Chris Parsons of Catch and Parsons Table acclaim will open a new restaurant in Boston’s Heritage on the Garden building, taking over the space most recently occupied by Doretta Taverna and Raw Bar. The Oyster Club (79 Park Plaza) could debut between May and June 2019, in time for patio season, Parsons told Eater.
Parsons has a history of cooking seafood at both Catch and Parsons Table, and said he’s excited to continue working with fresh, locally sourced seafood.
“I’ve always loved cooking seafood, just everything about it,” said Parsons via email. “From catching the fish to preparing it to serving it. We are so fortunate with the fresh catch off our shores. I just want to serve fresh, amazing product, get out of the way and let it shine on the plate.”
Parsons describes his menu at the Oyster Club as “regional American seafood” anchored by a raw bar, with oysters figuring prominently.
“It will be our spin on regional classics,” said Parsons. “It’s the way I know I like to eat seafood: Take the classics and just update them a bit but again, don’t overcomplicate it. Just let this amazing product shine brightly.”
The bar program will feature crisp whites and roses, French whites, various pinot noirs, and craft beers and cocktails. Parsons also told Eater the menu will feature Sheppy’s Cider, a 200-year-old cider brand from the United Kingdom.
“I think it will be a great pairing with our pan roasted mussels,” Parsons said. “I think this cider is amazing and can’t wait to introduce it to Boston.”
Regarding the space itself — which will have seating for 180 indoors and an additional 70 on the patio — Parsons is aware of its rich culinary history. It was previously home to Doretta Taverna and Raw Bar, which closed in May 2018 after three years, and Via Matta, which operated there for 13 years.
“It is an iconic space, and I am honored to be cooking in the same kitchen as Lydia Shire and Michael Schlow,” said Parsons. “The kitchen is a great space with an awesome grill, so it is perfect for the grilled seafood we are planning. I am looking forward to bringing this historic space to the next chapter and feel lucky to be here.”
Along with grilled fish and raw bar staples, Parsons plans on doing a “lobster of the day” to highlight one of New England’s most beloved ingredients.
“The lobster of the day idea was inspired by French bistros and their dish of the day,” said Parsons. “This will be a fun spin for us to highlight locally caught lobster. It could be lobster tacos, lobster eggs Benedict, lobster buns, lobster toast. We just want to have some fun with lobster. This will be a really fun and creative platform for our crew.”
The Oyster Club isn’t the only iron Parsons has in the fire: Construction begins on Lily P’s next month, and the pressure-fried chicken joint is slated for a summer opening within the Genzyme headquarters (50 Binney St., Cambridge) in Kendall Square. Along with fried chicken, Lily P’s will focus on oysters and craft beer.
“It’s going to be a really fun and easy environment to just hang out,” Parsons said. “I think this will be a destination for the immediate neighborhood, plus there is nothing like it in the city, so I think people will come visit just to try our fried chicken, slurp some oysters, drink some great brews, and have fun.”