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“One of the Best on Whidbey” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher
901 Grace Street, Coupeville, Whidbey Island, WA 98239
+1 360-678-0683
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Ranked #3 of 22 Restaurants in Coupeville
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $12 - $35
Cuisines: French, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: -Our dining room offers views of Penn Cove -We have outside dining available on our deck overlooking the water -Our menu changes seasonally and often to offer the freshest, local ingredients -We have a limited bar, as well as an excellent wine and beer list -Our open kitchen provides a one of a kind experience for diners
Langley, Washington
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“One of the Best on Whidbey”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2015 NEW

Went for our first dinner there to help celebrate a friend's birthday. The food and libations were wonderful and the owners gracious and knowledgable. We all enjoyed ourselves and felt very lucky to have such a first class restaurant in our area.

  • Visited March 2015
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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82 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    60
    13
    4
    5
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Katy, Texas
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Hand picked nettles make fresh nettle soup”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2015 NEW

Talk about commitment to fresh ingredients, they go to the nettle patch and harvest those stinging plants in the morning. When they show up in your soup dish, all is forest green smoothness, with the sting long since banished during preparation. This level of attention is taken with all courses. Penn Cove mussels, best since Venice, Italy says my wife, best ever for me. Palate cleanser icee with hint of dill and salt spot on. All pretense abandoned as I sop up sauces with bread. Beef shoulder, a cross between fillet and flat iron, just wonderful. Menu changes with season, worth a long, long drive to eat here. Priced right for this level of excellence.

  • Visited April 2015
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centennial, Colorado, United States
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Impressive”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2015

I dine out a lot and consider myself not only a foodie, but also a bit of a food snob. I normally don’t write/post reviews about the restaurants I patronize. However, I had such a surprisingly pleasant experience when passing through Coupeville, Washington, I had to share my experience.

My wife and I had never been to Coupeville before and had no idea where to dine. The Oystercatcher was mentioned in our AAA magazine and was in the list of restaurants at the B&B where we were staying. I asked one of the owners of the B&B what she recommended and she said the Oystercatcher. So off we went.

Since it wasn’t “high” season, I really didn’t know what to expect. The exterior looked a little mundane, but the interior was very inviting with comfortable size tables grouped around the open kitchen. This arrangement also gave many of the patrons a nice view of the village and Penn Cove.

We were warmly greeted and promptly seated at a nice window-side table for two. Shortly thereafter, our waiter introduced himself and asked if we would like anything to drink besides water; we didn’t. After giving us a few minutes to look over the menu, which I am told changes regularly based on what is available from local purveyors, he returned and asked if we had any questions; we did. We queried him about the oyster varieties they were serving that day. He was able to describe the two types (Pacific and Kumamoto) and their taste profiles (sweet vs. briny). We ordered three (3) of each. They were served on the half shell with a balsamic vinaigrette, which I hadn’t had before. I loved it.

Our oysters were followed by an amuse-bouche, which normally are not served except in nicer, chef-owned, restaurants. This one was a radish, topped with a savory butter and fresh herbs. It was a one bite wonder; delicious.

Since we are not volume eaters, we opted for two appetizers and one entrée. For her appetizer, my wife ordered the asparagus salad, which was prepared with mint, lemon pecorino and a sweet onion cream all topped with a poached duck egg. The presentation was beautiful. I could kick myself for forgetting to take a picture. However, as nice as it looked, the taste was even better (we share dishes). Mint can easily overpower a dish, but in this preparation it was very subtle and complimented the combination of flavors.

For my appetizer, I ordered the Penn Cove mussels. I know; not very exciting, but I love mussels and these did not disappoint. They were fresh and the broth was prepared with sautéed roasted onions, garlic, parsley and crème fraiche. It was an excellent complement to the substantial serving of mussels; and something you just wanted to pick up and slurp down when you were done eating the mussels. Fortunately, my wife reminded me of my manners and I reluctantly controlled my urge.

Following our appetizers, we were treated to a salted grapefruit sorbet for a palate cleanser; another nice touch that is normally enjoyed only in finer restaurants. The flavor and texture were just right.

For our entrée, we chose the beef shoulder tender, with bacon jam, garlic puree, grilled asparagus and potato rösti. This is a cut of beef you don’t often see on a menu because it requires some skill to remove from the blade of the shoulder. It is one of the most tender beef muscles. I prefer it to tenderloin because it has a more “beefy” taste. It was prepared a perfect medium rare, with a nicely seasoned, peppery crust. The bacon jam and garlic puree complimented the beef nicely. The asparagus was grilled just right and the rösti provided a nice alternative to many of the conventional starches normally served with beef.

Finally, for dessert, we shared a wonderful apple tart with a scoop of ice cream. There was a nice hint of cheddar, which I can only assume was part of the crust. In any event, it was an excellent end to a delightful repast.

As I’m sure you can tell, in my opinion, this was a perfectly executed meal. When I asked our waiter the name of the chef and where he was trained, he told me the chef’s name was Tyler Hansen and he had not received any formal culinary training; just training in some fine restaurants as well as a lot of self-study. When the chef visited each table to see if we enjoyed our meal (always a class act), I was also surprised to learn that he had purchased the restaurant less than two years ago. I congratulated him on a flawless meal and wished him success, which I have no worries he will have.

If you ever find yourself in Coupeville, Whidbey Island, Washington, I strongly suggest you take a meal at the Oystercatcher. I know I will.

  • Visited April 2015
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clinton, Washington
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Easter Brunch at the Oystercatcher”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2015

This was a WONDERFUL meal. Not only does it have a beautiful view, it is small, the food is meticulously prepared. Reservations for special events is a must, but I think they would be a good idea anyway. We started with the oysters broiled with shallots, hazelnuts and bacon. Yum. Too bad there were only 4 since we split it. Should have had an order apiece. I did notice that some folks just went through the appetizer menu one at a time for their meals. I followed with the shrimp and grits. Creamy cheese grits with grilled prawns and a ragu from carmelized onions and roasted peppers with bacon. My husband had the smoked steelhead eggs benedict. Not a true benedict, but he preferred the bernaise sauce as it has less butter. Really good on both dishes. These are not the usual menu however. We have eaten at the Oystercatcher through 3 owners. Each has had a slightly different style. All have had expensive menus so this is a special occasion place for us. I must comment that I do not like parsnips and they do appear frequently on the menu. I am sure I could ask for a substitute and they would accommodate. Enough said. It is a treasure, make a reservation and yes it is a great place for that special occasion.

  • Visited April 2015
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clinton WA
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Surprising excellence in a small town”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2015

I have lived on Whidbey for 6 years and I hadn't heard about this gem. Went there recently and everything we had was cooked to perfection.. My date had the beef and it was fabulous flavor was wonderful. I had the special of scallops, sautéed kale, mushrooms and pasta, excellent preparation. A little spendy but at least the meal was good. Right now best restaurant on Whidbey... looking forward to going back. Service was a tentative a little over zealous but settled down once they figured we weren't in any hurry.

  • Visited March 2015
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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