Sip Wine & Sail Galveston Bay on Pier 6 Seafood’s New Cruise Service

A view of the bay from The Wine Down Wednesday Yacht Cruise. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Starting on May 1, Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House, located at 113 6th Street in sunny San Leon, is introducing Wine Down Wednesday Yacht Cruises. These seasonal bareboat charters, in partnership with Great Escapes Yacht Charters, sail through Galveston Bay and offer guests a chance to sip wine and escape from the hustle of the city before returning to enjoy Pier 6’s tide-to-table Gulf Coast seafood. Houston Food Finder was invited to a preview of this new experience.

Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House in San Leon. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House in San Leon. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Pier 6 is owned by second-generation oysterman Raz Halili and executive chef Joe Cervantez. Cervantez is an Art Institute of Houston graduate who previously served as the executive chef of Brennan’s of Houston and has nearly 20 years of experience cooking in and leading professional kitchens. The combined efforts of Halili and Cervantez earned Pier 6 a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in 2022. Both have a passion for Gulf Coast seafood. Halili also owns Prestige Oysters, which is located a short drive away from Pier 6. 

The captain of the Great Escapes Yacht Charters helps guests aboard the vessel. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
The captain of the Great Escapes Yacht Charters excursion helps guests aboard the vessel. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

The cruises will be offered bi-monthly, weather permitting, on the first and third Wednesday of each month for $150 per person. On these days, two time slots will be offered: an early excursion at 5:30 p.m. with a 6 p.m. cruise, or a late excursion at 7 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. cruise. Each cruise can accommodate up to 12 passengers, and reservations are available via Resy or by inquiring at the restaurant.

Two cocktails, such as the Frozen Mangonada pictured above, are included with the cruise package. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Two adult beverages, such as the Frozen Mangonada pictured above from the signature cocktail menu, are included with the cruise package. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

The experience begins on the Pier 6 waterfront terrace with two provided cocktails and family-style hors d’oeuvres. Once all of the guests have arrived, they will be guided to the dock and brought aboard the yacht for a one-hour cruise around the bay with wine service. It’s the perfect way to unwind and enjoy the stunning Texas sunset. 

For each cruise, the Pier 6 kitchen will send out a selection of small bites such as Grilled Oysters. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
For each cruise, the Pier 6 kitchen will send out a selection of small bites such as Grilled Oysters. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Yacht guests can opt to make a reservation to have dinner at Pier 6 after the cruise. (Dinner is not included in the yacht ticket price.) 

Guests can even expand their yacht-and-dinner experience into a fully fledged staycation by adding a stay at nearby luxury waterfront condominiums, The Bungalows at Pier 6 (also owned by Halili). They’ll also receive 20% off their meal at Pier 6 by presenting their lodging reservation email. 

Shrimp Ceviche from Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Shrimp Ceviche from Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Those who choose to stay and dine will find an extensive seafood menu with plenty of shareable appetizers, including freshly shucked oysters on the half shell and raw bar offerings, as well as a variety of grilled oysters, shrimp ceviche, snapper crudo, lobster tacos and crawfish empanadas.

Off-menu Crispy Calamari from Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Off-menu Crispy Calamari from Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

The seafood gumbo, one of Houston Food Finder’s picks for where to get the best gumbo in Greater Houston, is loaded with oysters, shrimp and crabmeat, along with your choice of rice or potato salad. That said, the Prestige Oyster Chowder with melted leeks and potatoes is equally enticing.

Wood-grilled Red Snapper with étouffée and popcorn rice. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Wood-grilled Red Snapper with étouffée and popcorn rice. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Pier 6’s signature entrées include cornmeal-crusted crispy red snapper with shrimp étouffée and popcorn rice and pan-seared grouper with charred tomato and coconut sauce. Surf and turf options include the Cowboy Ribeye “Oscar”, a 16-ounce Prime bone-in ribeye with blue crab au gratin potatoes, grilled asparagus salad and béarnaise, and “The Ambassador”, a 12-ounce Prime strip accompanied by seared diver scallops, truffle whipped potatoes and brandy mushroom demi-glace. If you’re not in the mood for fresh Gulf seafood, “The Diplomat Burger” with an Akaushi patty, smoked gouda, caramelized onions and sauce forestière is wildly popular.

Seating is available on two decks, as well as inside the yacht. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Seating is available on two decks, as well as inside the yacht. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

The newly added yacht service is not the only way that Halili stays close to the Gulf. As a commitment to sustainability, Prestige and Pier 6’s oyster shells are recycled back into the bays and during the early summer months when oysters spawn. Prestige also sets out tons of rocks, limestone and clutch materials to create new reefs and substrate, which in turn increase water quality and provide replenished habitats for marine life. Prestige has even completed the rigorous three-year assessments of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to become the first MSC-certified fishery in the Americas.

Pier 6 works with locally-owned Great Escapes Yacht Charters for the Wine Down Wednesday cruises. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Pier 6 works with locally-owned Great Escapes Yacht Charters for the Wine Down Wednesday cruises. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Dining at Pier 6 alone is worth the trip to San Leon, but the Wine Down Wednesday experience is a truly memorable experience fit for any occasion. These cruises will only be offered until the end of summer, so if you want to go, it’s a good idea to make your reservations very soon. 

Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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  • May 1, 2024 at 4:43 pmOlga Mendez

    Great article, it has it all, some background of the owners, great pictures and description of the menu and drinks. What a better place to enjoy great food with a fantastic view.

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