City Bites

WEEKLY LUNCH PICK: “Holy Crap it’s Lunch” debuts at the Whalesbone Oyster House

Not just for dinner anymore. Whalesbone's new lunch menu dishes up delicious surprises — like seafood sambal pizza
The Place: Whalesbone was recently mentioned on my list of “Where to Eat Now” because no one makes eating sustainable sea creatures more frisky fun. But until recently, the quirky pint-sized gastropub only came to life when the sun went down. Now the turntable spins midday on weekdays as well.

The Deal: The brand new lunch menu is short and sweet and changes often — with a choice of fishy items, like the creamy seafood chowder or Perch & Chips, and landlubbers delights like the modestly-named “The Best Gooey Mac and Cheese” or a plate of barbecue-sauce-smothered, fall-off-the-bone chicken with a side of creamy mashed spuds and turnips.

The Dish: They had me at the biscuits — flakey fresh-from-the-oven, flecked with fresh dill and served with butter. Ridiculously good. I almost wept with joy when the server offered me another as I awaited a bowl of the fabulous fish chowder. A modest portion of beautiful tarragon-laced broth topped with a mussel, a clam, and a fish fritter, was over too soon. But appetites were soon sated with more of that impeccably fresh seafood atop the city’s most unique pizza — a rustic slab of toothsome flatbread topped with a light spicy sambal tomato sauce, mounds of mussels, black olives and mushrooms and a melty blanket of dense Piave, mild Italian cow’s milk cheese. Surprising. Satisfying. Superb.

The Cost: Dishes range from $8-14 (18 oysters for $45)

Lunch served: Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m. – 2p.m.

The Whalesbone Oyster House, 430 Bank St., 613-231-8569, www.thewhalesbone.com.