Zak Melang and Nate Opper, the minds behind the newly-opened Ballard Annex Oyster House, are patient men.
So patient that they waited eight years for the perfect space to open up for their dream restaurant.
Formerly occupied by Thaiku, the Ballard Avenue spot has been completely remodeled stem to stern. Some notable features include live tanks, a reclaimed wood tile wall, and a trio of steam kettles in the middle of the bar.
Those steam kettles are an East Coast seafood institution that's never been seen in Seattle, designed to heat soups (including both Manhattan and New England clam chowders) without burning them. They're also awesome for shellfish.
Pair your lobster roll with Ballard Annex's signature cocktail, the Bloody Caesar, a Canadian variant on the Bloody Mary made with Clamato and Worcestershire sauce.
Fresh raw oysters come in every day, displayed on crushed ice at the bar. We're not sure who puts the ice there, since the restaurant has no pre-set job titles. Bartenders shuck oysters, cooks work the front of the house, and everybody is being trained to take over any position that might need help.
So go ahead. Don't be shy, it's OK to thank everyone for the tastiest New England meal outside of Nantucket.
Price: 2 (out of 4)
Noise: 2 (out of 4)
Best bets: Oysters Rockefeller; lobster ravioli; Old Bay fries
Nearby: The Walrus & The Carpenter; Hazlewood; Staple & Fancy Mercantile