“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”
— Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
You can see from the map that Hog Island is north of where we were at Drake’s Pay (Point Reyes). It’s west of Petaluma, so if you are staying there (which is what I did,) you can drive over for an easy day trip.
Drive-through oysters! Ha, OK, not exactly drive-through, but locals can swing by and pick ’em up anytime.
Check out all those oyster shells!
They have a bar where you can get shucked oysters and a wide variety of libations.
And a number of delicious local cheeses.
Or, if you prefer, buy your oysters and shuck them yourself.
The atmosphere is idyllic. I can’t think of a better place to sit and enjoy oysters.
That said, make sure you go on a weekday. Weekends are allegedly ridiculously crowded.
There were a lot of people when we were there, and these photos were taken on a Monday afternoon. Can you imagine what the weekend would be like?
This is our tour guide, Elizabeth.
We enjoyed freshly shucked oysters (covered in the cost of the tour).
And barbecued oysters, which is a Northern California tradition. I’d never had them before, and I highly recommend them.
Here’s the Hog Island recipe for barbecued oysters. They’d make a great addition to any summer barbecue.
We also enjoyed a platter of local, artisanal charcuterie, cheese and crackers.
From Hog Island Oyster Company, we drove in the van back to Inverness, where we started at the Blackbird Coffee House.
Right next to Blackbird is a quaint neighborhood bar and restaurant called Saltwater.
Of course, their specialty is oysters and local seafood. And the food is divine.
And as you can see from the menu, it’s very affordable. I highly recommend a visit!
Delicious iced water with mint and lemon.
And local white wine.
Warm crusty bread with the most amazing local buttery olive oil. (I’ll have to look up the name in my notebook and add to the comments.)
And, finally, Parmesan-baked oysters. Wow, these were so good. I don’t have a recipe but I’m sure ya’ll can figure out how to do it. (And yes, I will work on a recipe!)
The end of a perfect day. I had a scenic drive back to my hotel and fell asleep dreaming of barbecued oysters.