make every visit a special occasion!

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SD
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was excellent - engaging, helpful and prompt. My oysters were tasty and firm. My lobster roll was stacked with lobster and plenty of leafy greens served with. Lobster roll was a little pricey, but I reckon you get what you pay for. Loved the ambiance. Would definitely recommend.

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k
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

My wife and I were there at 9 on a busy Sat. Staff were very accommodating and attentive. The hostess was absolutely on top of her game. Drinks were good, super nice bartender. We ordered one of their seafood "plateaux" options. Honestly, it was... okay? The three dishes (ceviche, "dressed" lobster, crab salad) were fine but not memorable. Shrimp cocktail was good. But ironically, the oysters were really disappointing. I know! It's an oyster bar! I don't know if they spilled the liquor out or what, but there was no briny-ness. None. Just oysters and cocktail sauce (no mignonette). If one of the dishes had been "wow" it would have been worth it, but... you can probably do better in Boston.

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N
New England
32 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the food here, service was great, such a cute little spot ! Oysters and their seafood is so fresh, very very good!!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very thankful for the accommodations that the staff made and for how fantastic the food was

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B
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Limited number of entrees but the appetizers are plentiful and large. 3 of us enjoyed the amazing oysters, 4 appetizers and drinks. Bill was $425! And then when we weren’t done with our drinks they asked us to leave so they could seat the next customers. Somehow for the amount we spent we should have been allowed to finish our drinks. Oh well. That’s what happens with a popular place.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Very good, will definitely try again

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SM
Naples
2 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic. So fresh and a great presentation. We will return!

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o
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Wonderful seafood and very friendly staff. Small space makes it better for a more intimate group.

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J
New England
7 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Service is very good and the food was nice. But I was very surprised to discover that this establishment, named an "oyster bar," only had 6 choices of oysters. While the food was good it seemed to cater more to the average American palette; fairly heavier on the sauce/vinaigrette side. If one is a real "seafoodie" then you may be a little disappointed... Due to the heavier saucing, one is less likely to be able to taste the actual flavor and sweetness (or lack thereof) of what should be the star of the show: the seafood main ingredient.

Additionally, because it's a small space, they automatically seat parties of 2 at the bar--BUT I did not receive any conspicuous notice of that until AFTER I made the reservation. They also automatically include 20% gratuity, regardless of party-size. I did not receive nor did I see on the menu any prior notice of automatic inclusion; was only informed of it by the server after we asked for the check and received the tab printout. The check had tiny print at the bottom saying you can request the manager remove it; forcing your customers on the spot like was rather off-putting. (Per ordinary custom, establishments generally only include gratuity for parties of 6 or larger and prior notice is generally provided ahead of time.)

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GG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing food

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HH
St. Louis
15 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another amazing dinner at one of our favorite Boston restaurants!!

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AN
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great seafood and vibe. The Lobster salad is a must!

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding restaurant. Everything about the food was delicious and was a very unique experience. Different flavors and foods were paired that I had not experienced before (Ex. octopus with cilantro was the bomb). Our waitress provided amazing service by being attentive but not overbearing. Tip was included, but I was going to give 20% anyways. We didn't realize we were still dining so close to closing time, but she didn't make it feel like that at all. I would recommend this restaurant to family & friends.

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EP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This is a MUST venue for dinner. Best meal of our 4-nights in Boston. From the perfectly prepared yellowtail-type sashimi starter with strawberries and sunflower seeds (yes, who knew!?) to the mussels in a broth that could be served as a soup (!) to the yummy black lager (and I am not a beer drinker per se)...you will not be sorry. The prawns, the oysters and the octopus were also scrumptious. $200 for three of us.

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KJ
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always outstanding, great food, great service, great wine and beer choices.

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OT
New England
7 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 1

We arrived with 2 kids for Mother’s Day, but were seated at a shared dining counter. The seafood was pretty good, but the lack of any thought being given to kids made the whole experience pretty miserable.

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M
New England
14 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

I was looking forward to my visit to the Select Oyster Bar. Our visit was disappointing. The service was great the food was mediocre at best. Maybe I arrived on an off night . I had swordfish, the presentation was fine but the fish was dry.

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A
New England
10 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great seafood with interesting creations from the kitchen. The oysters are always fresh and tasty. Complete wine list with excellent mixed drinks.

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W
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had chef's assortment of oysters, which were delicious. Watched the table next to us, and based on what they ordered, and our server's recommendation, had the little clams and cauliflower. Not usually a fan of cauliflower, but this preparation, including hazelnut oil, was delicious! Entres were delicious and love the feel of the place. This is the second time we've been here.

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