Pacific Grove, CA. Oyster lovers rejoice! Wild Fish Restaurant in Pacific Grove is proud announce a partnership and to add Hog Island Oyster Co. oysters to their menu of high-quality sustainable seafood.
Based on Hog Island Oyster Co.’s varying supplies, Wild Fish will typically offer about 4-5 varieties of delicious oysters, both barbeque size and cocktail/raw size, delivered fresh only one day after hand harvesting. Depending on their availability, Wild Fish may feature their Sweetwaters and Salazars one week, but during another week, the menu will offer Hog Island Oyster Co.’s Kumamotos, Hama Hamas or Shigokus, for example.
According to Liz and Kelvin Jacobs, owners of Wild Fish, “We are thrilled to team up with Hog Island Oyster Co., a sustainable like-minded company that is doing exactly what we admire in seafood producers. As a low impact environmentally conscious company, Hog Island Oyster Co. is a fabulous resource shipping fresh weekly to arrive every Wednesday to our restaurant, hand harvested just 24 hours before delivery, so that we can share their very unique, flavorful oysters with our valued customers.
With the recent acquisition of a full bar, the opportunity to craft cocktails and pair other oyster specific drinks is tantalizing. House crafted versions of Margaritas, Martinis as well as a wide variety of sparkling wines, champagnes and even classic Oyster Stout, for beer drinkers! Two organic wines from local Carmel Valley winemakers selected as perfect oyster pairings are, from Ian Brand’s La Marea label, a crisp clean and minerally Albariño and from Emily Hunt’s label Drench, a minerally heavenly Sauvignon Blanc.
The Hog Island oysters will also be featured on both festive holiday menus this year which includes the Thanksgiving and Christmas set menus at Wild Fish.
About Hog Island Oyster Co.
With a tagline of “Live to shuck, shuck to live!”, Hog Island Oyster Co. recently celebrated its 35th Anniversary in 2021. They began oyster farming in 1983 with the goal of raising the best quality, sustainable shellfish in a beautiful location. Tomales Bay offers the cool, clean water rich in plankton that oysters feed on to grow plump and sweet, and the flavor of the bay is evident in every delicious mouthful. Oyster lovers call this merroir; they call it delicious.
Hog Island Oyster Co. strives to be low-impact, operating as efficiently and consciously as possible as they take their harvest from seed to plate. By controlling and studying all aspects of their supply chain – from transportation to packaging to alignments with other like-minded companies – they’re able to minimize their environmental impact. In 2016, Hog Island Oyster Co. became a legally incorporated California Benefit Corporation. Benefit corporations have a corporate purpose to create a material positive impact on society and the environment and are required to report on their overall social and environmental performance.
Hog Island Oyster Co. grows their oysters using a “rack and bag” system adapted from French aquaculture. They plant oysters by the hundreds in reusable mesh bags fasted to rebar racks which elevate the oysters from the bay floor. Being elevated from the bay floor allows the best tidal flow to surround the shellfish so they can easily feast on natural phytoplankton and nutrients in the water column.
Their oysters are raised in intertidal zones of Tomales Bay where they spend part of their lives out of the water, exposed to air. Depending on the species of oyster, they will spend anywhere from 12 months to three years there, filtering up to fifty gallons of seawater per day as they feed on natural minerals and nutrients provided by Mother Nature.
About Wild Fish
The culinary mission of Wild Fish is to provide “Inspired, organic, and imaginatively prepared food.” Owned by Liz and Kelvin Jacobs, originally from New Orleans and London respectively Wild Fish is dedicated to providing 100% local and organic innovative cuisine. The restaurant provides wild fish so local, that they actually put the name of the fisherman and fishing vessel on the menu. Their menu is sourced several times a week from local fisherman, farmers, and foragers. Since their catch and crops can vary, their menu does too. By focusing on offering just amazing seafood dishes, their kitchen has no cross-contamination and their more than a decade of experience creating unique fresh seafood recipes pays off in creating a special dining experience again and again.
As the Jacobs explain, “We take pride in offering the freshest fish available each day and our expertise with preparing local West Coast fish for over a decade creates the optimal flavors in each of the dishes. Our seafood and organic produce doesn’t travel far to get to our kitchen and onto your plate. Whether you enjoy classics like fish and chips or are looking for a culinary adventure like spicy grilled octopus, everything is better fresh. Our food is procured, prepared and presented with love in a warm and inviting atmosphere for both lunch and dinner, 365 days a year. We enjoy being a popular neighborhood restaurant that also attracts diners from all over the world who appreciate our concept and enjoy a restaurant that features the freshest seafood and organic produce on our innovative menu.”
They add, “By serving only fish, we are in a great position to ask our local suppliers for by-catch. We don’t just serve mainstream fish like cod, salmon and halibut, we get in off-the-beaten-path specials like sardines, anchovies, sanddabs, cockles, geoducks, whelks, rock crabs, spot prawns and more! Instead of shipping local fish off to discerning markets worldwide, we feel the concept of natural heritage is to be celebrated! That fish is YOUR fish! It should be on YOUR table – not only frozen and shipped out to Japan, New York or wherever. It is fished outside your door down there in the bay, it should be on your table.”
By working closely with only local purveyors and harvesting provisions from right outside their door, it’s become a personal mission for the Jacobs to procure and serve only the finest, sustainable ingredients. They explain that it is about being resourceful and taking in the bounty of the earth, a healthy rebellion against the reign of processed food.
The Jacobs know that the California Coast is a prime spot for resources, and acting on tradition, nothing goes to waste. They are constantly pushing artistic boundaries, satisfying appetites and intriguing the senses. The key is employing new seasonal ingredients and implementing new elements. Their dishes incorporate piquant flavors, exceptional techniques and impeccable pairings.
Wild Fish is open for lunch and dinner with an evolving menu based on the local finds their chef discovers at the nearby seafood and farmers markets. Raw ingredients are purchased directly from the supplier and then their world-class kitchen cleans and prepares the ingredients. Only hours after receiving the ingredients, lunch or dinner is served, providing diners with the freshest and most flavorful menu offerings. Wild Fish features local California wine and two French champagnes as well as Port from Portugal, Whisky from Scotland and beer from the Marina, CA-based English Ales Brewery.
The Jacobs enjoy live music and in fact, moved to Monterey due to their love of jazz. Years ago, Kelvin formerly was in the music industry, including owning a record store in Soho in the West End of London.
If customers come to dine at Wild Fish on a Friday night, they’ll experience fabulous music from the Lighthouse Jazz Quartet, headed up by the legendary Bob Phillips, who invites his top musician friends to perform, creating a great night out in Downtown Pacific Grove.
Liz Jacobs, a tenured food writer, believes that food transforms people. Her husband, Kelvin, agrees and has been an award-winning chef. They originally relocated to the United States from Devon, England, where the couple previously owned and operated a successful restaurant and inn.
They opened their first Wild Fish Restaurant in Little River in Mendocino County in 2011 and closed it in 2021. They opened Wild Fish Pacific Grove in 2018 and both local and visiting seafood lovers have become loyal repeat customers. In fact, many of their former Mendocino customers make a point of coming by to dine at their newer Pacific Grove location.
Wild Fish’s inviting and warm space just a few blocks from the Monterey Bay offers seafood enthusiasts a charming neighborhood destination. They have a spacious heated parklet and also have a private dining area for groups of up to 24 people at lunch or dinner for meetings, anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions. Wild Fish is open daily at 545 Lighthouse Avenue in Downtown Pacific Grove from 11:30 am – 3:00 pm for lunch and 5:00 pm -9:00 pm weeknights and 5:00 pm -9:30 pm on weekends.
For more information or for reservations, go to wild-fish.com or call (831) 373-8523.