Although Waterbar typically address the needs of most oyster lovers with a selection of fresh oysters from its raw bar and a special of $1 for its daily “Featured Oyster” (every day 11:30-6:00), the Pat Kuletto seafood restaurant goes all out on the last Saturday of August.
This festival was a fundraiser to benefit the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit that is dedicated to protecting and restoring coastal water quality. The festival celebrated with bounty of these coastal areas with:
- Virtually unlimited supplies of fresh oysters from both the West Coast (Drakes Bay Oysters) and the East Coast (Rappahannock River Oysters);
- Prepared food, based on or incorporating oysters from five Bay Area restaurants: Waterbar, Epic Roasthouse, Prospect, Farralon and Sam’s Chowder House;
- Wine and beer from a range of Bay Area wineries (Cakebread, Keenan, Trefethen, Pine Ridge, Schramsberg, etc.) and breweries (Anchor Steam, Lagunitas, Trumer);
- Shucking and oyster eating contests; and
- Continuous music from Golden Gate Hot Club.
Although the sold-out event was certainly crowded, the only significant lines (typically less than 15 minutes) were for the raw oysters. (Although even these lines were moderated by open access to all of the leftovers from the shucking and eating contests).
All other foods, not to speak of the wines and beers, were readily accessible. Although each of the foods were good, our favorites were Prospect’s Chinese sausage and oyster with kimchi aioli on Little Gem Lettuce, Sam’s fried oyster BLT and Farralon’s Heirloom Gazpacho with poached oysters.
All of this, not to speak of the perfect weather and a lovely view from under the Bay Bridge, made for another memorable festival.