On a recent weekday in October, we drove approximately two hours on a zigzagging Highway 1 to the small and secluded West Marin town of Marshall - population 50. With the exception of my motion sickness, there were spectacular views all 55+ miles. I probably enjoyed ten of them, but that's okay, I did manage to get a few great photos. To my relief, I did find out later, that there was a much simpler way to get there and back from San Francisco, sans the need for dramamine.
The arrival time couldn't have been any more ideal with the picturesque, glowing sun setting down on Tomales Bay. It was absolutely stunning. We checked in to one of the waterfront cottages (Ruthie's), where there was a private bay-view balcony, just feet above water. And, if it couldn't get any better, upon arrival at Nick's Cove & Cottages, guests receive a plate of fresh BBQ'd Oysters - a nice little snack to take in the natural setting while you kick back on the wooden balcony. The location is serene and rural, but the cottage accomodations are first-class, with heated bathroom floors, comfy beds, a well-stocked mini bar and modern amenities.
Don't expect to be yapping on your cell phone or twitter while you are out here. There's minimal internet connection, and that's a good thing. If you really need to make a call, you can use the (gasp) land line. This is meant to be a vacation. A real vacation. A time to relax, unwind, and get back in touch with the beauty and nature of the universe.
Nick's Cove restaurant is adjacent to the cottages and also offers stellar views. In addition, they serve excellent cuisine. Though they are best known for their fresh, local oysters and seafood dishes such as dungeness crab mac & cheese, Nick's offers a whole lot more on their menu. Executive Chef Austin Perkins specializes in serving the finest seasonal, sustainable California cuisine sourced from the area’s abundant Marin and Sonoma County farms. They also have a well-thought out cocktail list and wine selections to match. A favorite dish on the special menu, was the Scallop Ceviche with panko crusted coconut rice. It was finely paired wtih a 2010 Russian River Valley Dry Gewurtztraminer from Halleck Vineyards.
I should also mention their wonderful room service breakfast options including the Dungeness Crab Benedict...
If you aren't tempted enough yet, the wonderful, hospitable folks at Nick's are hosting their inaugural Crab Catch at Nick’s Cove Restaurant, Oyster Bar & Cottages this Sunday, November 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's a family-friendly affair and throughout the day, various crab-centric activities will be available for crustacean-lovers of all ages including a Tomales Bay crab-catching competition and a cooking demo with Executive Chef Austin Perkins. There will also be a crab-infused cocktail “Crabby Hour;” and a three-course Dungeness crab tasting menu, with a portion of the day’s proceeds benefiting the Petaluma Educational Foundation. If interested, you can register at http://crabcatch.eventbrite.com. For those looking for something a little quieter, you can always book Nick's for a mid-week getaway. Either way, you won't regret it.
For more of my Nick's Cove Getaway photos, including a 10-course, wine-paired dinner, visit my kullection HERE
23240 California Highway 1 Marshall, CA 94940