I am not quite sure why, but when you walk up to 19 Raw Oyster Bar, you feel like you’re in for a fun time. Perhaps because it is a bar and is small and intimate. The set-up pretty much guarantees that you’re going to accidentally bump into friends there or make new ones.
Chef/Owner, Joe Monteiro (Pizza di Napoli), has got a seriously good formula here. The menu is chocked full of fresh seafood items like Day Boat Scallop Crudo, Lobster Cocktail, King Crab Legs, and so much more. Of course there’s other stuff for the non-seafood fan, like filet mignon or a sausage plate. The menu has lots of options.
When I asked Joe where the inspiration for the menu came from, he said he wanted to “bring something cool, different, fresh, and elegant to the island.” This place does that. It really is elevated, cool, and different.
For me, I had to sit at the bar. It seemed to beckon me, close to the action. If the weather was nice, I think the better option would have been the outside seating along the railing. I imagine that the people watching from this vantage point would be epic, and ensure many smiles
19 Raw Oyster Bar has a great house cocktail list, wine selection, and beers, which of course feature all three Wash Ashore ales, since Joe is one of the founding partners of this new Island hit. To doubly get into the 19 Raw vibe, I had Wash Ashore Maya Mae IPA, and my friend Cameron, who was nice enough to join me on this work excursion, had a beautiful and refreshing Watermelon Bellini. It featured sparkling wine, fresh watermelon juice, and mint.
Drinks were good, and if time would have allowed it, I could have easily nestled into my seat and spent the rest of my day there. However, reality keeps me in check.
It was really hard to decide what to try. Of course we had to have seafood, and oysters seemed a must too. I loved that there were so many different oysters to choose from. Though I am a big fan of our Martha’s Vineyard local oysters, it’s so nice to have something different every once and while, and I was not disappointed with 19 Raw’s selection.
There were six different oysters to choose from! We had Mookie Blues, from Damariscotta, Maine (where Cameron’s family has a Summer camp) and Moon Shoal from Barnstable, Massachusetts. Having oysters from totally different areas was really a fun way to explore these tasty bi-valves.
The Moon Shoals were so good, my fav for sure. There was a sweetness to the brine that left me wanting more. The ones from Maine were good too.
After oysters, we chose a couple things to share. Cameron wanted Tuna Poke (pronounced po-kay) because it is one her favorite dishes when she visited her sister when she lived in Hawaii.
The Tuna Poke was out of this world! Beautiful raw tuna with an almost Asian sauce, mango and daykon radish, on top of Malanga chips (a root veggie). The dish was light, full of flavor, and the tuna really shone. I would eat this right now if I had the chance.
We also decided on the Spicy Lobster Taco and the MV Smoke House Bluefish Pate. Let me start with the pate first. Served on deviled eggs with a siracha aioli, these were seriously tasty bites. The MV Smoke House pate was really light and when paired with the cool smooth eggs, and the bit of heat, little bites of perfection!
The Lobster Taco was definitely spicy. There’s pequillo peppers in that bad boy, along with a lovely avocado cream and smoked mozzarella. It comes warm, which was nice, since it was a grey, chilly rainy day when we went to 19 Raw.
It took me a minute to warm up to this – hehe. I am used to lobster prepared a little differently. However, I did enjoy it and found it to be super filling even when shared with a friend.
Be sure to check out The Towers. Incredible options. Not going to give you any more info, you’ll have to go. The Empire State looks like a winner to me.
Cameron and I both agreed that we need to go back to 19 Raw to try some other things from the menu, and have more Moon Shoal oysters. This new little gem in Edgartown is a must to add to your lists for dining out. Be sure to try the Tuna Poke!
Cheers Joe Monteiro to you and this great new endeavor! I think other towns need a sweet little seafood concept like this too!
19 Raw is open everyday from 11:30 a.m. tip 12:30 p.m. It’s on 19 Church street, just in front of Isola Restaurant and by the Edgartown bus stop.
If you can’t make it to 19 Raw during the heart of the summer, not to worry, the plan is to be open til November 30th. They will be expanding their outdoor seating in the very near future.