What to Eat & Drink at the New Hog Island Oyster Co.By Virginia Miller | May 8, 2014 By Virginia Miller | May 8, 2014
Hog Island Oyster Bar is back. The longtime raw-bar destination in the Ferry Building has doubled in size and it's more beautiful than ever before. The new Cass Calder Smith Architecture-designed space is open and modern, with lots of woods and clean lines and Bay Views running the length of the airy restaurant. Now there are three bars framing the space. A dramatic, Bay-facing, 16-seat oyster bar centers the room. On one side, there's an 8-seat cocktail bar and on the other, an 8-seat chef’s counter - both side bars are smartly lined with angled mirrors reflecting the water. Communal as well as individual tables and an outdoor patio offer a variety of seating options. Just as in its former days, the place is bustling and packed from the moment it opens. In a way, it feels as if it never left.
But now they have cocktails - and cocktails created by Scott Beattie and Michael Jack Pazdon, no less. Both are bar masters from St. Helena's Goose & Gander. In classic Beattie/Pazdon fashion, the drinks show off seasonal produce from Hog Island’s farm and feature Bay Area microdistillers. The wine list steers from California through France, Italy, Oregon and New Zealand, including a Hog Island Cuvée, a collaboration with Ironhorse Vineyards, and Hog Island Oyster Wine, a blend of Albarino and Gruner Veltliner grapes from Paragon Vineyard. There are also five rotating draft-beer selections, a cider and a rarity: Boylan sodas on tap.
The kitchen uses only sustainably raised and harvested seafood and oysters from their farm in Marshall. A pioneer in Bay-to-bar restaurants, chef Christopher Laramie (of the now-defunct eVe and Brasa in Berkeley) revives Hog Island classics like clam chowder and the grilled cheese sandwich, but he's also got a few new tricks up his sleeve. Take a look at the latest Hog Island dishes and drinks, below.