Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive

I’ve been driving by the Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive since my freshman year at WWU in Bellingham. I would take the long way home to enjoy the roadside view overlooking Samish Bay and slow my car to a crawl so I could read the fluorescent writing on the menu outside the front door as I passed.

During college, I could barely afford to eat the Reser’s bean and cheese burritos that made up 90 percent of my diet, let alone abalone or swordfish. Not that I would have tried either of those things back then, anyway. I was a vegetarian (“nothing with a face” was the rule) and although I’m sure it’s world-class, selecting gnocchi from the Oyster Bar menu would be truly unconscionable.

So for the past 10 years, I’ve been drooling over this place and trying to come up with a reason to eat there. I guess I could have just gone without a motive, but when you work something up so much, it makes sense to have a reason. The Oyster Bar is a reason kind of restaurant. And then, two years ago, when Morgan and I were freshly engaged, we came up with a really good reason. Our rehearsal dinner. Voila, reason! Unfortunately, they couldn’t accommodate our ridiculously huge guest list for the evening. The restaurant is intimate (read: very, very small), and our wedding party plus spouses, dates and family members were beginning to look a bit like the Osmonds and therefore would require something more closely resembling a large barn.

So the reason search continued …

But then, last week, something special happened. We had our first anniversary and I finally got my wish. A date with my husband of one year; crab cakes; a palette cleansing white grape sorbet with champagne; blue marlin with a rhubarb and lavender gastrique; king crab legs infused with tequila and lime, served with blood orange butter; and cappuccino crème brulee for dessert.

And, yes. Everything lived up to my decade’s worth of cravings and imagination.

P.S. The marlin looked prettier before I got started. I’m still kind of new at this and forgot to take a picture before my first bite!

We're off to Portland for the weekend. See you back here next week!


Emily said...

You can still treat your wedding party to the Oyster Bar... just take us one by one.

Missy said...

You two are perty together. If you do ever want that gnocchi, go to La Rustica in West Seattle. Mmmm good....

jenny said...

That sounds so mouth-wateringly amazing! yes, i know that is not a word but that menu deserves its own! Nummy!