Pembroke’s Hidden Pearl
~ By Jen Nonenmacher
Don’t walk, RUN to Oysters Bar & Grille in Pembroke…because once the rest of the South Shore finds out about this hidden pearl you aren’t going to be able to get in the door. Oysters Bar & Grille is the new premiere destination for fine New England dining and great atmosphere with an elegant, yet simple and calming, decor. We’re blowing the lid off this well-kept secret and letting you know it’s where you want to have your next night out.
Oysters Bar & Grille, located at 254 Church Street (on Route 139) in Pembroke opened its doors in late January and has been impressing the local patrons ever since. Joe Emma, executive chef and owner, runs Oysters with his wife Megan, who he met in culinary school. They have one daughter, Lila, and another baby on the way any day now! Joe is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and for the last eight years has been working with his father, the infamous Ron Emma, as lead chef of Emma’s Pub and Pizza in Bridgewater. With the opening of Oysters, Joe is exploring a new concept—one that encourages him to follow his culinary passion and exercise his creativity with a seasonal menu that changes four, yes that’s FOUR, times a year. Joining Joe in the kitchen as sous chef is Will Testa, a longtime friend and resident of Scituate.
Joe’s level of talent and enthusiasm for food are unmatched – all you have to do is look over the menu, which of course, he designs himself and you’ll be amazed. Joe’s taken the term “fresh” to a whole new level. Not only does he use only the best local ingredients to make everything he serves from scratch – he is constantly changing the entrée accompaniments to reflect best locally-grown food. From the aioli to the mozzarella, Joe creates everything he serves himself. At Oysters nothing is ever frozen, except the ice cream, gelato and sorbet that Joe – you guessed it – makes homemade every day. Additionally all the breads, pastas, stocks and desserts are made fresh, from scratch, on a daily basis.
Oysters is a family-owned and operated restaurant and when you’re here, you’ll be treated like family too. From the simple elegance of the dining room to the incredibly friendly staff to the perfect meal you are guaranteed to have, you’ll be thrilled with every bite. Appetizers such as a Roasted Tomato Tartlet and the Mimi Salad, named after Joe’s mom, will make your mouth water. The full menu provides a modern twist on traditional New England fare with entrees such as Scallops with Corn Risotto, which is garnished with tomato and corn salsa, Portuguese Clams served in a tomato white wine garlic sauce with linguica and grilled homemade bread and traditional American favorites such as Steak Frittes served with a mixed green salad and fries, Vermont Cheddar Cheese Burger, and Pan Seared Duck Breast served with a wilted spinach salad, fresh cherries, duck confit, goat cheese and a cherry demi sauce.
Not in the mood for a big dinner, but looking for a happy hour destination? You’ve found it. The bar at Oysters is gorgeous – elegant, yet relaxed and so inviting you won’t want to leave. Featuring a great wine list, sold by the glass and the bottle, generously sized cocktails made with top-shelf liquors, and a selection of locally brewed draft beers on tap there’s something here for everyone. And if you’re a fan of the raw bar you’ll want to make sure you arrive between 4:00 and 5:00pm because that’s when the featured oyster of the day is on special for $1.00 in the Bar and Lounge every day of the week! Speaking of the oysters, it’s notable that Joe offers a daily fresh selection of them, as well as head-on shrimp cocktail, from areas such as Wellfleet in Cape Cod, Rocky Nook in Kingston, and Katama in Martha’s Vineyard.
Just do me one favor while you’re there – don’t leave without having dessert. Oyster’s signature desserts are sinfully good and daily specials include items such as Brioche Bread Pudding with Bourbon-Soaked Cherries, Peanut Butter Cup Mousse, Milk Chocolate Crème Brulee, and Homemade Donuts served with Homemade Espresso Ice Cream, a play on “Coffee & Donuts.”
Oysters is currently open Monday through Wednesday from 4:00 to 10:00pm, and Thursday through Saturday from 4:00 to 11:00pm. Beginning in October, the restaurant and bar will also be open on Sundays from 2:00pm to 8:00pm.
A SAMPLING OF OUR MENU
– Crispy Eggplant “Salad”
Mixed Greens, Homemade Mozzarella, Cherry Tomatoes, Crutons & Balsamic Vinaigrette
~ Portuguese Clams
Steamed Clams in a White Wine Sauce, Linguica
and Grilled Bread
~ Scallops and Bacon
Seared & served with a Bacon Beurre Blanc
~ Grilled Salmon
Served aside a Roasted Vegetable Tower with herbed Ricotta and a Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette
~ Steak Frites
All Natural Hangar Steak, served with an Arugula Salad & Fries
~ Vermont Cheddar Cheese Burger
10 oz. All Natural Beef Burger, served with Fries
~ Grilled Swordfish Piccata
Lemon Caper Sauce & served with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Sautéed Swiss Chard
OYSTERS BAR & GRILLE
254 Church Street on Rte 139 in Pembroke