The interior is spare and neutral, so the eye is drawn to what matters most: the raw bar, the people making cocktails, the glow from the semi-open kitchen to the side. This is All That Fish + Oyster, the first of four new concepts in the Fenway from proprietor Garrett Harker and crew. There will also be a cafe, a bar called Equal Measure, and the cocktail cherry on top — a revived Eastern Standard, back after the beloved original closed in 2021. (Next door, sister spots Island Creek Oyster Bar and The Hawthorne were no slouches either.)
ES Hospitality makes its home on Beacon Street instead of Comm Ave this time, part of a luxury residence called Bower. The group’s culinary director is Nemo Bolin, who has worked at places like No. 9 Park, Craigie Street Bistrot, and Locke-Ober, as well as Rubicon and Chez Papa in San Francisco. It was at Cook & Brown, his Providence restaurant, that he blew me away, turning seasonal New England ingredients into precise but unstuffy and delicious dishes. Writing about it a decade ago, I said that if it were in Boston, it would be a local favorite. Well here we are.
Familiar figures roam the room: Harker and beverage director Jackson Cannon, who has been so instrumental in shaping Boston’s cocktail scene. They’re shaking hands and greeting former regulars. The Sox are playing tonight, and the lights of Fenway Park are visible from what will be the outdoor patio, coming soon.
In case you didn’t guess, All That Fish + Oyster focuses on seafood. As we did so often at Eastern Standard, we start with oysters. There are three kinds on offer — Beach Point, Rocky Nook, and Ichabod — an approach I quite like. Options, just enough. They’re impeccably shucked, served with orange mignonette, a dollop of horseradish nestled in red chile sauce, and wedges of lime.
The menu is stocked with flavors light and bright, drawing from Asia, Peru, and beyond. Dayboat scallop tiradito features a golden sauce warmed with aji amarillo and sprinkled with corn nuts and kernels of corn. Crudos are a highlight of this menu, which also features versions made with sea bass, fluke, and beef. Flatbreads also feature prominently: coconut flatbread, scallion pancakes, and salt and vinegar rice crisps. You can order them with a selection of sauces, from those that came with our oysters to one made with lime and green herbs and a creamy white garlic sauce.
From the section titled “chilled + crunchy,” we snack on whipped avocado with plantain chips. Here, diners will also find spicy octopus tostadas and lobster in tiger’s milk with sweet potato chips and passionfruit.
We move on to “hot + saucy,” as one does. There’s a local seafood chowder with coconut, hominy, and lime. Those who want a break from seafood will appreciate smoky chicken wings with Sichuan peppercorns and dried chiles. We’ve arrived too late to get our hands on lobster scallion pancakes with garlic sauce and pea shoots. Instead, we order the charred hamachi collar. This section of the yellowtail, below the head and above the gills, is served on the bone, rich and meaty. It’s embedded with white and black sesame seeds, wreathed with fresh green herbs, and served with pickled ginger mayo for dipping.
We attempt to follow instructions — the next section of the menu is titled “eat your greens” — and get the lone dud of the night: grilled bok choy, bitter, watery, and undercooked. We move on to the more affirming “you’re a catch.” There’s bluefish with local creamed corn, green chiles, and coconut milk. A Vietnam-inspired dish of grilled shrimp comes with rice noodles and herbs.
For dessert, we are enticed by frozen grapes with warm dipping chocolate and olive oil. They’re still working on the dish, a staffer tells us. Coconut rice pudding with sour orange caramel and sea salt is a fine backup option.
The cocktail menu is concise and endearingly wacky, from the Band of Gypsies (made with turmeric and tomato) to the Banana Boulevardier (which brings one of my least favorite fruit flavors to one of my most favorite cocktails). La Penùltima is a rummy salute to the bars of Puerto Rico, the Mahaniyom Special is a pandan-enhanced Old Fashioned that nods to Brookline’s excellent Thai restaurant, and the Spice Girl Margarita probably is, as the drinks list says, what you really, really want. Elsewhere, there’s the refreshing, spirit-free Summer of Shrub, Friulano on tap, Mexican chardonnay, chilled Cinsault, and a tight list of easy-drinking beers including Fort Hill Fresh Pick IPA, Narragansett lager, and Rothaus Tannenzapfle pilsner.
It will be interesting to see what comes next from the team of Harker, Cannon, and Bolin. The Eastern Standard website — like the restaurant itself, as it points out — is currently under construction. “Every restaurant’s a comeback,” it says. “See you soon!”
771 Beacon St., Fenway, 857-305-3095, www.allthatboston.com. Wed-Sun 5-10 p.m. (weekend brunch and daily lunch and dinner coming soon). Dishes $10-$38. Cocktails $10-$15.