After spending an afternoon playing music in the middle of a bustling farmer’s market on a hot sunny day, we were feeling the need of a cool dark room to sit in, preferably with a glass of good beer in hand. Where we ended up was Nell Thorn in La Conner, the restaurant owned by Casey Schanen, one of our very favorite chefs from Gretchens Cooking School.
It was perfect: the pub area is dark and small, but most of the customers were out on the deck, and we got some excellent beer (Stone IPA and Flyer’s porter). The menu was hard to choose from, but we settled on an oyster sandwich for me, and hanger steak with frites for J.
The sandwich was built on a homemade bun, nice and soft with a good grainy taste. The oysters were large and lightly fried to a perfect delicate crispiness, and the sandwich was dressed with lots of aioli and some lightly cooked bell peppers. It was heavenly, and I ate a lot more of it than I should have. It came with a mixed greens salad dressed (not tossed, sadly) with champagne vinaigrette and fresh berries (either loganberries or tayberries, I’m not sure which).
J’s steak was magnificent, a very generous portion, well seared but rare in the middle, with lots of good jus on the plate. The fries had been coated with an herb mix before frying, and some of them even tasted a little bit of lemon zest. The ketchup that came with them was almost a cocktail sauce, with a strong horseradishy zing. We both ate too many fries.
Note to self: why on earth don’t we come out here more often?