“If you don’t love life, you can’t enjoy an oyster.”
Public Fish & Oyster is the perfect place to celebrate on West Main Street. A big mural outside and a white entrance bring a modern sailor vibe to this peeling corner townhouse.
Mostly from the East Coast’s salted ocean and also from the rivers, these guys select the finest oysters served raw everyday. And, they are eager to tell you all about the different types, sizes, salinities, and flavors. Last year they sold around 150,000 oysters. It is well known that the best oyster bar is usually the busiest, so it is no coincidence that Public Fish & Oyster is always packed.
Aside from raw oysters and clams, they offer a full menu of delicious seafood and hot dishes crafted by Chef Gregg Dionne, trained in New England. We strongly recommend the Moules Frites and the Low Country Boil (Carolina shrimp, Virginia clams, chorizo, corn on the cob, red potatoes, Old Bay). Allegheny Mountain Trout Amandine or Whole Roasted Branzino are very popular too. Moreover, there is a huge list of international and local wines of all different prices.
The friendly Daniel Kaufman, Public’s owner and general manger, is proud of being part of the sustainable food community of Charlottesville. They donate their oyster shells to The Chesapeake Bay Foundation to be recycled into shell-made reefs, creating new habitats for millions of oysters in the Bay and its rivers.
So enjoy life, tempus fugit. Order an assortment of raw oysters alongside a martini with an orange twist, and you’ll feel like a captain, at a reasonable price.
Phone: (434) 995-5542
Hours: Mon-Thu from 4 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Fri-Sat 4 p.m. – 10 p.m., Sun 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Text and photo: Edu Bayer