In Good Company: Grayton’s Newest Seafood Spot
Story by: Sarah Murphy Robertson
Grayton Seafood Company boasts “Grayt Food and Tall Tales” and, while indeed, their dishes are super tasty, that’s not an exaggeration in the least. Owner Kenny Griner is a seasoned restaurateur with Chet’s Seafood in Pace, Florida giving him more than two decades of experience in the business. He trusts his longtime chef Andy Brown to create masterpieces and his local fishermen to bring him the freshest catch.
With an obvious passion for the local seafood gems of our coastline, Kenny is gracious enough to teach our 30afoodandwine.com team about mullet – including letting us watch him filet them. This hands-on approach is the way things are done at Grayton Seafood Company. They peel their own shrimp and shuck their own oysters too. It’s a full-service operation with tons of skill and expertise.
Their raw oysters are the quintessential appetizer and brimming of flavors of the sea: brine-y and creamy and served ice cold. If raw isn’t your angle, Grayton Seafood Company offers them cooked a few fun ways too. Try the Chargrilled Oysters with garlic butter and parm or the Oyster Bubbafella baked with collard greens, crumbled cornbread, crisped bacon and butter! Another starter we noshed on were the New Orleans style barbeque shrimp. These jumbo head-on beauties are gently poached in a spiced herb butter sauce and you may find yourself needing to place a second order.
Their mullet is served one of three ways – fried, grilled, or blackened. I can vouch for the cornmeal dredged-fried version and I strongly suggest ordering it accompanied by the stone-ground cheese grits and golden fried okra. The cornmeal dusting is light, crisp, and sweet and showcases this delicate fish. It was the way Kenny’s grandmother made it and we all get it: grandmothers know best.
Dinnertime at Grayton Seafood Company is a great time to try their version of the classic, Shrimp and Grits. Pan-sautéed shrimp are seasoned and encircle a smoky sausage mushroom roux. Served generously with those luscious stone ground cheddar cheese grits completes this special dish.
While fresh seafood is the name of the game, “turf” lovers will enjoy options of cooked-to-order Filet Mignon or Rib eye steaks. Both are certified Angus beef and served with your choice of two sides and finished with a rich rosemary demi-glace.
We were stuffed and happy after our visit, but will return soon, because the Grayton Seafood Company has so many other treats we want to try. Their menu has something for everyone ranging from kid-friendly choices to seafood baskets and salads. And don’t forget Sunday Brunch! This is always a festive time with mimosas, chicken and waffles and a variety of omelets and egg benedicts to get your day started off right. If you do it right, you won’t be hungry for lunch.
In the month ahead, be sure to visit them for Happy Hour. In February, between 4 and 6 pm each day, they will feature half price appetizers and drafts. The draft list is a who’s who cast of local characters including Grayton Beer, Oyster City Brewing Company and Idyll Hounds favorites.
Owner Kenny and Chef Andy are proud of the following that has caught on in the few short months since opening. As they approach spring and summer, their menu will reflect the season – adding any new local seafood options that come available. So go ahead and stop on by soon. You’re sure to be in good company.