Each year Wine Spectator awards a number of restaurants honoring wine programs by recognizing lists that display excellent breadth across multiple regions and/or significant vertical depth of top wines, along with superior presentation. Each wine lists selected features a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Ranging in size from 90 selections to several hundred, these lists are well-focused and tend to emphasize discovery.
This marks the 28th year the Chuckanut Oyster Bar has received this honor. Each wine is carefully chosen and covers every major wine producing region in the world.
It’s only March but the first mouthwatering Rosés of the season are starting to arrive! We’ve selected a Washington wine. This rosé that comes from collaboration between two winemakers in the Columbia Valley. And Why Mr. Pink? rosé sets a scene for spring from our cellar to your table.
And Why am I Mr. Pink?
Wine makers Mark McNeilly of Mark Ryan Winery and Trey Busch from Sleight of Hand Cellars joined together for The Underground Wine Project. This collaborations created a perfectly pink rosé. It’s filled with the flavors of fresh picked cherries, crisp watermelon, pomegranates, and ends with a lip smacking acidity to balance out the mouthwatering fruit sweetness.
Pale peach in color, this wine drinks dry and has delectable tart cherry notes. As far as pairings go this is going to be one of our more versatile wines, going nicely with most of our appetizers and fish dishes, the bouillabaisse in particular!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
As a restaurant with a long history in the region, we’ve been featured in a long number of publications and personal blogs! Below, we’ve gathered some our favorite reviews, recollections, and write-ups in one place — a sort of scrapbook of people’s experiences with us throughout the years. We’re delighted to see the reviews have remained consistent — fresh Northwest seafood, a spectacular view, friendly service, and award winning wines. If you’ve ever dined with us then written about the experience, we would love to see it!
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.
Every now and then, a meal’s setting and the meal itself sync so perfectly that they form an unforgettable dining experience. That happened to us recently at The Oyster Bar on the Chuckanut Drive, about a two hours drive from downtown Seattle.
There is no hurrying here. After decades of refining the fine art of hospitality and service, the wait staff carries on a legendary task of “teasing” diners out of any impatience that might have brought along from the day just past. The evening’s visits to the table including a warm welcome, refreshing beverages, warm bread with finishing butters, and salads are spaced and timed perfectly. When the entrees arrive, thanks given, conversations shared, the experience of the meal ahead will once again leave you fascinated with this place.
As we sat there enjoying our meal, we watched the tide go down and the oyster beds started to appear. The Pacific oysters from our lunch were grown from seed and harvested from the farms right in front of us. You could call this the 100 feet diet. Talk about freshness!
“Since the Great Depression, the Oyster Bar has sold Samish Bay oysters from right outside the window, baked or fried or quivering in their shells; these days there are other varieties, too, with an optional side of mulled apple cider mignonette. It’s all very hushed and throwbacky in here—there are the crab cakes, there’s the steak and prawns—but that’s just another word for classic.”
“If you’re looking for an incredible view and a tasty lunch, stop by The Oyster Bar. This place used to be a shack where oysters were sold to passing drivers, but it’s now a pristine fine dining restaurant. Every table in the restaurant has a great view of the water and there’s an extensive wine list.”
As we wrote about in March, the scenic Chuckanut Drive turns 100 this year! The stunning view from the historic highway – all dappled light, lush greenery, and splashing ocean – is enough of a reason to visit, but why not make a whole day out of exploring Chuckanut? The surrounding area is filled with hidden spots that are rich in history with stories to tell. If you’re riding the highway, here are things to do around Chuckanut Drive.
Larrabee State Park
For those who are tired of watching the trees whizz by and want to get out and explore them, you’ll find no better place than Larrabee State Park! Washington’s first state park is perfect for families with curious kids, a romantic picnic with your special someone, or a quiet time of reflection on your own. The edge of the park overlooks the bay, where you can see the nearby islands and watch incoming shipping vessels. You’ll need to purchase a Discover Pass, but $10 is a small price to pay for the experience.
San Juan Cruises
Get up close and personal with the wonderful Washington wildlife in our waters with San Juan Cruises. The cruise will take you around the San Juan Islands in search of Orcas, Humpback whales sea lions, and more. The captain will share the history of the area and point out areas of interest as you travel through the bay. Along the way, you’ll stop at Friday Harbor, a vibrant seaside port.
Historic Fairhaven District
Explore the red-bricked district of historic Fairhaven and discover a Pacific Northwest gem. The area is well-known for its small artisanal shops – you’ll find independent bookstores like Village Books, specialty clothing stores like Fairhaven Runners, and home boutique shops like the well-named A Lot of Flowers. Every nook and cranny is bursting with something exciting to see — well worth an afternoon of walking around.
The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive
Of course, we like to think The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Bay is essential to enjoying the full Highway 11 experience. Our restaurant has been a staple of Chuckanut Drive for almost as long as it’s been around – starting as a tiny seaside oyster shack in the 1920s and growing into the fine dining establishment it is today. Make a reservation and end your Chuckanut Drive adventure with local seafood and an unforgettable view.
Can it be a perfect meal without a perfectly paired wine to accompany it? We don’t believe it’s possible! That’s why we at The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive strive to fill our wine cellar with award winning wines to enhance your night-out experience.
Oyster Bar owner Guy Colbert and wine selector Amanda Abbott personally choose award winning wines from around the globe, covering every major wine-producing region in the world. We take great care in selecting wines that enhance the entire experience of dining at The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive. Wines not only add a new dimension of flavor to dishes, but are an opportunity for you as a diner to experience the flavors of a different place and time.
In the 2005 Malvira San Guglielmo, diners can taste the flavors of Piedmont, Italy. The rare, luscious red wine opens with a nose of blackberry and tobacco and follows with hints of vanilla and leather on the palate.
Or diners can swing the villa windows open and smell the Atlantic waters of El Puerto de Santa María, Spain with a glass of Oloroso La Garrocha. The sherry wine is crafted on a family farm that’s been in business for nearly two centuries now. Your glass is served at room temperature and holds an almost sweet, nutty flavor with hints of the nearby ocean.
This month, we’ve added the Sancerre Rose from the tiny hamlet of Terre de Maimbray. Born in the Sancerre region of the Loire Valley, the rose wine tastes like a French summer feels. Aromas of white currant, apricot and peach accompany a soft, pale color. It’s a perfect choice for a light salad on a sunny day.
Collecting award winning wines like these leads to an award winning wine cellar. For 27 years now, The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive’s selection has been voted as one of the outstanding Wine Lists of the World by the prestigious Wine Spectator Magazine. It’s an honor to be selected year-after-year, and we’re thrilled to offer you the opportunity to taste flavors from the around the world, while appreciating a view only the Pacific Northwest can provide.
Fish is one of our favorite ingredients to work with. Not only are they delicious, they’re also an incredibly healthy addition to your diet! Eating fish once or twice a week can have positive full-body results. Here are just a few reasons to eat more fresh fish:
Fresh Fish is Good for the Heart
Troll Caught King Salmon
Heart attacks are one of the top causes of premature deaths in the world, so take care your beating buddy with fresh fish! A number of studies have shown those who eat fish at least once a week appear to have lower rates of heart issues. The Omega-3s present in fish can also help control blood-fat levels, more good news for that heart of yours.
Fresh Fish is Good for the Mind
Studies have revealed a connection between a fish-rich diet and lower rates of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Eating fish boosts the grey matter in your brain, building a defense against illnesses that target it. Grey matter is a major tissue in your noggin—processing information and solidifying memories.
You don’t need to eat swordfish to stay sharp! A serving of salmon or cod a week will do just fine.
Fresh Fish is Good for the Soul
Jeremy Brown’s boat
While we know fish is good for the heart and mind, we also believe fresh fish is good for the soul. It’s rejuvenating to eat food from where you live. Local produce keeps us connected to where we’re from, and inspires us to notice and take care of our environment.
That’s why we’re so happy to provide diners with the chance to eat fish caught for them nearby. We recently served Black Cod caught off the Washington Coast near Neah Bay by Jeremy Brown, a local fisherman. And from their tables at The Oyster Bar, diners can see where the oysters they’re eating are harvested. We do things this way because we believe it’s an important part of living well.
So call (360) 766-6185 to make a reservation at The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive today and come in for a fresh meal that’s good for your heart, your mind, and your soul! We can’t wait to have you around our tables.
The incomparable Chuckanut Drive is turning 100 this year! Chuckanut Drive, or State Highway 11 if we’re being official, was completed in the spring of 1916. Since then, it’s been a favorite cruising spot for those looking for a drive with a view—and good food!
The now scenic highway first began as a logging road in the 1890s. The thick forests of Bellingham made transportation and travel extremely difficult for the settlers coming for a new life in the Pacific Northwest. In 1905, city lawmakers approved funds to begin improving the road, but the money soon ran out. The project wouldn’t be completed until Charles Larrabee and Cyrus Gates, two wealthy Bellingham businessmen, gathered the funds to complete the rest of the road. The work began with convict crews, but ended with private companies and state crews.
In the 1920s, just a few short years after the road opened, the groundwork for The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive was laid. A small shack selling fresh oysters to travelers was started by Zenzabaro Maekawa, a plant manager for the Rockpoint Oyster Company. The shack did so well that it soon sprouted four walls and a lunch bar and was named the Rockpoint Oyster Restaurant! One hundred years later, that humble shack is now The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive!
Last week, Chuckanut Drive showed her wrinkles with two rock slides experienced back-to-back. To make sure the area is safe, the Department of Transportation has closed that section of the road down for now. But we’re in contact with them every day to see when it will reopen.
Fear not though, The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive is still reachable! The rock slides took place to the North of us, but the road is clear from the South. You can get to us via Colony Rd., Bow Hill Rd., Cook Rd., and Chuckanut Drive exit 231. Make your night perfect with an unrivaled highway view, followed by an unrivaled seafood meal!
This month, it’s alright to feel crabby! That’s because the Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive is offering a number of delicious small plate crab dishes throughout March and April. (Not available Easter weekend) Our chefs have whipped up a number of mouth-watering crab dishes for you to enjoy. Perhaps you’d like to try the Snow Crab Lasagna? Or maybe a Petite King Crab Salad is more your taste? Or you could always sit by our fireplace and warm yourself up with the Dungeness and Whiskey Soup.
Here’s everything the Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive has prepared for you crab-wise.
For information on pricing, please visit our menu.
Snow Crab Lasagna Lemon dill pasta, portabella mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, basil, roasted red pepper and star anise coulis and basil oil.
Dungeness and Whiskey Soup With crab crackers and fresh chives.
Petite King Crab Salad Heirloom tomatoes, avocado, basil, arugula and black truffle vinaigrette.
King Crab Brulee Blue oyster mushrooms, shallots, basil, capers, saffron lemon mousseline and grilled brioche.
Crab Cocktail Snow, King and Dungeness crab, spicy gazpacho, avocado mousse and crostini.
If you wish, our servers will happily pair any small plate crab dish you order with a selection from our award-winning wine cellar. Each bottle on our list has been personally selected by the owner, so as to cover every major wine-producing region of the world. We have limited seating in our restaurant, so we recommend you call ahead and make a reservation if the crab plates have your mouth watering!
Make a Reservation Warm up by our fireplace. Call ahead to reserve your seat at the table! 360-766-6185
Featured Wine: Domaine Magdalena Cabernet Sauvignon
(Bin #1114 $87)
This sophisticated, balanced Washington Red is everything a Cabernet from Red Mountain should be. It’s fine tannins accent the beautiful notes of blackberry, rose petal and earth. Domaine Magdalena is not only beautifully made but also thoughtfully made. The wine undergoes wild yeast fermentation, is unfiltered and is Demeter certified biodynamic. This wine can stand alone but would pair nicely with so many of our dishes including our vegetarian and wild game options.