The Radar: Test the Oyster Myth at Ballard Annex

Ballard Annex Oyster House

Construction is finally complete in the historic Ballard News Building on the city’s latest seafood space — Ballard Annex Oyster House. Designed by none other than Zak Melang himself, one-half of the restaurateur duo behind Annex. That nautical woodworking you see? Yeah, his hands did that.

Ballard Annex Oyster House/Michelle Strub
Ballard Annex’s Executive Chef, Josh Green. Check out his lobster tattoo! That’s how you know he’s the real seafood deal.

Ah, oysters. The cliché of all aphrodisiac foods. Don’t know what I’m referencing? There’s a reason Casanova, the famed 18th century lover, used to breakfast on 50 oysters each day. Myth has it that eating oysters will get you … you know, excited … in a Marvin-Gaye-Lets-Get-It-On kind of way. Now’s your chance to see if the myth perpetuated by the man is true. Or at the least, to get your fill of oysters.

“We’re shooting for eight varieties of Pacific oysters every day. We’ll have them on the half shell, steamed, or baked — Oysters Grand Fromage, Santa Fe and Rockefeller,” says Nathan Opper, the other half of restaurateur duo who also own Matador and Kickin’ Boot Whiskey Kitchen. (Nathan is the shy one.)

Executive Chef Josh Green, formerly of Ponti and Virginia Inn, describes the rest of the menu as, “Breaking the northwest seafood stereotype by introducing a bit of east coast flavor,” with a sincere purpose to “let the seafood speak for itself.”

And boy does it speak. Especially the lobster roll. Or, in my best New England accent, “lob-stah roll.” “It was like buttah.” More flavor, less fillers, and like the lobster was plucked fresh, straight from tanks of whole Maine lobsters and Dungeness crab beneath the glowing “Oyster House” sign at the front of Annex’s bar.

The bar also houses three steam kettles that will serve up soup (the New England clam chowder is to die for) seven days a week including during lunch and the happiest of hours, of which you’ll be sure to see a lot of Bloody Marys, Bloody Caesars and bubbles.

Ballard Annex Oyster House
Non-oyster options. Recommended by staff: the Whole Pan-Fried Trout.

The 4,000 sq. ft. Ballard Annex will seat 35 in the bar area, 65 in the dining room and 60 in an upstairs “back bar” and officially opened its doors to the public on Mar. 3, 2013. Hours are Monday – Thursday, 3:30 p.m. – Midnight, Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. – Midnight.

Ballard Annex Oyster House | 5410 Ballard Avenue NW, Seattle | (206) 783-5410