Snooty maître d' and exorbitant prices aside, there are few better venues for oysters than this 267-year-old bulwark in St. James (jacket required). The mustard-colored walls are hung with portraits of the restaurant's master shuckers, including Thai émigré Sam Tamsanguan, who won the '99 world championship for speed-shucking. (He opened 30 in three-and-a-half minutes). At Wiltons, Sam works at a more measured pace-he'll carefully set you up with a dozen English "natives," arranged on a dimpled silver platter, with a lemon half wrapped in cheesecloth-a thoughtful touch. The main course? It has to be the whole Dover sole, grilled and then broiled with nothing but butter, salt, and pepper.
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