Hank's Oyster Bar was one of the first local seafood spots to introduce its own signature oyster grown exclusively for the restaurant. Hayden's Reef, a sweet oyster from Dragon Creek Aqua Farm in Montross, Va., debuted in August 2011. Now, owner and chef Jamie Leeds is adding another proprietary oyster to her bivalve selection: the Salty Wolfe.
Grown and harvested by War Shore Oyster Company near Chincoteague Island, Va., the Salty Wolfe is a medium-cupped oyster that's salty up front and mildly sweet and creamy to finish. The mollusks will be available at Hank's Dupont, Capitol Hill, and Old Town Alexandria locations for $2.25 each.
The name Salty Wolfe is a tribute to Leeds' father, Hank Wolfe Leeds, who loved to fish and cook and helped inspired Leeds' career. He passed away of a heart attack when Leeds was a child. Leeds will honor him by donating 10 percent of the proceeds from the Salty Wolfe each quarter to a different charity, beginning with the American Heart Association.
Black Restaurant Group also has two signature oysters—Black Pearls and Old Black Salts—one of which comes from the same oyster farmer that grows and harvests Hayden's Reefs. And even P.J. Clarke's has gotten in on the private label oyster trend. Y&H wrote much more about this symbol of seafood cred in a 2012 column, which you can read here.
Photo courtesy Hank's Oyster Bar