Chef Jacob Harth has made it his mission to tackle the world’s seafood sustainability. As a young chef, Harth set out to understand where the seafood for many restaurants was coming from. He took the education he learned from the fishermen to open his own seafood restaurant, Erizo, in 2019. Erizo does things a bit differently from your traditional seafood restaurant, which makes it such a special find. Rather than serving the traditional types of restaurant seafood like cod, grouper, and tuna, Erizo focuses on utilizing seafood ingredients that are unfamiliar to most guests. He focuses on invasive species of seafood. His logic at Erizo is that if you are going to deplete a resource, it should be overpopulating its area, not something that is already being depleted by thousands of other seafood restaurants around the world. All Erizo’s chefs also have their commercial fishing licenses. Interestingly, much of what is served in the restaurant is caught by the chefs themselves. This is the mark that Chef Harth is making on the seafood sustainability project. It is not only helping the environment, it also exposes guests to new ingredients and experiences.
Located on the Pacific Coast in Portland, Oregon in the backroom of Bar Casa Vale, Erizo serves its food very simply. The restaurant offers a twenty-course tasting menu that takes place three times a week and is cooked over a live fire for all guests to see and enjoy. The ingredients added to the seafood mains are simple, unique to Erizo, and created in-house, and meant to not take away from the beauty of the main dish. The ingredients used are always changing due to what is available and caught locally so the menu for each tasting could always change. When you are fortunate to try the tasting menu at Erizo, you will be treated to unique flavors and dishes such as squid and matsutake with a warm, flavorful broth to start your evening. Other unique dishes such as sardines and chicories, and sea snails with burdock accompany more traditional seafood fare like trout and brassicas. The evening ends with dessert dishes of grapefruit with kelp and chocolate and wild rice which are also unique but will leave you intrigued.
During the COVID 19 pandemic, Erizo adhered to strict local guidelines and was closed in March of 2020 They are available for private party tasting menus and can be contacted on their website to request more information. They have since reopened to limited seating from Thursday to Saturday.
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Chef Tony is a 42-year veteran of the food industry and is often known by his peers as “The New Product Guru.” Throughout his illustrious culinary career, he’s earned several notable titles and positions including Acquisition International’s “Most Influential Product Development Expert, U.S.” in 2019.
In 1997, Tony also founded Culinary Systems Inc., a group of culinary consultants that assist with culinary training, restaurant start-ups, concept development, and more. Since then, Tony and his team have generated over two billion dollars in sales for their clients in restaurants, retail, and manufacturing.
The strategic, technical, and culinary skills of Tony and his team can be seen on the menus of national chains, in the portfolio of national food manufacturers, and on the grocery shelves of products produced by major retail companies.