By Kathy Chouteau
The Sailing Goat Restaurant, an up-and-coming Richmond culinary destination, is set to treat local diners to fresh air and fare on the waterfront in Point San Pablo Harbor. The added plus? The man behind the venture is Chef Arnon Oren, whose culinary pedigree includes time at Chez Panisse and heading up Anaviv’s Table.
The Sailing Goat will celebrate its opening weekend April 28-30, when the restaurant will start serving from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. SambaDá will also kick off the outdoor concert season that weekend at the harbor at 7 p.m. Sat., April 29 with the samba and salsa sounds of Central and South America.
“We’re going to buy and work with local farms…and directly from local fishermen” at the harbor.
Chef Oren revealed during a recent chat with the Standard that the music isn’t the only thing that will be outdoors. Seating for the restaurant year-round will be too, offering diners a hint at its essence.
He said that the Sailing Goat’s menu was created in collaboration with Head Chef Ross Kaplan—who grew up near and inspired by the Chesapeake Bay—and that they’ll be cooking everything seasonally. “We’re going to buy and work with local farms…and directly from local fishermen” at the harbor, shared Chef Oren, adding that “We are very much in the mindset of sustainability and stewardship to the land and the sea.” Ashley Emery will head up the new restaurant’s front of house operations.
Sailing Goat’s menu will feature wood fired pizzas—that were so beloved at Chef Oren’s now-closed Open Market by Anaviv endeavor during the pandemic—and hyper-local coastal cuisine “inspired by different coastal communities from around the world,” he said. “For example, we will have Fried Calamari and Fish and Chips.” One menu item merging local farm and fisherman fare will be the Clam Pie, a pizza with mozzarella, Yukon potato, garlic, olive oil, thyme, cream and arugula.
Chef Oren shared that some of his favorite menu items to prepare, again, created with Chef Ross, are the restaurant’s Potjie Pots—fish stews prepared over fire. This includes the Brazilian Moqueca Seafood Stew, consisting of the local fish of the day, shrimp, clams, tomatoes, onions, garlic, habanero, coconut milk, cilantro and grilled bread and the Red Lentil Curry with grilled spring vegetables, chickpeas, cilantro salsa verde and Basmati rice.
Ultimately, the Sailing Goat—which will be serving up food, drinks and live music in the space once occupied by Black Star Pirate BBQ—will be a fish of its own harbor. “We appreciate what Black Star did and they had a great following and I think they did their thing,” said the chef, noting that they focused on BBQ plates. He added, “We’re going to be more in tune with the closeness to the water in our menu—that’s where I would say we are different.”
Chef Oren wants to see Sailing Goat expand beyond its menu to also offer outdoor cooking classes, special events and teambuilding for companies. An added benefit? Patrons can sail their boat right up to the Visitors Docks next to the restaurant. (Call Point San Pablo Harbor for more info).
Overall, Chef Oren and his team are excited to start serving great food in the harbor. “We get to expand on this community that we built in the outdoors—with good food and music—and combine the community we started with the community of the harbor.”
Beyond opening weekend, Sailing Goat will serve lunch and dinner Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 8:30 p.m. with rotating live music. It’s located at 1900 Stenmark Dr. in Richmond. For more info re: the Sailing Goat, visit Facebook or Instagram.