By Kurt and Michelle Winner
What makes Whidbey Island so special? Is it the feeling of being away from it all? The journey to get there (you may drive to the ferry and ride on)? The many water views and beaches? The feeling of a slower pace and small town values? Or the plethora of fresh food ? I think it is a magical combination of these attributes that makes this place so unique.
On Whidbey recently to explore Oak Harbor, we stopped in Coupeville. And then it started. This “Mussel Madness” of mine. You have to try fresh mussels as close to the source as possible for the addiction to take hold. And in Oak Harbor or on Whidbey in general that means mussels from nearby Penn Cove.
I had Penn Cove Mussels for lunch with a simple herbed brine at Toby‘s Tavern. I ordered them in Oak Harbor at local favorite Flyers Restaurant and Brewery steamed with white wine. I ate them at Seabolt’s Smokehouse, owned by a family of fishermen, where you can pop in for the freshest seafood to take away or sit down and dine. I had them at Front Street Grill in curry sauce. And finally I had them at one of my favorite dining experiences in the Pacific Northwest, Frasers in Oak Harbor. For now until I return to this island that bills itself as “The Shortest Distance to Far Away©” I will be content with Penn Cove Shellfish’s overnight delivery.
Here is a classic recipe from Penn Cove www.PennCoveseafood.com that I’ll be using for my home-style mussels.