WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/856603

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Page 178 of 219

At I.C.O.B., he one-upped the concept of farm-to-table eating by literally bringing the farm itself to the table — except it was an oys- ter farm. And what it brought was bivalves fresh from the waters of Duxbury's Island Creek, run by Bennett, a widely admired aqua- culturist. "Raw-bar-centric restaurants may not be new," I wrote at the time the restaurant opened. "But ICOB is one of the first to rely so heavily on one specialty product. Imagine if Niman Ranch opened a steakhouse. Or if Aunt Jemima opened a pancake house." To this day, seven years on, the always-packed dining room consistently and successfully meshes down-to-earth dishes (a killer fish and chips, for example) with unexpected ones (grilled razor clams with bacon and scallion butter), in a setting that somehow manages to be simul- taneously unpretentious and glamorous. On the heels of that success came a series of conversations between Sewall, Bennett, Gregory, and Harker. "We felt really good about I.C.O.B. and everything behind it," recalls Sewall. "But we were very protective of what we had, and we didn't want to risk dilut- ing it with another version in Boston. So we started thinking more along the lines of an everyday oyster bar — more of a tribute to the oyster farmers." And after stumbling upon a space in the Fort Point neighborhood, they hired architect Peter Bentel, who listened and sketched as the foursome brainstormed about the feel of the place they were after. "We wanted high, high ceilings and tall, exposed beams," recalls Sewall. "And Peter took that vintage industrial feel of the 1900s and embraced it. The effect is something you don't get in most restaurants." From there, things blew up — in a very good way. "We never took into account the Convention Center being so close," says Sewall. "So every night it's both regulars and tourists." They come in for the menu brimming with lovelies from the raw bar like salmon rillettes, or tuna crudo with black garlic and avocado. "At lunch, we get people hungry after visiting the Children's Museum 177 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 7 local cuisine "the always-packed dining room"

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