OCEAN CITY – A unique spot, The Shark on the Harbor, has become even more distinct this month by adding rare specials to their off-season menu.
It all began for The Shark, owned by Travis and Jody Wright, on 45th Street in Ocean City in May of 2000 but as the area become re-developed into condos they re-located to 46th Street where the restaurant operated for one year before moving to its current location in West Ocean City on the commercial fishing harbor.
Entering into their fourth year in West Ocean City, the Wrights couldn’t imagine The Shark on the Harbor being anywhere else.
“The best thing that ever happened to us was coming over here,” Travis Wright said.
Jody Wright said the goal was to find a more year-round location for their business and the couple identified West Ocean City as an area that was growing with residential support.
“I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else but here,” she said.
The concept behind The Shark is serving organic whole food. Most of their ingredients are bought directly from the local area, including seafood right off the boats that come into the fishing harbor to produce grown by local farmers. Just last week a delivery of mako, tuna, swordfish, opah, and flounder arrived at the harbor.
“We make real food from scratch,” Jody Wright said. “We take very seriously eating whole and natural foods with as few preservatives as possible.”
Jody Wright pointed out that the relationship her husband has built with the local fishermen is one of a kind. Fishing boats stay in contact with him while they are out to sea letting him know what kind of fish is being caught so that The Shark’s dishes, and the menu subsequently, can be created before the fish even arrive. Once the boats arrive at the harbor, he will hand select what will be served to guests.
“I think something that our guests really enjoy is that we take such an active role in the actual fish selection and a lot of farmer’s plant on Travis’s direction,” Jody said. “He will actually ask for certain things and the farmers will plan to grow that certain product for us. We do take everything they bring us and we use it all.”
One item out of a long list of positives associated with The Shark’s location is its “cozy space”.
“I can still have my eyes on everything and still have some good conversations,” Jody Wright said.
For Jody Wright, one aspect that stands out in her conversations with diners is that they are always interested in knowing where the couple dine out in their spare time, which ultimately led to how The Shark’s new off-season promotions were born.
Along with the full menu, Mondays are Pizza Nights at the Shark. A trip to San Diego last year led the Wrights to a pizza establishment, Basic, which only provides one choice of salad, gourmet pizza and wine. The idea was born to have a Pizza Night, which includes a variety of home-made gourmet pizzas along with a few great wines priced affordably by the glass as well as craft brews.
“They [Basic] simply make fabulous pizzas with really good whole ingredients … and we loved it, we loved everything about it,” Jody said.
On Wednesdays, The Shark now offers a Small Bite menu, which was inspired by a restaurant in the Borgata in Atlantic City called Izakaya.
“It’s [Izakaya] a very modern funky fun atmosphere and it is all small bites, so small plates with two or three bites, four maximum per plate of really fabulously built dishes,” Jody Wright explained. “The beauty of a small bite dish is that every bite has been artistically prepared, kind of like a sushi roll, so that when you take a bite you get all the flavors.”
According to Travis Wright, each chef at The Shark creates a couple of choices to be served on the pizza and small bite menus usually days in advance.
“We are a very unique restaurant in the sense that we have a very collaborative team of people,” he said.
Another new item is Pop-Up Sushi Night. In the past, The Shark has offered sushi night once a week but has decided to take part in a national trend this year. The Wright’s will settle on what dates Pop-up Sushi night will occur and the date will be unveiled one week prior through Facebook or email blasts. The first Pop-Up Sushi night is tonight, Friday Nov. 18, featuring Sushi Chef Brook Lamar.
“This time it is a Friday but it could be any day, so pop-up,” Travis Wright said.
The Shark is also offering a traditional dinner on Thanksgiving this year as well as the full menu. The menu will include everything from deep fried turkey to all of the sides, wine and dessert. To make a reservation call 410-213-0924, or email Jody at [email protected].
Examples of the pizza and small bite menus are available on the Shark’s website, www.ocshark.com, as well as other year round specials.