By Kathy Chouteau
Ah, what to do early on a lazy Sunday afternoon? This past weekend, my crew decided to take a little lunch excursion to the Sailing Goat restaurant in Point San Pablo Harbor.
It may have been a last-minute decision on a Sunday, but my fam had been planning to visit the restaurant ever since it opened in late April. As I wrote back then, Sailing Goat is the latest venture by Chef Arnon Oren, owner of Anaviv’s Table and a Chez Panisse kitchen alum—and it features a menu of wood fired pizzas and coastal cuisine. Head Chef Ross Kaplan helped create the menu and was cooking when we visited.
The drive to Sailing Goat in Richmond’s outer reaches is a little long and winding, but the eatery is essentially pretty easy to find. Upon arrival, there’s the sense of uncovering a long-buried treasure, and as we quickly discovered, the experience fully delivered on that promise.
We entered via the restaurant’s side deck with its boat-and-bay views, and ordered our lunches from a friendly lady at the hostess stand. She led to our table on a larger deck with equally pleasing views—passing by fellow patron and former Mayor Tom Butt along the way. Once seated, we immediately regretted not bringing our pug to this evidently dog-friendly environment.
Our food arrived in short order, with my son, Logan, ordering the Margherita Pizza, made with mozzarella, tomato, basil and olive oil; my husband, Zach, getting the Brazilian Moqueca Seafood Stew, consisting of fresh fish, shrimp, clams, tomatoes, onions, garlic, habanero, coconut milk, cilantro and grilled bread; and my own order being the Fish & Chips, created with the local fish of the day and seasoned french fries, a bit of coleslaw and tartar sauce on the side.
Zach’s Brazilian Moqueca Seafood Stew was the immediate star of the show, looking truly exquisite. He said it tasted, “Flavorful and exotic, with just the right amount of spice,” and said the rustic, buttered grilled bread that accompanied it was “perfect for dipping into the warm stew.”
The Margherita Pizza was equally filling and fresh, according to Logan, who said the “sauce was nice and zesty, the tomatoes fresh and the cheese stayed stretchy throughout the meal.” He added that “The crust was very crunchy and surprisingly flavorful,” and—in his 11-year-old foodie opinion—crowned it “The best pizza in Richmond and “would definitely recommend it.”
As for my Fish & Chips, it was incredibly fresh and tasty, and provided as an ample serving. The fish itself was served as two pieces on the plate and the accompanying coleslaw was also truly delicious. I shared most of my french fries, but what I ate was both perfectly seasoned and scrumptious. I would be remiss not to mention my delicious drink—a Nixie lime sparkling beverage, which I will definitely be ordering again.
The consensus? The Sailing Goat’s food was top notch without the surroundings being stuffy and the service was friendly and attentive—just our kind of place. Add to that the nearby and artful alligator, bee and Giant Victrola/bandstand that are castaways from Burning Man, and you have a great venue for live music and events.
We will definitely return and my husband, a former travel editor, mentioned that he thinks it would be an ideal place to take someone visiting Richmond.