Wednesday, January 2, 2013

1 North: Marshall, Nick’s Cove Restaurant, Oyster Bar & Cottages

Nick’s Cove Restaurant, Oyster Bar & Cottages  23240 Hwy. 1, 3 mi. N of town, (866) 63-NICKS, (415) 663-1033.  12 units.  All fireplaces & wood-burning stoves; all kitchens.  Continental breakfast; restaurant; room service.  Pets ok.  Clustered on either side of Highway 1, this collection of luxury cottage units were built in the 1930s, more than 80 years ago.  Tastefully updated, their unique atmosphere makes this the perfect spot for reflection, decompression, and rejuvenation.  Five waterfront units are individual cottages, while seven more units across the road from the bay are split between three buildings.  Features vary.  As an example, detached Ruthie’s cottage features knotty-pine walls and has a sleeping area, a sitting area, and a small kitchen--all with a view out to the bay.  It also has an unsheltered balcony with plenty of room to sit and relax and soak up the fresh air and sounds of the bay.  The bathroom features noteworthy vintage chrome plumbing fixtures that work well and really pump the water—a pleasant surprise—and a lovely basket-weave marble floor with radiant heating.  Five units have a clawfoot bathtub.  Upon arrival, it is a good thing to order up some of the area’s famous fresh oysters to be barbecued and delivered to the room for an afternoon snack, or you can order them in the bar area and enjoy them by a vintage stone fireplace that is often set with a crackling fire.  The included continental breakfast is brought to the room in the morning.
    Featuring knotty-pine walls decorated with stuffed game heads plus an exceptional view over to Hog Island and the Point Reyes Peninsula, Nick’s Cove Restaurant has a comfortable old-time feel.  A marble chef’s table--known as the Hog Table--is equipped with red leather-covered bar stools and features a selection of raw oysters (they also are available cooked), and a glassed-in deck beckons on warmer days.  The mostly locally-sourced menu features fresh local seafood, including oysters, rock cod, and clams (for the chowder) from Tomales Bay.  When Dungeness crab season is on, the crab cakes (made with very little filler and perhaps some smoked paprika aioli for a little kick) are hard to beat, but the restaurant is known for its crab mac ‘n cheese and also prepares a crab Louis.  At lunch, the crab Benedict and burger with housemade brioche bun and pickles are choice.  Dessert includes hand-crafted s’mores for two—perfect for roasting in the restaurant’s fireplace. 
    At some point you’ll want to visit the charming little boat house at the end of a 400-foot pier; snacks and drinks can be delivered or taken out there.

More things to do in the Point Reyes area.
More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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