Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal

The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive (Bow, WA)

(Photo Credit:, The Oyster Bar View)

Mailing Address:
The Oyster Bar o
n Chuckanut Drive
2578 Chuckanut Drive
Bow, WA. 98232

Lunch – Daily from 11:30am – 4:00pm
Dinner – Daily from 4:00pm – 10:00pm

(360) 766-6185

Nancy Lee and I have enjoyed this remarkable restaurant only four or five times in our life together and the view each time has been just what you see here.  Although the weather in the Pacific Northwest has a rather notorious reputation for being otherwise, the times we’ve eaten at the Oyster Bar have provided us with weather, views and meals for the memory book.  We’ve been lucky.  Or blessed.  Or both.

The Oyster Bar, a hidden gem nestled among fir trees on a bluff overlooking the water along Whatcom County’s famed Chuckanut Drive is easy to miss with its unexceptional exterior.  But once inside, this cozy venue with the spectacular views of Samish Bay will captivate you long after the sun has set beyond the Cascade Mountains visible from every table. 

 I compromised my own rule about choosing something different each time we shared a meal at the Oyster Bar.  Of those four or five visits, I requested the same thing on three or four of those occasions.  I don’t even recall opening the menu on two of the last times we were there.  For me, there was just no getting past the Lobster au Gratin.  It seemed to bring a whole new understanding to the phrase ‘Edible Art.’

The Lobster au gratin arrived each time with arguably the most memorable presentation I’ve ever seen.  A beautiful round charger was the base for two smaller plates, each plate just smaller in circumfrence than the one before it.  Nestled on the charger was the second, smaller plate of clean white rock salt.  In the center of that came the dinner plate on which the sauteed pieces of sweet lobster meat were surrounded by a ring of the greenest broccoli I’d ever seen.  This was finished with a drizzling of fresh, homemade hollandaise sauce.  Consider this: when the wait staff presented this entree to the table, one could only pause to admire the care that had been given this selection.  To this day I recall two things: the vibrant green broccoli and the extraordinarily sweet flavor and texture of the lobster drizzled with hollandaise.

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. 

Oyster Bar Table

The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive had it’s earliest beginnings in the 1920’s when E. N. Steele and J.C. Barnes formed the Rockpoint Oyster Company on Samish Bay. During the Great Depression when the market for shelled oysters was down they built a shack on Chuckanut Drive for their plant manager, Zenzabaro Maekawa, to sell oysters to travellers on Washington State’s first scenic highway, Chuckanut Drive. The little stand prospered and soon was enclosed, a lunch counter was added and the Rockpoint Oyster Restaurant was born. The Maekawa family was interned during World War II and the restaurant sat empty from 1942-1946. (Read more…)

 Oyster Bar Rock Point Photo

2 Responses to 'The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive (Bow, WA)'

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  1. We’re glad to hear that you enjoyed The Oyster Bar and looking forward to seeing you again!

  2. We’re glad to hear that you enjoyed The Oyster Bar and are looking forward to seeing you again!

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