Posted in Blogging Marin on Monday, February 27, 2017 by MCVB Staff
By Whitney Butler
The late Julia Child once said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.” While I tend to agree with this sentiment, I also think it must be twice as true for those who make good food.
Marin County is home to more than 500 restaurants spread across less than 900 square miles of farmland, Pacific coastline, and distinctive neighborhoods and towns. When you factor in that 50 percent of Marin County is utilized to grow fruits, vegetables, olives and wine grapes (with even more land dedicated to dairy cows), Marin’s obsession with food comes into focus.
But don’t take my word for it: Famous words of foodie wisdom will help guide you along the way.
Julia Child also once said, “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” If she had only been to Belcampo, she would have known how right she was.
Known for its compassionate animal husbandry, Belcampo is equal parts farm, butcher shop and restaurant. In 2012, Belcampo opened its doors in lovely Larkspur and began a quest to showcase heritage breeds that had been raised using the most stringent criteria for animal treatment.
Belcampo’s farm-to-fork ideology encourages us to slow down, value humanely raised meats, and support those that support a stable food system.
Visit Belcampo at the Larkspur Landing shopping center to experience the difference for yourself. Forget the diet food for the day; head straight for the 100-Day Dry-Aged Burger or Sunfed Farms NY Strip.
“You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food,” said celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme. No place in Marin County makes this point better than Farmshop Marin.
Chef-owner Jeff Cerciello has curated a collection of chefs, cheesemongers, bakers and butchers to showcase humble ingredients in simple dishes inspired by California. The restaurant’s attention to local purveyors supports the idea that great food doesn’t have to be extravagant or exotic: merely the labor of an experienced hand.
Farmhouse Marin sources dairy and produce from nearby creameries and local farms. By focusing on the quality of the ingredients, menu offerings are stripped down to their most basic parts: avocado hummus with pistachio salsa verde; roasted bone marrow with caramelized shallots and fresh butter.
No silver spoon required—in fact, feel free to eat with your hands. This casual eatery makes great food really approachable.
Irish satirist Jonathan Swift may have joked about eating oysters, but Nick’s Cove is no laughing matter when it comes to good seafood.
“He was a bold man that first ate an oyster,” declared Swift. But it’s even bolder to reject the conveniences of big-city living and set up shop in a remote place.
A rural glimpse into Marin’s past, Nick’s Cove is one of a few enduring settlements that supplied the early California tourist trade near Tomales Bay coastland. Today, there are 12 luxury cottages for guests to enjoy in addition to the restaurant, which serves a bounty of seafood, including locally sourced oysters and fresh seafood prepared by executive chef Joshua Seibert.
“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” This quote from Ernestine Ulmer gets right to the point, and that’s exactly what Taste Kitchen does every morning in Marin.
Taste Kitchen is a café-style eatery with breakfast, lunch and grab-’n’-go selections that are healthy, handcrafted and perfectly delicious. You may come for a curried chicken sandwich or quinoa citrus salad, but you won’t be able to resist their pastry trays filled with fresh-baked croissants, maple pecan buns and chocolate muffins.
However, you don’t have to order dessert to cure a sweet tooth. Taste Kitchen also squeezes house-made juice blends and cleansing breakfast smoothies so you can start your day with something sweet and feel good about it.
Life’s too short to skip any meal, but if you’re in a pinch and crave something delicious, Taste Kitchen is an easy way to fill up on goodness before a busy day in Marin.
Finally, Julia Child has a few more words to guide us on our Marin food quest: “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
I can’t think of a place that embodies this sentiment more than Cowgirl Creamery at Point Reyes Station.
Lifelong friends Sue Conley and Peggy Smith started this cheese shop two decades ago, and today their organic, artisan cheeses are shipped all over the world.
Stop by their shop for a tour of the creamery, or sample their award-winning cheese that can’t be replicated anywhere else on earth. Marin’s unique biodiversity, which includes a variety of wild bacteria, gives these cheeses a flavor that’s unmistakably Marin.