Bringing a taste of Nantucket to Old Towne Orange, the highly anticipated Ways & Means Oyster House has attracted rave reviews since its opening last October.
Located at 513 East Chapman at the old Spiro’s Restaurant location, the distinctive new venue features beautiful arched ceilings that resemble the bows of a boat. Coincidently, the arches originate from the original Snack Shop building before it became a series of restaurants.
“During the renovation process, we wanted to get back down to the bones and celebrate the history of the space,” says Parnell Delcham, who owns Ways & Means Oyster House with his wife, Jennifer. “The ceiling was buried beneath layers of drywall and drop ceilings. We also found the original copper stove hood from the Coco’s restaurant days. We removed seven layers of paint and buffed it out to its former glory.”
Yet another interesting architectural find, an old fireplace was also hidden behind the drywall. Now a centerpiece of the restaurant, the vintage brick chimney features brass plaques on 40 bricks purchased by members of the community and investors in the business.
On the menu, sustainably caught fresh seafood takes center stage. The restaurant is one of only two in Southern California that gets its salmon shipped direct from Schooner Bay in British Columbia.
“If it’s caught Tuesday, it’s on your plate by Wednesday night,” Parnell says. “Our beef is 40-day aged. It’s so tender, you can cut it with a spoon.”
The premium wine list and roster of classic cocktails complements the rotating mix of East and West- coast oysters, not to mention the amazing selection of lobster, shellfish, seafood, duck breast and other delights highlighted in such menu items as “Design Your Own Towers,” calamari risotto, salmon rillettes and pastrami-style sea trout.
Between the fantastic menu, the vintage architecture and the classic ambience, Ways & Means has definitely made its mark in Old Towne
“We love Old Towne and the sense of community here,” Parnell says. “When we first came to town, we could feel the history. This is a legacy space, and we plan on being here for years to come.”
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