Tommy Tollett’s passion for seafood goes beyond taste; the owner of Tommy’s Seafood cares about seafood sustainability as well.
In 2009 Tollett became involved with the Galveston Bay Foundation. His restaurant now recycles over 100 tons of oyster shells a year, providing homes for oysters in Galveston Bay.
“Oysters are a great resource, but they have to also be protected,” Tollett said.
Tollett started recycling oysters less than a year ago, but his restaurant has served Clear Lake area for 20 years. Tommy’s Seafood reopened Oct. 4 after renovations, but despite the work to upgrade the restaurant, its seafood menu has remained a mainstay, he said.
“I’ve been in business a long time. I’ve served seafood mostly my whole life,” Tollett said. “I’ve dedicated a lot of time and energy learning about fresh seafood. It’s something I’m very passionate about.”
Popular seafood dishes include blackened redfish with Provençale sauce and the black and blue tuna. The restaurant sources fresh seafood both locally and from around the nation, Tollett said. Both the redfish and the shrimp are sourced from Galveston Bay.
“I spend a lot of time finding and sourcing fresh seafood. There is a lot of lesser-quality stuff on the market, and, for us, we want to have the best quality seafood we can find,” Tollett said.
Another customer favorite are the oysters, which were added to the menu when the restaurant rebranded from Tommy’s Seafood Steakhouse to its new name in 2009.
The restaurant serves more than 10,000 oysters a week and at a discount Monday and Saturday during happy hour.
Tollett has been in the restaurant business in the Clear Lake area for over 40 years. While he enjoys the area and the business, he does not want to expand.
“I am going to stay right here. I can do just fine right here. This takes up all my time. This is something I have dedicated and committed to,” Tollett said. “I don’t have any desire to go anywhere else. I’ll let somebody else do that.”
Tommy’s Seafood and Oyster Bar
2555 Bay Area Blvd., Houston
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat. 4-10 p.m.