We may be a hefty distance from the ocean, but Austin has its fair share of seafood restaurants and oyster bars. Now we're about to get another one, straight from sunny Southern California: Ways & Means, a popular restaurant that started in Huntington Beach, California, and has another location in Oregon. The Austin branch will be opening inside the former Annies Cafe & Bar space on Congress Ave.
The oyster bar is expanding rapidly, with two other locations planned for 2018 (La Jolla and Del Mar, both in California). At the Congress location, they'll be completely revamping the almost 5,000-square-foot space to create a seafood haven; the highly trafficked area means that they'll likely be bringing in a sizeable lunch crowd (and, let's be honest, all the tourists).
While an Austin-specific menu hasn't been released yet, the original locations sport "oysters" and "not oysters" sections. The former includes bivalves that are both simply garnished and intricately dressed (like the madras, an oyster trio grilled with garlic, butter, parmesan, parsley and breadcrumbs), while the latter features small plates of bacon-wrapped shrimp, crab cakes, fish and chips, sliders, eggplant fries and more. Gulf oysters will likely make an appearance to keep things local.
A full bar will include cocktails, beer and wine. If this means we can take a mid-day oysters and champagne lunch break, we'll happily welcome Ways & Means to the neighborhood.