Blue Island Oyster Bar and Seafood in Denver, Colorado

We were spending the weekend in Denver and had heard about a seafood restaurant that was celebrating “Oystoberfest” for the entire month of October. The Blue Island Oyster Bar in the Cherry Creek area of Denver has an excellent happy hour every day and a wonderful selection of fresh seafood. One of the things that we learned during our time in Frankfurt, Germany, is that cities have an airport that is a major hub, restaurants can get deliveries of fresh seafood on the same day that the fish are caught. Denver is no different as it is centrally located and can receive seafood from both coasts daily. Blue Island has partnered with Blue Island Shellfish Farms in New York to get their seasonal oysters and other seafood delivered as fresh as possible.

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Our First Dozen Oysters
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Shuckers Hard at Work
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The Bar Area

We have mentioned previously that we don’t typically eat a large meal, but eat a few small plates to try as many different foods as possible. Obviously we had to get oysters and they were so good that we ended up getting a second dozen before the night was over. The menu stated that their clam chowder was the “City’s Best Clam Chowder”, so we had to give that a try as well as some chilled shrimp. The clam chowder was nice and thick with a lot of clams and the flavor was wonderful. There were a lot of other choices on the menu and based on the food that we did try, we are sure that you couldn’t go wrong with anything that you might choose. Their prices were very reasonable, especially considering the quality of the food, and we would definitely recommend them to anyone visiting Denver and looking for fresh seafood.

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Clam Chowder and Shrimp
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Oyster Bar
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Cozy Restaurant

Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar

We’d been to Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar when we visited Fort Collins a while back, so when we found them in Boulder, we were quick to pay them another visit.  They have the most incredible happy hour with oysters for a $1.50 each as well as a variety of other options.  There are a total of five restaurants with locations in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Glendale in Colorado and the fifth in Kansas City.  The goal of Jax Fish House is to serve fresh seafood to land locked communities and they fly in their seafood fresh everyday.  One of the things we really like about Jax is their commitment to sustainable seafood sources as well as sourcing their food from local farmers.  We really appreciate the farm to table and, in this case, sea to table approach that provides the freshest ingredients that are in season at the time.

Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar
Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar

We started with a dozen oysters, of course, which were wonderful.  Obviously we enjoyed some wine with our meal, but we believe in enjoying a wine of your preference versus worrying about a specific pairing, so red or white wine works well with seafood for us.  After the oysters, we enjoyed a small plate with spicy tuna on crispy rice, which had wonderful flavor.  Peel and eat shrimp was next on the agenda followed by another dozen oysters (yes, we were hungry). Finally, we had the special for the night, which was shrimp and grits with Tabasco butter with a scrumptious fried egg with a runny yoke.

Oysters on the Half Shell
Oysters on the Half Shell
Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice
Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice
Peel and Eat Shrimp
Peel and Eat Shrimp
Shrimp and Grits with a Fried Egg
Shrimp and Grits with a Fried Egg

After dinner, Chef Alex Krill came out to ensure that we were satisfied with our meal and we talked about their commitment to source food from local farmers.  We also talked about his recent trip to Thailand and how we both appreciated getting inspiration from local flavors of the places we visit, the more exotic, the better.  Every member of the staff on all of our visits were extremely friendly and proud of the restaurant in which they worked.  We were back the next night for more oysters, but getting a seat at happy hour isn’t always an easy thing, but we were lucky enough to get a seat at the bar once again.  We prefer eating at the bar as we typically share plates and enjoy the attentive service that we usually get when sitting at the bar.  We also had some calamari as well as a second dozen oysters once again.  If you’re in a location that has a Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar, we highly recommend that you pay them a visit, especially during happy hour.

Fried Calamari
Fried Calamari
Dona and Pete and Jax Fish House
Dona and Pete and Jax Fish House