Hog Island Oyster Co
Oxbow Public Market
610 1st St
Napa, CA 94559
Dining date: 7/2/16
Hog Island Oyster Co. is based out of Tomales Bay, just north of San Francisco, with oyster bar locations in both San Francisco’s Ferry Building and Napa’s Oxbow Market. As its name implies, the restaurant serves up fresh oysters and other shellfish of all varieties, prepared very simply.
I’ve been to both the SF and Napa locations a couple of times. They’ve been very popular with both locals and tourists; lengthy waits are commonplace at this no-reservations spot especially on weekends. While spending the long holiday weekend in Napa, I stopped in for a lunch meal.
Bread was the first thing to come out. Of the epi variety, this was surprisingly kind of stale and disappointing.
Oyster Bar Mix
Redwood Kumamoto humbolt bay, ca
Glacier Point kachemak bay, ak
Quivet Neck quivet creek, ma
We moved onto a plate of a dozen oysters of three different varieties. Kumamoto was the most sweet, while the Quivet Neck was the most briny; the Glacier Points were right in the middle.
Grilled Oysters Rockefeller spinach, pernod, onions, lemon zest, cream
These grilled oysters were huge and flavorful with vegetal flavors from the greens.
Chowder manila clams with aromatic vegetables, bacon, potatoes, cream
The chowder was light and aromatic from the pancetta, onions and carrots. The bowl was completely packed with sweet clams and creamy potatoes making for a deceptively hearty bowl.
Steamed Mussels merguez sausage, ras el hanout, israeli couscous
Mussels were bathed in a Moroccan-influenced broth with pieces of merguez. The shellfish was plump and sweet and really went well with the soup.
I’ve really enjoyed my meals here and this one was no exception. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular – the food is simply done, well-executed and delicious. And it’s not too expensive.