We really love raw oysters, but we’re the type to wait until the waters of Cape Cod get cold before indulging our craving. Rule of thumb says oysters are ideally enjoyed during months with an “R” in them because the molluscs tend to be larger and less watery than summer, which is prime breeding time for oysters.
We’ve been patient long enough. It’s November, and I can see the “r” in that word. Oyster breeding time is over. The Atlantic is so very cold. Conditions are officially perfect for slurping down a dozen, so we headed over to Captain Marden’s Table and Takeaway, a casual Linden Street standby, beloved by locals. The Captain serves Wellfleet oysters up just the way we like them—fresh and simple, on ice with a couple slices of lemon and some cocktail sauce on the side.
It was a good call. Everyone who orders up a dozen oysters knows that there’s always a small one in the batch artfully tucked under a kale leaf or some such. The one that’s not worth the $2.75 (that’s the Captain’s price) or more per oyster. Not in our order. All 12 were hefty, hearty, glistening examples of oyster-dom. Each of the briny 12 went down nice and easy as we sat at the 6-seat bar (note: it’s bring your own alcohol at Captain Marden’s, should you want to go all out and have champagne with your oysters).
We also tried out a bowl of clam chowder, cream-based New England-style, of course. There’s none of that tomato-based Manhattan clam “chowder” nonsense at the Captain’s. Lots and lots of clams made it into each savory spoonful, right down to the very bottom of the bowl.
Some other items on the dinner menu include grilled garlic shrimp; fried Point Judith calamari; lobster, steamed or baked and stuffed; seafood Fra Diavolo; burgers and chicken nuggets; and all manner of broiled or fried seafood, done with simplicity.
There’s a fish market adjacent to the restaurant that has a lobster tank; plenty of fresh fish; fresh oysters and clams; creamy soups; and more in the store-length showcase. Deliveries arrive twice daily from the business’ wholesale division. Although the dining room is currently open for dinner only, the onsite Cod Squad Food Truck serves lunch.
RESTAURANT: Captain Marden’s Table and Takeaway
LOCATION: 279 Linden Street, Wellesley, MA
DINING ROOM HOURS: Mon.-Wed., 4pm-8pm; Thur., 3pm-8pm; Fri., 3pm-9pm, Sat., 3pm-9pm, Sun., closed
See the Captain Marden’s website for information on fish market and food truck hours.