A Taste of Point Reyes ©
WEST MARIN is famous for its idyllic beauty with rolling hills, panoramic landscapes and vast dairy ranches. Its pastures are considered among the most productive in the United States.
Many ranches now specialize in naturally and organically grown and produced foods such as milk, artisan cheese, yoghurt, grass fed beef, lamb, chicken, oysters, eggs, fruit, vegetables, flowers, jams, olive oil, and medicinal herbs. This Point Reyes area is the home of world recognized organization Marin Organic, award winning Cowgirl Creamery, Bovine Bakery and Brickmaiden Breads which make specialty baked goods on the premises.
Tomales Bay is well known for its succulent oysters which are grown by Hog Island and Tomales Bay Oyster Company in the pristine bay waters. Drakes Bay Oysters are also cultivated in Drakes Bay.
Our member winery and inn, The Point Reyes Vineyard Inn is a small family owned venture with a production of under 1000 cases of wine a year. They harvest grapes from six acres at the 800 acre Point Reyes Ranch for their Sparkling Wine and, weather permitting, Pinot Noir. The Viognier and Sparkling Cuvee have won silver medals at the California State Fair, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and Best of the Region at the California State Fair this year. The tasting room on Highway One, north of Point Reyes Station, is open Saturday & Sunday 11-5 all year and has expanded days during the summer. Call 415-663-1011 for more information or if you are interested in the Point Reyes Vineyard Wine Club where members enjoy special releases, events, and discounts.
The Point Reyes Lodging bed & breakfasts, inns & cottages, stores, restaurants, and delis showcase the agricultural and culinary bounty of West Marin by offering the abundant local, often organic, fresh foods and wine.
Oysters, the Marvelous Mollusk
"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
The innkeepers of Point Reyes Lodging are pleased to recommend and support our local and sustainable shellfish growers. During your stay at one of our inns make it a point to visit one of them. If this is your first time, standby for a real treat from the briny coastal waters.
Point Reyes can be called the shellfish capital of Northern California. The pristine waters of Tomales Bay and Drakes Estero are home to three oyster growers where you may purchase a wide variety of oysters and mussels. Fresh on the half shell with a squeeze of lemon and Tabasco or on the grill with a butter, garlic and white wine sauce, or the even more popular barbecue sauce, these tasty bi-valves are the essence of bounty fresh from the sea.
There are picnic areas with barbecues right on site at the oyster operations. The headquarters of the Point Reyes National Seashore, and Heart's Desire Beach in the Tomales Bay State Park also have barbecue sites. In addition, most of the local restaurants offer their own versions of these shellfish, raw, on the barbecue or baked. What better accompaniment than a chilled dry Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris or cold beer and crusty baguette.
Try these simple recipes when you visit.
¾ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Fresh squeezed ½ lemon juice
Minced shallots to taste
Fresh ground pepper.
Mix together and serve with two dozen of your favorite small shucked oysters.
Put a small shucked oyster in a shot glass and add Tabasco, squeeze a sliver of lime, a splash of tequila, horseradish and shoot!
On the Grill:
Melted butter, white wine and minced garlic.
Your favorite homemade or store bought barbecue sauce, horseradish and Tabasco.
Shuck oysters, leaving them in the rounded portion of the shell.
Place on the grill and add either of the above sauces.
Heat until bubbly.
Serve with lemon wedges and crispy loaf of bread.
Where to get your local oysters:
Available at Point Reyes Books,
Oyster Cookery by Sharon Montoya-Welsh
The Hog Island Oyster Lover's Cookbook by Jairemarie Pomo
Oysters, A Connoisseurs's Guide & Cookbook by Lonnie Williams and Karen Warner