The SAM crew elbows their way into the packed Bow Edison venue for local shellfish on New Year’s Eve.
The notion that eating certain foods on New Year’s Day will bring you good luck is common to many cultures. The list includes, long noodles, cornbread, pomegranates, round fruit, greens, pickled herring, whole fish, black eyed peas, lentils, pork, cake, ring shaped food, and grapes. Not sure about the herring, but the rest sound good. I personally would like to add oysters to the list. Okay, I admit it, I don’t need any excuse to pop open a couple local bivalves. When one of my cohorts here at SAM mentioned that Slough Food in Bow Edison was having an Oyster Fest on New Year’s Eve, I immediately raised my hand.
On a sparkling, clear cold, Northwest day, Sandra, Joel, and I drove out across the lovely Samish Flats to the funky, artsy, four whole blocks of Bow Edison. What other town is home to two taverns, four or so galleries, four eateries, a liquor store and not much else? On the way, we stopped to watch eight bald eagles wheel and harass each other for position in a big maple tree on the banks of the Samish River.
The small, store front sized Slough Foods was certainly hoppin when we arrived at 1:00. The tiny front dining area was already full, so we opted for the outdoor seating. Several radiant heaters were trying their best to drive the bone chilling cold away. We squeezed in next to a friendly crowd of oyster fans, perused the chalkboard menu, then tried to get the attention of the harried wait staff. Sandra took matters into her own hands, and procured a bottle of nice Prosecco. At least we wouldn’t die of thirst. After sipping a couple glasses worth, and enjoying the view of the river out back, we finally did place an order. First to arrive was a welcoming warm dish of Oysters Rockefeller Au Gratin. Smooth, creamy, with nice crumbled bacon mixed in, it was delicious. Shortly after that dish arrived, the dozen raw Shigoku and Viriginicas showed up.
I had already grabbed some small cups of the shallot, vinaigrette sauce and Tabasco, so we were more than ready to dive in. The Shigokus were nice and briny, but the general consensus was that the Virginicas were more fat, buttery, and satisfying. The next course that showed up were the dozen grilled oysters. We opted for three spinach, Parmesan, and bacon, three harissa, and three truffle butter. I’m a sucker for the spinach variety, and it seemed like the truffle butter were the favorite with my companions.
The food was dispatched in less than ten minutes, the Prosecco gone, and we were starting to get chilled by the breeze that kicked up. I think all of us could have consumed much more, but hey, there’s always next year. We thanked the cooks and wait staff, paid the bill, and headed home. What a great way to kick off the New Year’s Eve celebration.
Entertainment Writer Mark Perschbacher…A man who will cross great barriers to find exceptional music, art, food, and beer. Mark is a long time Skagit County resident, contributor to, and supporter of local arts.