The Shop is the latest venture by the guys behind Island Creek Oysters. Their first restaurant in Portland, Maine, The Shop is a classic oyster bar that serves only three things: oysters, canned fish, and caviar. It’s seriously good.
The minute I heard The Shop had opened, I couldn’t believe it. Mostly because I had no clue Island Creek was making their way north. I love all of the Island Creek restaurants. Island Creek Restaurant in Boston’s Kenmore Square and Row 34 in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood are Boston classics. (Row, as I lovingly call it, is around the corner from my office so I’m there often.)
A new oyster shop in Portland is big, especially considering a one like this hasn’t opened in years. I visited The Shop on their second weekend… and I’ve been back at least three times.
I’m a big oyster eater. And I love a good cozy seafood restaurant. But I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m a canned fish fan. I had an experience in Lisbon in 2014 that solidified that for me.
When you get to The Shop, grab a menu at the register and start ordering. If you’re a first-timer, I recommend the Island Creek oysters (obvi), and some canned fish. I love the razor clams and octopus.
If you’re into a little wine with your oysters, by all means. They have some great selections on tap by the glass, as well as a few bottle options. My go-to is the Gruner on tap. Mmmm…
Then snag to an open table, some accoutrements, and wait for your order to be delivered.
Oysters are served in a very retro jelly roll tray. Per the usual Island Creek standards, the oysters are all freshly shucked. I usually try to get a range of oysters, starting with Island Creek and making my way up the New England coast.
The canned fish is served with Standard Baking toast, butter, mustard, and pickled veggies. All of the sides are perfect accompaniments to the fish.
A half dozen to a dozen oysters and one canned fish is perfect to share between 2-3 people for lunch.
After you are sufficiently stuffed, hang out, browse the goodies for sale, or get another round.
I have had nothing but incredible experiences at The Shop. I’m very into casual low-key meals that are simple on flavor but still surprise you every time. If you’re into oysters and seafood, I would recommend visiting The Shop for a light lunch or a nice happy hour with friends. I promise no matter what meal you’re there for, you’ll enjoy each bite.
If you want to check out my other food adventures, head over to my Food section.