2578 Chuckanut Dr.
Mon-Fri 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Sat-Sun 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Imagine, if you will, a shady, winding road clinging to a steep hillside. Below, beyond a screen of tall firs, lies a spectacular vista of sea and ethereal islands, stretching to the horizon. Despite the tortuous road, you begin to relax and feel the solitude of the forest, the absence of human activity. Then, you see it -- a house perched right at the side of the road, balanced precariously between road and sea, almost magically appearing where it seems least likely. Very unlikely indeed -- for it is no private residence but rather, it's the Oyster Bar, a wonderful, unspeakably romantic restaurant. Inside, there are but a dozen or so tables in sight, a roaring fire, a bank of windows overlooking the Bay view. The lights are low, the music soft, the milieu one of tranquility.
The Oyster Bar’s fare is Pacific Northwest-inspired; the menu small, but superb. Selections include local fish, lobster, duck, steak, wild salmon and, of course, oysters in shell, by the dozen, half dozen or singly. To start with, we tried the clams simmered with fresh ginger, garlic and chili oil, which was exotic and intriguing. Lemon and persimmon sorbet in champagne came next, to clear the palate. The pasta entrée was handmade ravioli stuffed with Gouda and mixed with a variety of mushrooms. We also tried the mahi mahi, which came topped with a blood orange vinegarette and was sublime. For dessert, a chocoholic’s delight called a Chocolate Gooey. The name says it all.
Of course, I cannot write about the Oyster Bar without mentioning the 27-page long wine list - an enophile’s dream. The restaurant’s cellar boasts some 3,000 bottles, give or take, and won Wine Spectator’s Best of Excellence Award in 1999. Am I waxing euphoric? This is a very special restaurant for a very special evening. However, note that children under eleven years will not be seated. It is definitely a grown-ups only restaurant. Bring your credit card -- this is not a budget-priced menu. However, the prices are certainly in line with the gourmet offerings and the wine list is moderately priced considering the outstanding selection.
Coming from the Fairhaven district in Bellingham, head down Chuckanut Drive. The restaurant will be approximately 15 minutes down the road, on the right hand side.
Wheelchair Accessible | Beer and Wine | Dinner | Espresso | Full Bar | Takes Reservations
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San Juan Islands