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Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar

Oysters and much more

The Hangtown Fry is a tasty omelet. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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ANNOUNCER: In the heart of downtown Olympia is the 222 Market, which opened last fall.  This artisanal market boasts an open-air concept with restaurants, a flower shop, creperie and more.  This week, Dutch and Jackie hit up Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar to try some local shellfish.

JACKIE: The 222 Market is a really rad space and Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar has a hip vibe. Clean, slick décor, pops of color from simple, fresh flower arrangements here and there and a couple of neat chandeliers made out of ... yup, oyster shells. The ambiance is perfect for a casual business lunch, flirty date night out or brunch with the family.

DUTCH: Oysters may be the focus here, but the clam chowder stole the show for just $10.  In a creamy broth, they offer both bacon and pork belly, local heirloom potatoes and steamed clams.  It made me wish the pork belly was in every dish, it was so tasty.  The clams were noticeably fresh, and the whole arrangement was a bit of a combination of the traditional chowder and steamed clams.

JACKIE: Executive chef Austin Navarre and team have definitely cultivated a compelling selection of bites paired with delectable craft cocktails morning, noon and night. I started my experience with a Summer Solstice featuring Aviation Gin, elderflower, grapefruit, mint and bubbly, which was a refreshing brunch time libation.

DUTCH: The menu adjusts each day with the available seafood, but the scallops are a dish that should remain on the menu.  Pan-fried with only salt and pepper seasoning to allow the flavor to come out, and served with assorted vegetables, shitake mushroom, and Walla Walla Sweet onions, this dish offers a lot of flavor and a great mix of textures.  The peach gastrique on the side adds a sweet accent to the dish.

JACKIE: Their Westport Albacore Tuna Poke is another example of their dedication to uber-fresh seafood. It was replaced with Ahi Tuna on my trip and just about the best poke I've had the pleasure of enjoying. Super fresh ahi was presented with avocado aioli, garlic scapes, jalapenos and fresh butter beans. The flavor was exquisite and balanced.

DUTCH: If you have the opportunity, sit at the counter.  Jose was working the oyster bar the day we went in, and not only did we get to watch the care in which he took to prepare each dish, but also he was full of knowledge about the other shops in the 222.  The concept here is about quality, not quantity, so prepare to be impressed but not stuffed.

JACKIE: I found brunch appropriately portioned. Their Hangtown Fry was a tasty omelet putting Nueske's bacon and cornmeal-breaded oysters center stage with Beechers Cheddar cheese drizzled atop. Each bite of the oysters boasted an expertly executed texture with a crunchy exterior complementing the fresh meaty oysters. With a hearty serving of homestyle potatoes, the dish left me feeling fulfilled.

With a visit to Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar you can expect top-notch presentation and a fabulous display of an attention to detail that comes from a group that have an obvious passion and pride for the culinary culture.

Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 222 Capital Way N., Olympia, 360.915.7784,

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