Fans of chef Matt Elias’ and Laine Ayre’s The Bodega food truck will be stoked to learn they’re now heading up one of the coast’s most destination-worthy cafes — Dillon Beach Coastal Kitchen.
The duo quietly took over at the historic Dillon Beach Resort earlier this year, transitioning from their mobile kitchen to a roomier brick-and-mortar spot. The 55-acre resort with a private beach has been a family-friendly destination for more than 130 years. In April 2018, a handful of native Marin County families, including Petaluma restaurateur Mike Goebel (locally of Brewsters Beer Garden), purchased the property. Ongoing renovations will continue into the summer under Goebel and operations director Brooke Gray (formerly of Nick’s Cove).
The resort cafe is already getting weekend warrior buzz. Inspired by farm and sea, Elias’ seasonal menu is a simple, family-friendly lineup of dishes like smoked McFarland trout dip with cucumber, dill, creme fraiche and crackers ($13), Bellwether Farms Ricotta Toast ($13) with marinated vegetables, clam chowder with fennel cream, bacon, potatoes and grilled focaccia ($15), Stemple Creek burger with Grazin’ Girl gorgonzola ($18), and their well-loved “Bodega Sandwich,” a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with smoky aioli, slaw, house pickles and a salad ($17). A vegetarian wrap with sheep milk yogurt and lentil hummus can get a pescatarian upgrade with crispy harissa shrimp. There are, natch, Hog Island oysters as well as Baked oysters; wine and beer on tap and less spirited drinks like an Arnold Palmer, local kombucha and coffee. Soft serve ice cream from Double 8 Dairy is a favorite.
So what about the Bodega food truck? Elias says they’ll be bringing their rig to the beach this spring, and the mobile kitchen will live on.
If you want to head out, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Thursday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dillon Beach Resort is about 30 minutes from Petaluma. 1 Beach Avenue, Dillon Beach. The resort’s general store and surf shop are also open for business.
Further south, Tony’s Seafood in Marshall is getting ready for their grand opening later this month. The 70 year-old restaurant is being resurrected by Hog Island Oyster owners John Finger and Terry Sawyer, who purchased it in 2017.
Chef Matt Shapiro (Marlow & Sons, Wise Sons, Walzwerk, Schmidt’s, Hog Island) will helm the kitchen. The 96-seat restaurant will face onto Tomales Bay and feature an open kitchen.
The menu will include classics—fish and chips (AK True Cod), an oyster po’ boy, a seasonal Dungeness crab roll (in season), oysters on the half shell and BBQ-ed, a crudo, linguine with clams—as well as personal touches, a daily “heads and tails” dish, a catch of the day, and land-based dishes like a Stemple Creek hamburger with tartar sauce. Local produce, much of it from the Marin Farmers Market, will inform accompaniments and specials.
The restaurant’s first Chef Dinner on Feb. 21 will feature a five-course menu highlighting McEvoy Ranch’s wines and olive oils. On March 7, Chef Shapiro pairs up with Far West Fungi to create a special mushroom dinner. Details at tonysseafoodrestaurant.com.