Elm Square Oyster Menu
oyster happy hour!
Chef's choice $1.49 oysters on the half-shell from 5-7PM with your choice of 3 house-made sauces.
Our oyster menu changes daily depending on season and availability.
Not all varieties are available every day.
Abigail Pearl (Scarborough, Maine):
Abigail Pearls are actually from the same seeds as Nonesuch Oysters. However they are grown very differently (suspended in the water versus free range on the bottom of the ocean). This produces a smooth, delicate meat and a sometimes snow white shell. Taste-wise the Abigail Pearls offer a similar estuarial mix of salt and sweetness as the Nonesuch but with more pronounced brine and distinct notes of sea-grass.
Bagaduce (Penobscot, Maine):
Raised in suspended culture near the Bagaduce River's reversing falls. The strong tidal action constantly jostles the oysters and causes them to “cup up,” and the exposure to the sun keeps their shells white. Deep cups, with a fruity, almost berry-like finish. The Indian name means “fast water.”
Barnstable (Barnstable, Massachusetts):
The waters of Barnstable Harbor are cold, clean oceanic waters which make Barnstable oysters a distinctly clean tasting oyster. Barnstables have a sweet, nut-like flavor and firm meats with a unique “crunch” to their texture.
Beau Soleil (New Brunswick, Canada):
The name translated means “Beautiful Sun”. They are farmed by the tray suspension method in the North Atlantic waters of Miramichi Bay, on the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick, Canada.. The constant action of the waves and tides cause these oysters to rustle against each other which creates consistently shaped, hardened, near perfect shells. They are not big—it takes them 4+years to reach a 2.5-inch cocktail size—but well groomed, and so uniform they almost look stamped out by machine. The white shells have a classy black crescent. Their flavor profile is both salty and sweet with hints of hazelnut, while offering a full and firm flesh. They are a perfect starter oyster!
Belon (Damariscotta, Maine):
Belons are one of the rarest oysters in the world. These oysters act and taste very different from their cousins. Belons look more like a scallop than an oyster and are somewhat delicate so need to be handpicked by divers rather than raked or dragged. They also have weak adductor muscles and have trouble keeping their shells closed, so they need to be hand-banded with rubber bands until shucking time. As for their taste they are the most intense, overwhelming, unforgettable oyster you are likely to eat anytime soon. The creamy to light brown meat of these oysters is plump and substantial, with a big, pronounced flavor and metallic, “coppery” finish – very distinct but far less briny than other oysters, with a “sweet to flinty” overtone.
Chatham (Cape Cod, Massachusetts):
Chatham oysters have been cultivated in Oyster Pond near Chatham, MA on the southeastern tip of Cape Code for over 30 years. The shells are large, grainy, and sepia colored like and old photograph. Pure ocean in a shell! This oyster is like getting hit in the face by a wave. Their strong salt is balanced by an amazing clarity of flavor, without the slightest aftertaste.
Copper Beach (Mattapoisette, Massachusetts):
Due to the remote location of the Copper Beech Oyster Farm, its owner uses a solar powered pump to feed the baby oysters. This helps grow a very large and firm oyster that has a briny taste to start with a crisp, lemon finish.
Cotuit (Cape Cod, Massachusetts):
Grown in Cotuit Bay across from the town of Osterville (which used to be “Oysterville”). The oysters are started in mesh bags, then bottom-planted in the shallows of Cotuit Bay to strengthen their shells and deepen their cups. These medium to large size oysters have a beige, teardrop shaped shell that feels heavier than it looks (a sign of a bottom planted oyster). The meat is silky-smooth with a clean, sweet, briny flavor.
Crowes Pasture (Cape Cod, Massachusetts):
Crowe's Pasture oysters are raised on the white sandy bottom of the shores of East Dennis, Massachusetts. They are exposed to full ocean salinity and are fairly salty with crisp, clean meats.
Duxbury Standard (Duxbury, Massachusetts):
Duxbury oysters are cultivated in the cold, grassy, nutrient rich waters of Duxbury Bay, a small bay within Cape Cod Bay. The steady southwesterly winds help blow warm waters away and as a result the waters here are colder than Cape Cod Bay with the result that Duxbury Oysters do not go into spawn. But they act as if they are going to spawn by building up the fat and glycogen stores which carry other oysters through the spawning process. These extra stores of fat & glycogen gives Duxbury Oysters their plump, buttery texture and taste.
East Beach Blonde (Charlestown, Rhode Island):
Farmed in Ninigret Pond, one of Rhode Island’s prime salt ponds, and guarded by the barrier beach of East Beach. East Beach Blonde Oysters are beautiful oysters, power washed often to produce the look of clean pearly shells with colorful blonde accents. They are small to medium in size and have a uniform cup shape due to periodic tumbling. The meats are silky and smooth with a mild, salty flavor.
Fat Dogs (Great Bay, New Hampshire):
Fat Dog oysters are deeply cupped 3½ inch oysters. They are raised in Great Bay, New Hampshire. This leader in the New Hampshire oyster renaissance has plump meats with a silky sweet flavor and grassy tones.
First Light (Mashpee, Massachusetts):
First Light Oysters are named after their growers, the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribe (Wampanoag means “People of the First Light”). And they live up to their name with a bright as the dawn flavor - lovely brine up front followed by buttery and umami seaweed notes.
Flying Point (Maquoit Bay, Maine):
Flying Point oysters are farmed by a husband and wife team in Freeport, Maine. These oysters derive their complex, salty/sweet flavor from the waters in which they are grown. Strong, incoming tides nourish them with cold, briny ocean water. Swift outgoing tides provide the oysters with a rich array of nutrients from the vast wetlands to the north of the growout site. This dynamic environment gives the Flying Point Oysters its outstanding flavor. Full-bodied & plump, balanced salinity, sweet & salty finish.
Glidden Point (Damariscotta, Maine):
One of the most prized oysters in the country! Glidden Points are bottom planted in the cold Damariscotta River, slow-grown for 4 years, and then hand-harvested by divers (which is why they are not available in winter!) These big boys are large, meaty and dense with rock hard natty white and black shells. The taste is salty and buttery with a scallop like sweetness.
Great White (Marstons Mills, Massachusetts):
These Cape Cod oysters begin their days as seedlings, feeding in the nutrient rich waters of North Bay on Cape Cod. From there they are moved to Barnstable Harbor where they are hand-planted in a natural environment to bottom finish. This mimics a natural wild oyster and helps promote a deep cup natural growth with a strong shell. The strong ebb and flow of ocean tides twice a day supply the oysters with a diet rich in minerality and salinity creating a distinctive ocean-in-a-shell flavor that can only come from the waters off of Cape Cod.
Island Creek (Duxbury, Massachusetts):
The flagship of New England oysters, Island Creeks are raised in off-bottom cages and then hand-planted in the shallow tidal flats of Duxbury Bay. The white and golden brown ridged shells are large with a nugget of creamy meat inside that will remind you of lobster and butter. Best eaten plain or with a few drops of fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Kumamoto (Puget Sound, Washington):
Kumamoto Oysters originated from Japan and are now one of the most popular oyster on the US west coast. They have very distinctive highly sculptured, fluted shells with deep cups. The Oyster Guide calls the Kumamoto the ‘Chardonnay of oysters’ and are among the most popular oyster due to their luscious fruity flavor and light brininess with a honeydew finish. They are a favorite for both new oyster eaters and connoisseurs.
Little Grizzly (Little Bay, New Hampshire):
Little Grizzlies are a medium sized oyster with a deep cup. They are grown in Little Bay, NH by Ray Grizzle, a professor of Aquaculture at the University of New Hampshire. They have a soft start – smooth transition into a mild saltiness, and a slight melony finish.
Little Island (Bagaduce River, Maine):
Little Island Oysters have beautiful shells and deep cups almost the size of golf balls! Part of their lives are spent surface-cultured, which gives them their smooth shells. They are described as a bright, fresh, and mildly salty oyster -- sharp brine up front with delicate meats and a sweet creamy finish. Perfect for the half-shell!
Marion Port (Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts):
Marion Port oysters are one of the last truly wild oysters in Massachusetts. Baby oysters are set on rocks where they grow and thrive for about 3 years until fishermen pick them at low tide. Because they are not farm raised, they tend to be irregular in shape and flavor but still delicious! Very briny with seaweed notes. Pleasant mineral finish.
Moon Dancer (Damariscotta, Maine):
Another solid oyster from the Damariscotta River, Maine's best oyster growing region. Moon Dancers have a strong shell with a briny, plump, meaty texture and the true taste of the sea.
Moon Shoal (Barnstable, Massachusetts):
Moon Shoal oysters are grown by a firefighter who decided he loves oysters as much as he loves dousing flames. He uses the "rack and bag" method where the oysters sit suspended above the ground in mesh bags and are bathed by the waters of Cape Cod Bay. They harvested by hand when they reach perfection. These oysters have a unique taste described as “a ritz cracker dipped in chicken noodle soup”.
Moose Cove (Great Bay, NH):
Moose Cove oysters are from Great Bay, New Hampshire. While NH oysters are not as famous as their cousins in Maine, Rhode Island, or Massachusetts, they are sure giving them a run for their money. There are only 6 oyster growers in NH so these oysters can sometimes be hard to find. Which is why when you see them on the menu, you should jump at the chance to try some. Moose Coves hit you with a splash of sweetness, followed by a mild brine with hints of melon and a mineral finish.
Nonesuch (Scarborough River, Maine):
These beautiful moss green oysters are grown in mesh bags in the shallow waters of Maine’s Scarborough River, part of a nature conservancy, just across from Nonesuch Point. The flavor is clean, crisp, and super briny. But after the salt comes a sweet, malty, grassy tang – kind of like a good beer.
North Haven (North Haven Island, Maine):
Raised in Heidi’s Pond, an old mill salt pond in pristine Pulpit Harbor, on the sparsely populated island of North Haven, 12 miles off the Maine coast. The oysters are begun in bags and then hand-planted on the hard clay bottom of the pond. They are harvested by divers after 3-4 years. North Haven’s are great shuckers with a nice brine followed sweet cream finish.
Ocean’s Kiss (West Bath, Maine):
These oysters are grown in the New Meadows River in Bath, Maine. They are sweet, petite, and unforgettable! Give them a try when you see them on the menu.
Onsets (Bourne Cove, Massachusetts):
Onset Oysters are grown in Bourne Cove where natural spring waters flow into the cove and combine with the cool, clear saltwater of Buzzards Bay. These waters produce a sweet, briny oyster with an intense buttery finish, a taste that people have come to love.
Pemaquid (Damariscotta, Maine):
Pemaquids are one of the best known bivalves in the country, having been around for over 30 years. They have big, thick, burly, brown and white shells with deep cups. Pemaquids are even brinier than Glidden Points, very firm with a blast of brine followed by a wave of soy sauce and cucumber.
Pleasant Bay (Cape Cod, Massachusetts):
Pleasant Bay Oysters are cultivated in Pleasant Bay near the town of Orleans on the Atlantic Ocean side of Cape Cod. The owner has been farming these oysters in that same spot for almost 25 years. The area is ideal for oyster farming because the estuaries are rich in nutrients from the fresh water of multiple streams which mix with the clean, cold waters of the Atlantic. Pleasant Bay oysters take about 3 years to come to market size of 3” but they are worth the wait! They have the classic Atlantic brininess with a crisp, clean flavor, a buttery texture and sweet finish.
Row 34 (Duxbury, Massachusetts):
A new variety of oyster from Island Creek that instead of being bottom-planted for its final grow-out stage, is kept in rack and bag, leading to a more delicate shell and meat. Row 34 is where this innovative tweaked approach started. Hence the name. Row 34 oysters have a nutty, umami-filled flavor.
Snow Island (Quahog Bay, Maine):
These bivalves are from Harpswell, Maine and are grown by the Quahog Bay conservancy to benefit their efforts in protecting their natural habitat. They are slightly sweet and a little tart with a bright and savory olive finish. But the best part about these oysters is that 100% of the proceeds go to Quahog Bay Conservancy’s programs that protect the ecological integrity of the bay.
Spinney Creek ( Eliot, Maine):
Spinney Creek oysters are born and raised in Maine’s Great Bay. They are a large, deep-cupped oyster about 3 inches in length, with extra-plump, creamy meats. Their texture is slightly crunchy, with a sweet and robust flavor that has a lovely, clean seaweed finish.
Standish Shore (Duxbury, Massachusetts):
The grower “tumbles” his oysters in bags and cages 3 or 4 times before they are planted in Duxbury Bay. This produces a very hard and uniform shell with deep cups and beautiful black and purple streaks on the ridged white shell. Standish Shore oysters have a sweet-buttery flavor that collides with the delicate notes of the ocean. The melt-in-your-mouth texture ends with a clean and salty finish.
Taunton Bay (Taunton Bay, Maine):
Near Acadia National Park, Taunton Bay is one of Maine’s northernmost oysters. These oysters are farmed in off bottom mesh which are naturally tumbled by the tidal flows twice daily. This results in very uniform rounded shells, with a nice deep cup. The plump meats are briny to start and then have a buttery, chardonnay-like finish.
Walrus and Carpenter (Ninigret Pond, Rhode Island):
Walrus and Carpenter Oysters come from a fully sustainable farm by the same name located in the briny waters of Ninigret Pond in Charlestown, RI. These oysters are a medium to large size with a firm meat and a buttery and briny finish.
Watch Hill (Westerly, Rhode Island):
White-shelled Watch Hills are grown off-bottom in waist-deep water on in Winnapaug Pond, near Westerly, RI. They are unusual for being mild in salinity but full-bodied, with strong “oysterness” and an addictive sweet-butter flavor that is especially apparent in winter.
Wellfleet (Cape Cod, Massachusetts):
The most famous of all New England oysters, Wellfleets are farmed in the protected intertidal flats of Wellfleet Harbor. The Cape’s lack of freshwater guarantees a profoundly briny flavor in its oysters. Wellfleet oysters tend to be long (3 inches) and strong-shelled. These oysters have plump meats with a mild, sweet popcorn like flavor, high brininess and a crisp, clean coppery finish.
Weskeag River (Owl’s Head, Maine):
A nice addition to the Maine oyster scene, Weskeags hail from the Weskeag River in South Thomaston. Grown in staked bags to protect them from the striped bass that inhabit the river (and can eat oysters up to two inches in size, shell and all), Weskeags are a medium-sized, plump, meaty oyster with a briny flavor and a smoky kelp finish.
Whaleback (Damariscotta, Maine):
Whaleback oysters are named after the nearby Whaleback Shell Midden which is a shell dump, consisting primarily of oyster shells located on the east side of the Damariscotta River in Maine. It is preserved as a Maine state historic site and is included as part of the Damariscotta Oyster Shell Heaps listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The “middens” (or shell dumps) in this area were formed over 1,000 years between 200 BC to AD 1000 suggesting that native americans enjoyed slurping a good oyster as much as we do today! At first the oyster has a rugged brine, followed by hefty midtones and an abrupt clean finish.
Wiley Point (Damariscotta, Maine):
This diver-harvested oyster is farmed in a select sub tidal area of the Damariscotta River in central Maine. Started as hatchery seed, Wiley’s grow into one of the best-tasting and most treasured New England oysters. The meats themselves are large, light in texture, and are of a relatively high salinity with a briny flavor and a finish with a hint of watermelon.
WiAnno (Cape Cod, Massachusetts):
WiAnno Oysters are sustainably harvested by hand in the clear, cold waters of Cape Cod Bay. Wiannos are grown in racks and bags just off the bottom of the bay and are exposed at low tide. This helps them cup up into very pretty oysters. The white, slightly pink meat is somewhat sweet and profoundly salty. If you like Wellfleet-style salt blasts, these make a good alternative.
Winter Point (Mill Cove, Maine):
Grown in Mill Cove, near Bath, Maine Winter Points are four-inch oysters with a beautiful brown-and-white fan pattern shell tinged with green algae. The flesh is pale and meaty with a sweet briny broth and a sharp mineral finish. Winter Points are available year-round because the hearty growers cut through the ice in winter with saws and harvest the oysters with bull rakes. Raise your glass to toast these brave oyster farmers the next time you enjoy a Winter Point in February!