June 21, 2011
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.
With views like the one above, it’s hard not to be inspired. . .
But when dishes such as a lovely this Belgian Endive/Gorgonzola Salad begin to arrive. . .
Along with Nettle Wild Nettle and Artichoke Soup, made with a base of vegetarian consommé and locally gathered nettles, Yukon gold potatoes, fresh artichokes, and hint of dry Vermouth, this food writer’s heart leaps up!
California Red Abalone, farm-raised along California’s Central Coast, is seldom seen on menus in the Northwest.
So although pricey (at $65 per serving), we ordered it and weren’t disappointed.
Flash-sautéed doré-style and drizzled with hazelnut lime butter, The Oyster Bar’s rendition was more tender, flavorful, and downright delectable than ones we’ve had while visiting our neighbor to the south. (I took the shells home as souvenirs!)
Spring sturgeon from nearby Willapa Bay was fresh and clean tasting, not muddy as oftentime (lamentably) happens with this fish.
The dish was lavishly sauced with blueberries and topped with fresh raspberries, and encircled by reduced balsamic vinegar and basil oil. Yum!
We enjoyed our last sips of wine and morsels of food. . .and mentally prepared ourselves for the long journey home. . .the sun set. . .
And finally dove behind the distant mountains.