valentines-day

I know that my blogs are usually directed to antiques or something related but I decided to digress completely today.  Instead I’m going to give you a small Valentine’s Day gift in the form of a suggestion.  A little insider tip into one of the most delightful and romantic restaurants that exists on probably all of the west coast.

I doubt that this late in the game there are any tables left in this jewel of a restaurant. At least for a romantic Valentines dinner. As a matter of fact when I discovered it about 25 years ago (from a chic group of ‘connected’ friends who mentioned it as a ‘must go’ place to dine) it was impossible to get a reservation even then. You had to book weeks or even months in advance.

And interestingly enough, it isn’t even in Vancouver. But it’s not in Paris either. It’s in the most unlikely spot you could probably ever imagine.

25 years ago such Vancouver notables like former Vancouver Mayor, Art Phillips and wife Carole Taylor could be discovered here dining in a romantic little corner in a state of bliss. I know, I sat beside them and chatted briefly throughout dinner.

Only three weeks ago, we decided to venture there again.  I must admit I was a bit skeptical that a revisitation would result in nothing but a great disappointment. After all it had been 25 years since I’d been there. In fact when it was mentioned to try it again, I poo poo’d the idea saying that it was probably closed, or terrible, or whatever. Nothing could be still be great after so many years.

Well was I in for a great surprise. In fact so much so, that I felt I had to share this rare find with all my devoted blog readers to discover this fabulous place for themselves.

In fact, nothing had changed. Except for ourselves being 20 years older. The interior was the same, the ambience and charm was still there, and the food was just as great as it ever was.

Should I get to the name already? Enough suspense you say. Well here it is!

The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive. Wa.

For those of you that don’t know where Chuckanut Drive is, it’s on the old highway from Bellingham to Seattle. And it’s worth the hours drive to get there. If you’re going to Seattle you must make this a stop on the way down or on the way back. You won’t regret it.

Why?  Because the food, ambience, view etc. is phenomenal. Seriously, it’s that good.

It’s a small little place that’s literally hanging off the edge of a cliff on the old Bellingham Hwy. Its positioned so that it has a spectacular unobstructed view of the water. We were lucky enough to have the weather on our side so the setting and the view couldn’t be lovelier.

The interior remains the same after all these years, but it’s still charming with all that west coast wood and glass. The wine is superb, the food is fabulous and fresh, and the menus are interesting and diverse.

I personally ordered the fish tacos for lunch (mostly because I was still on my Maui kick after just returning a week earlier) and frankly they were better than anything I had in Hawaii.

The four of us all tried something different and everybody agreed it was the best food they’d had in quite some time.

To be honest, I haven’t tried dinner, but the server told me the same chef has been with them for years. So if lunch was any indication of the dinner menu, I’m pretty sure it won’t disappoint.

I’ve included the link for you to explore this little treasure on your own. And do me and yourself a favor, keep this little treasure a secret just between ourselves.

Happy Valentines Day.

Mark

The Oyster Bar

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