Atlantis Oysters & Raw Bar opens at Worcester Public Market

Barbara M. Houle

Atlantis Oysters & Raw Bar at Worcester Public Market held a ‘silent opening’ on March 26, with an impressive selection of oysters including West and East Coast varieties.

Owner Domenic D. Mercurio Jr. has partnered with Executive Chef Jason (Jay) Midwood in the business. Managing Director of Atlantis, Midwood also owns the popular Pasta Mani at WPM.

“Atlantis offers an extensive list of oysters and the freshest seafood available, in addition to an outstanding cocktail and wine list,” Mercurio said. On opening day, the restaurant offered oysters from places as far afield as Washington State and Prince Edward Island. Duxbury and Wellfeet in Massachusetts were also on the list. The market price will dictate what the restaurant will charge for the oysters.

Geography definitely affects the flavor of oysters, with west coast varieties sweeter and creamier than the east coast, Mercurio said, and each oyster has its own unique taste and texture depending on where it’s grown. Oysters from Pacific waters also have deeper shells with rougher edges.

Midwood is in charge of the Oyster Bar’s small plate menu with “Tins, Raw Bar, Not Quite Dinner.” Sardines in olive oil, albacore tuna in olive oil, and scallops in tomato sauce are examples of cans. Tuna tartar, giant crab salad and house smoked salmon are options at the Raw Bar, while steamed mussels, crispy octopus, lobster roll and grilled whole fish top the list Not Quite Dinner.

Mercurio said Atlantis came under fire the Saturday it opened, with no social media or media coverage. The restaurant seats 28 people and is open from noon until closing, usually around 10 or 11 p.m. The restaurant’s liquor license allows it to stay open past midnight, according to the owner.

Mercurio is also executive director of Worcester Public Market, 160 Green St., Worcester, and owner of Burger Bah in the market.