Pasture & Pearl, the newest endeavor of husband and wife team, Elaine Dammeyer and Christian Jego is set to open this coming January. The 46-seat restaurant will take the place of the old Watson McRae Gallery, which moved to a different location in The Village Shops.
Jego and Dammeyer who have been in the restaurant business for over 30 years, are both committed to fresh, sustainable food. After living in France for a number of years and experiencing the country's rich food palette, their idea was to bring the same concept to Sanibel.
"We came from France where we were very spoiled with quality products. We lived in the countryside, so we had access to the best fruits and vegetables, naturally made cheeses and farm-raised cattle," Dammeyer said.
Christian Jego and Elaine Dammeyer.
After living in France, where they owned boutique hotel and restaurant Au Velo Fleuri, the couple moved to St. Martin and opened Le Pavillion by the Sea which served a French-inspired Caribbean cuisine.
"When we finally decided to sell that place, we had our heart set on moving back to the United States. We were determined to open a restaurant where we featured all of the great stuff that we've been exposed to," Dammeyer said.
Pasture & Pearl will present a unique lunch and dinner menu prepared by Chef Dammeyer herself. Dammeyer drew inspiration from New York, Washington D.C., Miami, Italy, France and the French Caribbean when creating the menu.
Some notable items will include baked oysters with spinach, yuzu-butter and panko crumbs, pastured rabbit agnolotti, calabaza veloute withy crispy sage and lobster and monkfish bouillabaisse with fennel broth and saffron rouille. Prices will range from $12 to $52.
The menu will change seasonally and many of the items are largely based on what they personally eat at home. It is comprised of three different sections: Meat, fish and meatless. The steak is directly from White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, GA. All of their cattle are 100 percent grass fed, they are also not treated with any antibiotics or hormones.
"We're not vegetarians, but when we eat meat, we want the best," Dammeyer said.
Many of their seafood offerings will be sourced from local fishermen on Pine Island. Dammeyer said she is doing her best to make sure they carry as much local products as possible.
As for their beer and wine selection, Dammeyer and her husband plan to import wine exclusively from France, there will also be American selections as well.
"Our wine list is going to be very special. We're working with an importer who specializes in wines from the south and southwest of France. He has agreed to offer us certain items exclusively for Pasture & Pearl. These will be items you can't find anywhere else, Dammeyer said. The best part in my opinion, is that they're all going to be very affordable wines. We like to drink wines that are inexpensive and good. When we lived in France, they were all around us so we wanted to get some of those wines here. They are going to be in the $38 to $68 range. Many of them will be offered by the glass."
As far as the interior goes, Dammeyer and Jego have purchased all brand new appliances. The furniture and design will be very minimalist.
"All the equipment is top of the line. We've always purchased second hand and always opened everything flying by the seat of our pants, but we're lucky enough that this time we have the resources to buy everything brand new. We're getting really fine glassware for the wines, we're doing nice silverware and white table cloths, but it's still going to be fun and relaxed," Dammeyer said.
Pasture & Pearl will be located at 2340 Periwinkle Way. For more information, go to raffinehospitality.com