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Melanie Wong | Jan 5, 202008:02 PM    

Following a tasting appointment at Merry Edwards in Sebastopol, I suggested that our group take advantage of this summer evening and head to the coast for dinner. From Merry's we zipped down to the county line to Dillon Beach Coastal Kitchen, the newly revamped restaurant at Dillon Beach Resort, overlooking the private beach on the Marin-Sonoma border.

The hyperlocal menu was a great way to celebrate Steve's birthday and also mark Farmers Market Week. Four of us tried the majority of the menu, the food was very strong across the board. The clam chowder, made with fresh little neck clams in the shell, deserves a special shoutout. The whiff of aromatic fennel, enriched with cream yet unthickened, and the addition of housecured bacon that enhanced but did not overwhelm the sweet bivalves made this a stand-out. And that airy, toasted focaccia accompaniment was a delight as well.

I had a bite of the excellent burger though I missed photographing it. My entree was the seafood gumbo, a lighter style with pristinely fresh shellfish. Dessert choices were simple: Double 8 water buffalo soft-serve caramel/vanilla swirl with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt or vanilla with housemade strawberry preserves. We had one of each for the perfect ending and our waitress comped the birthday boy's dessert.

We enjoyed the water view and our server who was fun and enthusiastic. Food quality is so high with impeccable sourcing, the prices feel too low to me. But maybe that's the customer appreciation discount for making the journey to the coast for dinner. I did not enjoy the drive home in the dark without cell signal. When I return, I'll plan for a retreat before nightfall.

Dillon Beach Coastal Kitchen
1 Beach Ave
Dillon Beach, CA
This weekend, the resort posted the menu below and announced that the restaurant is closing down after tonight's service for renovation.

Seasonal housemade pickles, $6

House cured local cod bacalao fritters, $12

Little neck clam chowder, $16

Summer seafood gumbo, $20

Double 8 buffalo milk soft-serve sundaes

Corkage, $20 per bottle, for the Merry Edwards Pinot Noir and Guilliams Cabernet Sauvignon from my friend's cellar.

Big picture windows on the back side of the restaurant frame the expansive ocean views.

Coastal Kitchen
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