Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Quick Stop for Hot Chocolate at Nick's Cove - Tomales Bay

We've been trying to get up to Tomales Bay for weeks to get Tom some fresh oysters - he claims that the sweetwaters that come from Tomales are the best oysters on the planet.  Last Saturday we made ourselves a promise to head up to Hog Island and grab a dozen or so.... Don't tell, I think our friend from Hog Island miscounted the dozen, as we came home with 17 oysters!

It's crab season here in Northern California, so not only did Hog Island have oysters, but also LIVE fresh dungeness.  Dang, none for us on this trip.

If you have ever driven on Hwy 1, you know how windy and twisty it can be, you also might know how it can also be especially brutal when you get behind someone going 25 miles per hour.  Which is exactly what happened to us last Saturday after we loaded up our oyster stash.

Not a bad thing though, we decided to stop at Nick's Cove and Cottages for a hot chocolate break.  Not just any hot chocolate though, it may have had touch of alcohol in it.  Not sure what exactly was in this hot chocolate,  but it turned my cheeks pink and warmed me up! Finished off with a big dollop of whipped creme,  it was perfectly yummy.  

You may have read about Nick's Cove and Cottages in Coastal Living Magazine's profile of the West Coast's Best Seafood Dives, or like us,  may have just driven by many times and never stopped.  What a treat we discovered!  

Fine dining, white tablecloth covered tables,  an oyster bar, big view windows looking out over the gorgeous ripple-strewn Tomales Bay, a very friendly and welcoming staff, all put together with coastal decorating accents, and a long history of fishing and shellfish farming in Northern California. They have the most darling cottages  to rent, some right on the water, and some across the street with water views, all remodeled with homey creative nautical touches.  Very romantic!

After warming up, and visiting with the "hot chocolate"  bartender, we decided to take a stroll out to the Nick's Boat Shack.  

Next time, we will take our drinks out here to enjoy!  (wasn't the sky interesting?)

All decorated for the holidays, the Boat Shack has a piping hot barrel-shaped wood stove inside, plenty of chairs and tables for everyone to sit and enjoy the views of seals, shorebirds, boat traffic, a setting sun, and of course,  Tomales Bay.  

There's even a phone inside to phone in your orders!  Now that we know this, this is what we will be doing next time we go out to visit. (Again, totally romantic!)

Loved their outdoor Christmas Tree!  Covered in simple white lights, and oyster shells dipped in silvery-blue oyster shells - my kind of holiday decoration.

Here's a close-up photo. Looks pretty easy to make these; clean oyster shells, glue, silver glitter, and a few ornament hooks.  Hmmm.... maybe I should have saved all of those oyster shells from Hog Island?

We will be back for dinner soon!


Beach House Living said...

Nicks Shack looks like our kind of place. Like the oyster shell and I'm so upset I haven't a clue with all the ones I toted back from Maine last year that were huge. I don't eat them I just want the shells.

Everything Coastal said...

Hi! I am with you - I don't eat oysters, but love the beauty in their shells. I do like to indulge Tom tho, makes him pretty darn happy

Arabella said...

What a wonderful adventure - I also am not a fan of oysters...but love all the ones I found on the beach this year. They made really nice Xmas tree ornaments.

Thanks for sharing your adventures with us...great pics too!

Shellbelle said...

I love the drive up Hwy 1 and have done it many, many times. Now I live in Florida, but one day I'll be back to make that trip again. Sounds like Nick's will be on my places to stop list, I love hot chocolate and I love oysters. I copied that pic of the ornament, I have plenty of oyster shells.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE oysters - and save the shells (though I haven't finished the ambitious oyster chandelier I started in the spring...)

Simple Daisy said...

What an absolutely adorable place!!
I'm telling of these day i'm going to make it out that way!!
I always seem to go to the east coast....but one of these days, for sure, i'm heading to the west coast:)

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