08. Island Creek Oyster Bar | The Restaurant Guide 2012
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
By Lawrence Karol
Great food and great design don’t always go hand in hand—but they should. From a small pizza joint in New York City to a massive art-infused former factory in Sydney, these amazing spaces will sate your appetite for both wonderfully-prepared dishes and creative interiors.
The design inspiration for Island Creek Oyster Bar all started with a visit to Skip Bennett, the founder and owner of Island Creek Oysters farm, located in Duxbury, just south of Boston. “One of the things that struck us was that everything was very flat and there was a tremendous sense of horizon,” says Peter Bentel, Partner at Bentel & Bentel architects. This detail took the shape of a line that runs about four-and-a-half feet off the floor of the restaurant, defined in some areas by wood panels that have been stained gray. The architects also installed a series of hanging elements, including the large lighting fixtures that create a linear plane from the front to the back of the room and allow for a feeling of intimacy without losing the grandeur of the 16-foot-high ceilings.
It’s also clear that the simple weathered textures and colors of the oyster farm are present throughout the space: the back bar shelving has a rugged look to it, like the shelves Bentel’s team saw at the harbor holding anchors and buoys; large recycled wood shutters are framed in galvanized steel; gabion walls inspired the huge installation at the back of the room where two-foot by three-foot boxes are filled with thousands of oyster shells. The trip from Skip’s oyster farm to Boston’s Kenmore Square has come full circle.
FOOD: Seasonally-influenced seafood
DON'T MISS DISH: Peter Bentel says the lobster roll is “exquisite.”
Photos by Peter Vanderwarker