Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Elliott's Oyster House - Review

Elliot's Oyster House - Highly Recommended (for oysters)
Pier 56, Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: 425-277-4600

After reading Eric Ripert's phenomenal book On the Line, I was craving some Washington oysters. I've never had oysters during my visits to Seattle, so I was figuring now was the perfect time. As usual, the chowhounder's did not disappoint as Elliot's was a phenomenal place for oysters. Overall, I give the restaurant an 86/100.

My Menu
1) Pan Fried Oysters **
2) Blue Cheese Oysters **
3) Hama Hama (Mild Hood Canal, Wa) **
4) Snow Creek (Juan de Fuca, WA)
5) Deer Creek (Hood Canal, WA) *
6) Fanny Bay (East Vancouver Island, BC) **
7) Kushi (Vancouver Island, BC) **
8) Totten Viginica Eastern (Totten Inlet, WA) *
9) Humboldt Bay Kumamoto (Eureka, CA) **
10) South Sound Kumamoto (South Sound, WA)

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way * Good ** Great *** What the F – in a good way

Dish Comments
1) With cooked oysters, you still want them really juicy which is a problem at most restaurants since they usually end up dry. Here, you don't have to worry. Nice sweet (but not to sweet) Jack Daniel's glaze on the oysters served in the shell with some lettuce and tartar sauce. A great way to start and these were super addicting.
2) First time for blue cheese oysters and I definitely want to go back for more. The small amount of pungent blue cheese surprisingly doesn't totally overpower the oyster flavor. They actually pair quite well together with a nice crispy topping.
3-10) I'm not a huge oyster connoisseur, but these were hella tasty. Basically you can order specific oysters from a region/varietal or choose multiple varietals - served with a champagne mignonette granita (weird, but worked). The first set of Washington Pacific Oysters were tasty, but not great. Like ordering wine at a restaurant, I should have known to ask the oyster shucker at the bar instead of listening to the waitress. The second set I asked the oyster shucker to pick some of his favorites and these totally kicked ars. My favorites were the Kushi (tiny and sweet), hama hama (medium sized and great flavor), totten virginica (ridiculously large, but huge flavor kicks in after a couple of seconds), and my favorite - the Humboldt Bay Kumamotos (crispy, insanely creamy, and great flavor). What I learned was although I was craving Washington Oysters, the only one that really stood out for me were the Hama Hama's. All the others were from Vancouver Island or Cali?

Overall Restaurant Experience (86/100)

  • Food 8.8/10 – Really high quality oysters that made me very very happy at the end. Listening to the chowhounders I avoided all non-oyster related foods. Tried the local brew Manny's and it was a decent hoppy pale ale that paired OK with the oysters. Wish I had a dogfish, which would have been killer with the Humbold Bay Kumamoto's...
  • Service 7/10 – Waitress was nice, but not that knowledgeable. Busboy seemed like he was a expression at all, dead eyes. Good times. Wish the oyster shucker was more interactive like at Swan Oyster Depot...can't win em all I guess. Took a while to get the oysters, but there were huge orders of oysters that day.
  • Atmosphere 8.4/10 – Place was all mahogany wood and extended out onto the water. There's something about eating seafood while watching water that's quite magical - only if Le Bernardin were on the beach or something. Got there at 12:30pm on a Saturday with no reservations and was seated immediately at the oyster bar. No one else was sitting there, but there were some families sitting in the dining area.
  • Price 8.0/10 – Haven't had oysters in a while, so not sure if it's pricey or not. I got the $13 for 1/2 dozen Washington oysters and $19 for 1/2 dozen mixed varietals. The 1/2 pan fried oysters and 1/2 blue cheese oysters were $13. The wife and I were happy, so I guess that's all that matters.
Closing Comments
On the menu, I saw on M-F from 3-6, they have 50 cent oysters which I 100% want to go back for.

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