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Sep 16, 2011 02:39 PM

Best restaurant for oysters?

We will be spending five days in Seattle and would like to have some oysters while we are there. I certainly don't know all of the possibilities, but the following come to mind:

McCormick's Fish House & Bar
Metropolitan Grill

Thoughts re the above? Recommendations for others?

Thanks so much.

McCormick's Fish House & Bar
722 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104

Metropolitan Grill
820 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

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  1. There are several good oyster houses in Seattle. Where will you be staying?

    1 Reply
    1. re: mrnelso

      We will be staying downtown. Thanks for asking; I should have stated that in the first place.

    2. The Brooklyn has its microbrews and oyster festival every October.

      3 Replies
      1. re: firecracker

        Thank you. Sounds wonderful. Unfortunately, we will be there in September!

        1. re: bnevens

          The Brooklyn still has oysters. Kumomoto, Fanny Bay, Ama Ama, Penn Cove ...

          [i]The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House

          The Brooklyn does a swell job re-creating a New York City chophouse, and its busy central bar — booze on one side, oysters on the other — is one of downtown's premier hubs for the après-work crowd. Pray for a seat at the copper-topped oyster bar and linger in the neon light that bathes those bodacious bivalves.

          Order a baker's dozen (chef's choice, $23.99) or choose your own ($14.99/six, $26.99/dozen) from a daily oyster menu. Helpful tasting notes allow slurpers to divine which oyster provides a "sweet aftertaste" (Baywater Sweets) or a "mineral-like finish" (Westcott Bay Flats). The hot buy? Four oysters matched with four wines ($12.99), beers ($10.99) or vodkas ($12.99).

          Extra, extra: The carpetbagger steak is a luscious luxury ($40.99), a fork-tender filet mignon stuffed with oysters, wrapped in bacon and served over creamy Gorgonzola potatoes.

          H'oyster Happy Hour: 4-6:30 p.m. daily, a half-dozen oysters cost $4.99.

          Location: 1212 Second Ave., Seattle, 206-224-7000, www.thebrook

          Oyster House
          320 4th Ave W, Olympia, WA 98501

          1. re: firecracker

            Thanks, firecracker. The Brooklyn is now on my list. The carpetbagger steak sounds amazing; I'll bring Lipitor!! I am particularly interested in the four oysters/wine matchings. I will look at their website as I'm curious about which wines are on their list. I have liked Oegon wines (pinot noir, in particular) for years but it was only when we last visited Seattle that I became aware of Washington state's wonderful wines. We brought some back to California but longed for the days when we could stuff a carry-on the the gills with bottles. Beteen baggage handling and temperature changes in he cargo hold, I don't feel all that comfortable bringing wines back now. Mostly, we opt for shipping these days.

      2. There are lots of places for oysters in Seattle, including Shuckers, Blueacre, and Brooklyn. Elliott’s Oyster House has the largest selection, plus an oyster happy hour with progressive pricing for one or two types of house-selected oysters. The Walrus and the Carpenter is also a great place for oysters. Although the selection of oysters isn’t as large as at Elliott’s, they are well-selected and the food, other than the oysters, is better there. My personal fave, just for oysters, is Elliott’s, where in the late fall, winter, and spring they may have 30 or more different kinds of oysters.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Tom Armitage

          Thank you, Tom. I've made a rez at The Brooklyn. We plan to go to Walrus and Carpenter and will probably get to Blueacre as well. We liked the Metropolitan Grill in 2009 so might return there for at least happy hour.

          Metropolitan Grill
          820 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

        2. Elliott's is my recommendation. There location cannot be beat and the ambiance is very much Seattle. On weekdays they have a progressive "Oyster Happy Hour" from 3-5 I think. Last time I was there is was 50 cents per oyster for the first 1/2 hour and then it raises a quarter every consecutive 1/2 hour. You are allowed 2 dozen per person at any one time.
          I am a fan of Shuckers too, the class of that restaurant cannot be beat.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Cedar_Park_Cook

            Thanks so much. "Oyster Happy Hour" sounds great and I appreciate the heads up on Shuckers since we will be staying at the Fairmont. In fact, our package includes a dining allowance at the hotel restaurants. Now I know how to use it!

            1. re: bnevens

              Here’s a little more information on Elliott’s “oyster happy hour.” The prices and the way the happy hour works has changed a little bit. From 3:00 to 4:00 pm, the oysters are 75 cents each ($9 per dozen); from 4 to 5 pm the price goes up to $1.25 each ($15 per dozen); and from 5 to 6 pm, the price is $1.75 each ($21 per dozen). The regular price for Washington oysters is $26 per dozen, for Canadian oysters $32 per dozen, for Olympia and Kumamoto oysters $34 per dozen, and for European flat oysters (Belons) and Eastern Oysters (Virginicas) $36 per dozen. The oysters you get at happy hour are “chef’s choice,” meaning that Elliott’s selects one or two types of oysters, typically Washington oysters, and that’s what you get. You don’t get to choose from the wider variety of oysters available. During the early hours, this is a very good value. After 5 pm, when the difference in price per dozen for Washington oysters is only $5 per dozen, I’d rather choose from the full assortment on hand, where you can pick the style of oyster you like – either mild and sweet or briny. Since you can buy oysters inexpensively by the piece during happy hour, you can ask to taste the happy hour oyster or oysters being served that day. If you like them, then order up and save the money. If you don’t like them, or if you want to sample a greater variety, spend up and select the oysters you like at full price. I prefer the briny style of oysters, and some of my favorites are Penn Cove Selects, Otter Cove, Effingham Inlet, Imperial Eagle, Chef Creek, Malaspina, and Kushi. In general, the Canadian oysters are a little brinier and have a cucumber finish as compared with Washington oysters that are milder and have more of a melon finish – but there are lots of variations in both Washington and Canadian oysters depending on their terroir (the nutrients in the water) and microclimate. Most Pacific Northwest oysters are Pacific oysters, which were brought here from Japan in the 1920s. If you want to try a true native oyster, you should order some Olympia oysters.

              During the warmer summer months when the water temperature rises, the oysters spawn, making them soft, milky, and not very good to eat. (In order to have a supply of non-milky oysters during this reproductive season, triploid oysters were bred which are incapable of producing eggs or sperm.) This year, we had a cold June and July, so the oysters spawned later than usual, and some are still in their spawning cycle, making the choice of oysters more limited than it will be in a month or so, now that the weather and water temperature is cooling down a bit. Even so, Elliott’s presently has 15 different types of oysters on hand, and I’m sure the number will increase over the next few weeks. You can look at the oysters available at Elliot’s on-line at

              1. re: Tom Armitage

                Wow! Thanks for the "oyster lesson". I'm an oyster newbie but I do know a little something about wine.Thanks to you, I can see the comparison in approach to tasting and can better understand the differences in taste based on weather, terroir, variety, etc.

                1. re: bnevens

                  The words of Ernest Hemingway capture my love of oysters: “As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”

                  Oysters and a lean, crisp, flinty white wine (e.g., Chablis or Sancerre) – it doesn’t get better than this.

                  1. re: Tom Armitage

                    I agree and, btw, I don't like to obscure the taste of the oyster with sauces. I prefer them bare with a wine such as you suggest. I give the sauces to my husband for bread-dipping purposes.

                    1. re: bnevens

                      Ah, we are soulmates indeed! Here’s an excerpt from a previous Chowhound post of mine (

                      “An important aspect of eating fresh raw oysters is the oyster ‘liquor,’ or the residual sea water inside the oyster shell. The best way to experience a raw oyster is to suck the oyster and the oyster liquor together out of the half-shell in a single slurp. The quality of the oyster liquor significantly affects the overall taste, just as the particular types of plankton on which the oyster feeds affects its taste. . . . [It is a] crime, in my opinion, is to douse the oyster with a vinegar mignonette or Tabasco, which severely impedes the ability to experience the delicate taste of the oyster, including the differences in taste between oysters from different locales, in which differences in the sea water and plankton can produce oysters that range from intensely briny and salty to mild and sweet.”

                      Sort of like putting a splash of vinegar or Tabasco in a glass of Chablis Grand Cru.

                      1. re: Tom Armitage

                        >>Sort of like putting a splash of vinegar or Tabasco in a glass of Chablis Grand Cru<< LOL

            1. re: JayDK

              The obvious additions are

              Walrus & Carpenter
              Taylor Shellfish

              1. re: terrier

                If I were only after oysters, I wouldn't bother with W&C. They do well by their raw oysters but that's not a lot of value-add for all the hassle of getting a seat.

                If you are looking for more than oysters, W&C is terrific, but I'd hate to see someone queuing up for 90 minutes for essentially the same oysters they will get at Taylor.

                I had oysters on the half shell at Loulay's bar the other day and loved this sort of pomegranate tapioca mignonette they served (if I am remembering the fruit correctly). However, it took about a half-hour to get them served and we'd already drained 1.5 drinks by then.

                1. re: sweetpotater

                  Oysters after 1.5 drinks! Sounds terribly unpleasant. ;)

                  1. re: sweetpotater

                    I agree A few years ago, went to W&C but ended up going elsewhere because the wait for a table was just too long.

                2. re: JayDK

                  A friend and I hit happy hour at Westward and that day they had treasure coves for $1.50. Downside is that happy hour is only 4-5:15, but it's a really cool space and everything we had ranged from good to outstanding.