My husband and I were gallivanting in Point Reyes Station on Saturday, and decided to try Stellina, a new(ish) restaurant, for lunch. I don't see any other posts here, so I thought I'd share our experience. The menu looked very inviting--slightly upscale seasonal/local/etc. The space is pretty nice, too--full of light and open. Alas, based on our experience with the service and some of the food, I doubt that we'll try it again for lunch the next time we're in town (especially with the Pine Cone diner around the corner.)
I wasn't super hungry, so we just got a beet/arugula/ricotta salata salad and an oyster pizza to split. The highlight of the meal was the oyster pizza ($16)--pretty good crust, a nice leek/cream (or creme fraiche?) topping, and plump, briny oysters that weren't overcooked. And enough for two people to share with a soup or salad. Unfortunately, the salad was a disappointment--on a small plate was composed: thin slices of undressed beet, comprising perhaps 1/2 of a beet in total, a golf-ball size tangle of (slightly overgrown and ratty) arugula), and a few slice of ricotta salata. For $9. While I'm not a fan of huge portions, and I don't have a problem paying money for good, local, organic food, the whole thing just seemed ungenerous in a way that was offputting.
This was compounded by the poor service--our server took our order, and then didn't reappear at our table until the end of the meal, when she tried to sell us on dessert. In the meantime, we'd had a problem with the sparkling water that we ordered--it tasted very oddly of chlorine and old pipes. We mentioned this to the man who dropped off our food (who we later found out was the owner, based on his conversation with another table), and he explained, in a slightly confrontational way, that it was their own water, filtered and carbonated, and that he'd been drinking it for months and had never had a problem or complaint. He agreed to take it off the bill, but the whole experience was unpleasant--having worked FOH in restaurants before, I've always be taught that in such a situation, you apologize and take it off the bill--without arguing the merits. (I also object some to being charged for house sparkling water, since I'm used to getting it gratis in places like the Magnolia Pub, but I can understand if they need to cover costs, I suppose.)
Whew--didn't mean for this to turn into a screed--I guess when I go out to a restaurant (especially in this economy) I want to feel welcomed and cared for, and that wasn't my experience at Stellina. I'd be curious to know if others have had a different experience.
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