Restaurant Review - January 8, 2008 - Joanne

Nicks Cove, Marshall, CA exterior
Nick's Cove
Marshall, CA
866 63N-ICKS
('tween Pt. Reyes and Bodega Bay)

Lunch - October 4, 2007
With a clean round-edge and a safe, All-American feel, Nick's Cove fails to impress us. We made the trip to the coast for lunch. Marshall is about 40 minutes from San Rafael or Santa Rosa on a good day. A project of Pat Kuleto and Mark Franz, the restaurant has an Adirondack-meets-the-beach look, with a very pleasant water view. But too many antler heads and nautical elements give it an almost theme-park restaurant feel.

Because the main room of the restaurant faces west and is quite dark during the lunch period, we sat in the enclosed patio (which has a translucent roof and is much brighter). The patio is actually open to the water underneath, so they have heaters installed. I can imagine it would be lovely at night and the day we visited the restaurant was packed. (We dined with food blogging friends, whose amusing review is here.)

Bread at Nick's Cove
Our experience this day was mixed. The service was slow and inexperienced - even the bussing was awkward. The food was okay but nothing special. I think what bothered Jack the most is that he felt that if a restaurant is going to feature oysters, and is situated in the heart of oyster country in No. Cal., it's not okay to end up with shell pieces/shards beneath every kumamoto (but one). We might return but we're not rushing back.

clam chowder Nicks Cove Marshall. CA
Clam Chowder
Good, but not our favorite. Lots of little clams and pieces of bacon but the seasoning has a lemony note we don't like.

Fried Oysters at Nicks Cove Marshall. CA
Fried Oysters
Very nicely done. Crispy outside succulent interior. The frisée was a strange accompaniment, with a too-sweet dressing for my taste, but the pieces of slab bacon on the top were worth ordering the dish. Yum!

Fish Tacos at Nicks Cove Marshall. CA
Fish Tacos
Pretty ho-hum. The fish had no flavor. Not enough salsa to go around. This dish could have been served anywhere tortillas were to be had. A boring, bland experience.

Moonfish Sashimi at Nick's Cove, Marshall, CA
Moonfish Sashimi
Good, fresh. Would order again. Recommended.

Oysters - Kumamoto, Preston Point and Virginica at Nick's Cove, Marshall, CA
Oysters on the Half Shell
(Kumamoto, Preston Point, Virginica)
The oysters were fresh and the mignotte accompanying was fine, but nothing special. A deal at $2/oyster, but lots of shell makes us wish they cost .50 cents more sans shell.

Specials Menu

Nicks Cove Marshall. CA Sign - logo
View Nicks Cove Marshall. CAPatio Interior at Nicks Cove, Marshall, CA
Nick's Cove from the back
BBQ oysters at Nick's Cove
Our tablemates ordered the crabcakes and the BBQ oysters; they did not praise these

2005 Savary Chablis

We washed lunch down with a 2005 lovely crisp Chablis from Savary and a lemonade for the younger diner. Calistoga was the sparkling water choice.

Banana Split at Nick's Cove We had a banana split for dessert. It was nicely made, making me remember why banana splits are so wonderful.

Jack's wine service nit-picks: The wine glasses all had spots on them (spottiest we've seen in a while) - with damn logos printed on some of the glasses; nothing says cheesy like that, eh? The wine was served too cold; who knew then it would have so much time to warm up? The winelist was quite awkward to hold/use...yes, that sounds ridiculously picky, but when holding/flipping through a wine list, it's not good when you can't help thinking, "flabby, flabby, flabby."

menu at Nick's Cove

menu back at nick's cove

Dessert Menu at Nick's Cove

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