DESTINATION DINING: If you haven’t been to Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar yet, an outing to Olympia should be in your future, for it is as lovely as Seattle’s loveliest.
IF YOU LIVE in Seattle and love oysters, you’ve probably eaten your way through all the local favorite places. There’s the pretty, airy Walrus and the Carpenter; the salty, divey Emmett Watson’s; the cozy, cabinlike White Swan; the shipshape, brass-rail tradition of an Elliott’s happy hour (or three). Old-school Shucker’s has its charms, or you may have their oysters ferried out into the posh Fairmont Olympic lobby; the big oyster bar at the Brooklyn gets properly busy and loud, and the martini glasses have a funny Z to their stems. Bar Harbor serves East Coast oysters, too (and excellent lobster rolls); Frank’s Oyster House is a quintessential neighborhood place; Little Gull is Westward’s sweet spot; Taylor Shellfish Farms has multiple outlets around town (and one in Bellevue, too).
And if you live in Seattle and really love oysters, you’re willing to seek them out elsewhere. Maybe you’ve tried the various offerings northward along Chuckanut Drive. Hopefully, you’ve made it over to the Hama Hama Oyster Saloon. If you haven’t been to Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar yet, an outing to Olympia should be in your future, for it is as lovely as Seattle’s loveliest.
Chelsea Farms is located on Olympia’s Eld Inlet, meaning the distance between oyster beds and oyster bar is just 5 miles, as the seagull flies. Sister-and-brother co-owners Shina Wysocki and Kyle Lentz grew up on the oyster beds; their parents started the operation 30 years ago. Asked whether it’s safe to call the company very small, Wysocki laughs and says yes — the whole family helps out. The biggest thing that’s happened at Chelsea Farms lately was a visit from Ozzy Osbourne, who somehow located Chelsea online last summer and decided that he wanted to come “catch some oysters.” In case your level of bivalve…