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Category: Oysters

The Oysters of the Pacific Northwest

 

Pacific Northwest oysters

Going clockwise from the lemon slice we have:
Mirada, Cranberry Creek, Rock Pt., Shigoku, Kumamoto, and Kusshi Oysters.

 

The Oyster Bar began in the 1920s as a small shack dedicated to selling oysters to Chuckanut Drive travelers. Nearly 100 years later, we now offer a variety of upscale seafood dishes, but our hearts remain on the half-shell, which is why we offer diners the chance to try a variety of oysters from around the Pacific Northwest. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the PNW oysters you can sample from our menu:

Totten Inlet Oysters

Totten Inlet Oysters are a staple of the Pacific Northwest. The beach cultured oysters are raised in rocky areas. Their rugged life, fighting the tides on rough beaches, leads to tough shells and a hearty taste. Diners can look forward to delicious melon and seaweed flavors.

Fanny Bay Oysters

Fanny Bay Oysters come to us from our neighbors to the north. The oysters were one of the first Vancouver, B.C. varieties to become widely available, and as such, have become the oysters to taste from the area. Expect a smooth start, with a strong cucumber finish.

Royal Miyagi Oysters

Royal Miyagi Oysters are raised on a suspension line near Vancouver, B.C. Before the final harvest, they’re moved to the beach to be ‘toughened up,’ leading to stronger shells and firmer meats. They have a smooth, textured inside, with a kiwi-like finish.

Barron Point Oysters

Barron Point Oysters are grown in the Little Skookum Inlet in South Puget Sound. The oysters are first raised in mesh bags by the nutrient-rich waters, before they’re moved to the beach. The fresh water flowing around the inlet makes them plump and tender, with a sweet, briny flavor and a musky finish.

Kumamoto Oysters

Whether you’re a mollusk apprentice or an oyster expert, you’ll likely enjoy the Kumamoto Oysters. This deep-cupped variety is perfect on the half-shell. Diners will enjoy a mild briny taste, with a sweet honeydew finish.

Shigoku Oysters

Grown in our own Samish Bay, Shigoku Oysters are hung out on a line in the tide and tumbled twice a day as it raises and lowers. The result is a small, dense inside — bursting with cucumber and salt flavors.

Kusshi Oysters

Japanese for “precious,” Kusshi Oysters are aggressively tumbled their entire lives, resulting in a smooth, deep shell. The petite oysters are plump with a clean, delicate flavor.

Snow Creek

Snow Creek oysters are grown deep in the waters of Discovery Bay. Their unhurried life leads to soft shells and clean, tender meat. Snow creek oysters offer a mix of sweet and salty flavors, beginning with a pleasant taste and ending on a briny note.

Penn Cove Select Oysters

Penn Cove Select Oysters are quintessentially Pacific Northwest. They’re well known for their frilled shells and are considered one of the most beautiful oysters the area has to offer. Beach raised in Samish Bay, then grown to maturity in the waters of Penn Cove, the oysters have a crisp, briny flavor with a fresh aftertaste.

 

These are just some of the wide variety of Pacific Northwest oysters we offer! Make a reservation today and get to tasting — (360) 766-6185.

The Oysters you eat at the Oyster Bar today, last night slept in Samish Bay

Samish Bay Oysters

A favorite saying around here, “The oysters you eat at the Oyster Bar today, last night slept in Samish Bay” has it’s roots in the history of the region.

The staff of the Taylor Shellfish Samish Island Farm regard their work as similar to their land based contemporaries, as farmers. The bay has been producing shellfish since the early part of the last century. Many of the harvesting practices are unchanged over time. Oysters are still hand-sorted, washed, and bagged by on site staff. The work is done at low tide, which, during the winter, is often in the middle of the night.

Oyster farming is hard, physical labor, in cold conditions. But the people who stick with it love it, just as we love what their labor produces.

A long standing tradition, fresh shellfish is sold on-site at the retail location along with charcoal for those who desire a beachfront picnic, barbecuing beside a colorful pile of oyster shells. The farm produces oysters, clams, mussels, geoduck and even local seasonal Dungeness Crab.

According to Taylor Shellfish President Bill Taylor, the demand for shellfish is on the rise. “We believe that demand for shellfish is going to grow both domestically and internationally. We see markets continue to be strong, demand typically outstrips supply” he told undercurrentnews.com.

Taylor Shellfish farms produces 60 million pounds of Oysters annually, 4-5 million pounds of clams, 1.2-1.5 million pounds of mussels and 700,000-800,000 lbs of geoduck across both the US and Canada.

According to the Governor of Washington’s Office, the state’s commercial shellfish growers employ about 2,700 people and contributed $184 million to the state’s economy in 2010.

Samish Bay itself is ground zero for expansion in the industry. The Washington Shellfish Initiative, initiated by Governor Jay Inslee, in concert with the Puget Sound Partnership, is in the second phase of a plan to add 10,800 acres to the region for shellfish harvesting by 2020, 4,000 of which are in Samish Bay.

Currently, a large portion of prime harvesting area in Samish Bay face random bouts of pollution (usually after heavy rainfall) which make them unsuitable for production. This is due to factors in the Samish River watershed-farms and livestock, manure-based fertilizer, failing of overloaded septic systems, even dog poop in the backyard.

20 government agencies are involved in monitoring the water level, and sampling shellfish from the bay to ensure that what consumers are eating is safe. We’re proud of or neighbors, the farmers and people of Bow who are banding together to modernize farming practices, upgrade systems, and pitch in as a community to improve a unique part of our heritage.

Here’s to enjoying shellfish for generations to come!

Live Maine Lobster!

(Warning: The following blog post will create an undeniable craving for all things lobster. Read at your own risk.)

You may have seen our live Maine lobster offerings on our social media feeds lately. During the month of January, our lobster entree special includes a half or whole lobster served with prime top sirloin steak, prime filet mignon steak, or with wild gulf prawns. (Is your mouth watering yet?) In addition to our special lobster entree, we are offering 5 small plates all featuring mouth-watering lobster. For anyone that has wanted to try lobster, these small plates are affordable and PACKED with lobster flavor. (We don’t skimp on the lobster, either.) For those with an established love for lobster, you’ll want to try all plates especially the ice cream.

Our small plate lobster specials include:

Lobster RavioliLobster Ravioli: served with mascarpone, arugula pesto, toasted pine nuts, brown butter, and shallots.

Lobster BisqueLobster Bisque: with goat cheese gougere and fresh chives.

Lobster Specials The Oyster BarLobster Carpaccio Salad: served with thin slices of lobster, avocado, mango, passion fruit, and vanilla bean vinaigrette.

Lobster Mac & CheeseLobster Mac and Cheese: with truffle cream, lemon powder, brown butter, and cookie crumble.

And

Lobster Ice Cream The Oyster BarLobster Ice Cream: lobster infused cream, lemon powder, brown butter, and cookie crumble. (This is a MUST try.)

For pricing information, please visit our lobster specials menu.

To help with the winter chills, we’ve always got our fireplace going and invite our guests to enjoy a nice fireside meal.

The sun is setting from 4-5 pm directly over Samish Island, it makes for a stunning spectacle to close out the day, and complements your feast.

Bellingham SeaFeast

Bellingham SeaFest

You may have noticed our tweet, regarding the Oyster Shucking competition at Bellingham’s Inaugural Seafeast celebration this year. Two of our chefs, Joey and Chris, placed 2nd and 3rd in the competition.

The Oyster Shucking Competition

The Oyster Shucking Competition

Seafeast, “a festival filled with world-renowned seafood, boat rides, demonstrations, and the arts in an authentic maritime environment” happened at Bellingham’s Zuanich Park from September 30 – Oct 1st.

Sponsored by a number of great local Seafood production, packaging, distribution, and consumer facing companies, the event showcased the “abundance of our Salish Sea Bounty,” according to Deb Granger, the event’s 2016 General Manager.

Bellingham has a bustling working waterfront, a long and illustrious maritime heritage, seafood and fishing industries of international renown, and now, an event celebrating our unique relationship to the Salish Sea.

Seafeast seeks to educate attendees about the benefits of locally produced seafood, and featured local fishermen in survival suit demos and races, tours of ice house and fish processing facilities, local beers on tap, and interactive educational booths showcasing the importance of healthy waters and healthy seafood.

We were pleased to be involved in this inaugural event, and more than happy to support our local vendors – they’re a big part of what allows us to provide the exceptional quality product that our discerning patrons have come to expect here at the Oyster Bar.

So whether you’re a dyed-in-the-wool local, or visiting our unique community, we hope you’ll mark your calendar for next year’s Seafeast and come learn a bit about the incredible bounty our local waters provide and, of course, enjoy some delicious food!

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For Your Favorite Foodies

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Featured Wine: 2012 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

Founded in 1979, Quilceda Creek the top, consistently hits the mark as a top Cabernet Sauvignon producer. A world class winery right here in Washington State.

2578 Chuckanut Drive
Bow, WA 98232

info@theoysterbar.com

360.766.6185

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