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Restaurants & Bars 10

Bodega Bay Eateries (Way too long)

Bob Savelli | May 5, 200203:40 PM

Yesterday morning my wife, Ann, & I headed up to Bodega Bay. Took Atherton Avenue cutoff through Novato and headed for Hwy #1. Stopped at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes. Cute little market/creamery and very nice/helpful folks. We Bought a round of Mt. Tam (triple Cream); Red Hawk (triple cream); St. Pat (whole milk rolled in nettles), some crackers and headed north.

Next we stopped in Freestone at Wild Flour Bakery, which has been discussed before on Chowhound. They have 4-5 breads offered daily, 1 kind of focaccia, sticky buns (cinammon, raisin and walnut), and a couple of different scones. On Saturday the offerings were Wildflour original, a seeded, and wonder organic wheat french breads. Jungle bread (banana, cardamon, and walnut VEGAN bread, The focaccia was grilled potato, garlic and green onion. Later (late bake) would come out of the small brick oven Olive-rosemary and "dragon" (jalapeno and garlic)breads. The scones were maple-mango, orange-chocolate, and star anise-date. We bought a loaf of the Seeded French Bread, a mango-maple scone, a cup of "joe" and headed on our way. I really wanted to try to Olive-rosemary bread but didn't want to wait at least another "half an hour."

The scone was very delicious, a nice crunchy, sweetened crust and excellent inside texture. The mango flavor was mildly dominant, the maple understated.

The seeded french bread we were to enjoy later that afternoon with some of the Red Hawk cheese and 1995 Vieux Cliquot Pink Champagne, what a party! I still think Acme has the better, crunchier crust, but the sourness and texture of the Wild Flour were equal to the Acme challenge. Wild Flour is very highly recommended; they offered mini pieces of the available breads to sample, and I doubt you could go wrong with any of their offerings. Place is small, spartan, and not much to it, but a hopping, great bakery nonetheless.

We stopped at Hog Island Oyster Company in Marshall. I just wasn't into shucking my own oysters and Ann isn't a fan of oysters at all. We took a pass and kept on our way. I think this would be most fun with a group of people (oyster lovers), some good wines or beer, and a picnic at their tables there, or at a nearby beach. Maybe a possible Chowhound outing???

We then stopped for lunch in Bodega Bay at the Lucas Wharf Restaurant. I think any restaurant at a wharf or with wharf in it's name, be it San Francisco, Monterey, Buzz's in Maui, etc. is cursed to mediocrity.
I started with fresh shucked oysters. Why they were Blue Point from Washington State and not local, is beyond me. OK, creamy clam chowder, mediocre (NOT WILD FLOUR) at best, french bread. Ann's crab louie was actually a much better call. Lots of fresh crab, she enjoyed it very much. I had local Wild King Salmon marinated in an orange vinegairette and grilled but it sounded much better on the "specials" board than it tasted. OK at best. We spent over $60 for lunch and that evening $85 for a MUCH BETTER dinner at the Duck Club in Bodega Bay.

Dinner,as I just mentioned, on Saturday was at the Duck Club which has also been complimented on Chowhound in the past. Located at the Bodega Bay Lodge & Spa, we got a great view table as we dined early at 6p.m.

We opened by sharing the Asian Duck Lettuce Wraps with a confit of Sonoma duck and shitake mushrooms on butter lettuce. 2 to our order and we each easily could have had our own order.

I had a Baby Spinach Salad with a warm round of Sonoma goat cheese with port-soaked cherries, toasted almonds and navel orange segments with an organe sherry vinaigrette. Excellent

Ann has a Sonoma mixed greens with crumbled blue cheese and a raspberry dijon vinaigrette. Excellent

Both salad very good, but my usual complaint, they could have been twice as big.

For my main course I had the Portugues Beach Shrimp which were grilled smoked prawns (6) with red curry coconut sauce, basmati rice with cashews (nothing special), baby bok choy and shitake mushrooms with sweet peppers. Very good and a bit different with the nice red curry sauce.

Ann has Pan roasted chicken breast on mashed potatoes with tarragon chicken sauce, baby artichokes, english peas and baby carrots.She didn't finish it, so it couldn't have been too good. I don't think it was nearly as delicious as my entree. Good, but not special.

We shared an apple/blueberry crisp with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Crunchy, brown sugared crisp with thin sliced rather than chunky apples which was a bit different. Very good.

All in all, an excellent choice for dinner and the dress certainly wasn't formal, but resort casual.

Sunday we stopped at the Wild Flour bakery on our way home to San Francisco. They had Bohemian Bread (apricots, pecans and orange peel); apparently they regularly must have the Wildflour original, seeded and plain wonder french. At least they did two days in a row. Late bakes which were coming later were garlic-rosemary and Jack O'Lantern (which was seeded with pumpkin and sunflower seeds baked into it). We bought a seeded french and wildflour wonder french to bring home and share with our neighbors.

We grabbed a cup of coffee and a strawberry-pecan and pineapple-coconut scone for the ride home. Both were good, but I told Ann I think the breads are their masterpieces, the scones just very good.

Their stick buns are probably really good, but they didn't look sticky, were not buns, but looked more like flat loaf cakes (about 4" x 6"), so I can't comment.

There really wasn't much happening in Bodega Bay to brings us back again to stay overnight.

We would suggest that everyone take the beautiful drive like we did; stop at Cowgirl creamery on the way up or back; have lunch at Hog Island Oysters or Tony's (highly recommended by the Cowgirl Creamery folks),or Emily B's (on Hwy #1); stop past Wildflour for some breads, scones, buns to take home, and just make a nice day trip out of it.

Buon Appetito.

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