Lowcountry Style

Last night Almanzo took me on a date to Tomales Bay for dinner, at Nick’s Cove.


We’ve always just gone to Bodega Bay, for some reason, and never really ventured further south….I’m so glad we did!

Nick’s Cove reminded of the Lowcountry so much. I loved the pier and the whole rustic beach feeling that the restaurant had inside.

There are also cottages that you can stay at at Nick’s Cove. I’m sure they are really nice…it would be a great place to get away for the weekend at! We didn’t really explore them though because by the time we got to the restaurant (almost eight o’clock), we were starving!


Okay, I have to admit right now that I’ve never been the biggest raw oyster fan. Honestly, they sort of take like the snot of the sea or something. Ack. However, I DO like roasted oysters. In Charleston, we used to put them right on the barbecue and then serve them with Texas Pete and saltines. There’s not many things better than roasted oysters with Texas Pete and saltines, I’m telling you right now. Because of this, we decided to go with the barbecue oysters on the menu to start with.


WIN! They were delicious. Not quite the same as roasted oysters in South Caroline, but still good. Each oyster was topped with ample tangy barbecue sauce and it was easy to slurp ’em down. Like I said, I’m not overly experienced when it comes to oysters, but I would definitely try these again!
We also ordered the seared scallops as an appetizer (we were starving)

TWO WHOLE SCALLOPS??! Just for us????? How generous! How ideal! How fitting!
Actually, we wolfed them down in .3 seconds and then stared at the empty plate longingly. This was definitely a strike but I could handle it. The kitchen must have seen my disappointment though because immediately a bite of ceviche was sent out “compliments of the chef”:


For my meal, I ordered the clam chowder because it was made with local clams from right in Tomales Bay.

Even though it was a bit on the thinner side, the flavors were fantastic. It tasted just like that yummy homestyle New England chowder, but without all the thickeners.
Almanzo went with the burger with local Point Reyes blue cheese. A classic choice but a bit heavy on the cheese, we both agreed.

It was pretty chilly and dark by the time we finished eating, but I convinced Almanzo to walk the pier with me.


So neat. What a cool spot…definitely made me nostalgic for home, but in a good way. I love continuing to explore California and finding neat places like this. If any of y’all actually go and STAY at Nick’s Cove, definitely let me know how it is. I’m imagining the rooms to be really quaint and rustic. There’s no cellphone service but who needs it?
Winner of the almond giveaway:

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Congrats, Laura Ann! Email me (jenna [at] eatliverun.com) to claim your prize!

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  • Faith @ LovelyAsCharged
    July 20, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Seriously? Two stinkin’ scallops? In what universe does that make up a whole dish?

  • jenna
    July 20, 2010 at 10:18 am

    you make me want to move{or at least visit} California so badly! it looks so perfect!

    Nicks cove looks really cozy and fun!

    That was so sweet of the chef to bring you all an extra app.
    🙂 have a great Tuesday.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    July 20, 2010 at 10:25 am

    what a fun date night! i’d love to be able to eat by the water whenever…even if you DO only get 2 whole scallops 🙂

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    July 20, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Wow – it looks so beautiful. It is so great that you are close to something like that. 🙂

    I love osyers. Raw, cooked – anything! ESpecially with bacon. Shocking, I know.

  • Exercise and Eat
    July 20, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Haha, I love that they could sense your disappointment w/how small the dish was!

  • Evan Thomas
    July 20, 2010 at 10:26 am

    2 scallops would be an upsetting appetizer to me, too.

  • Marilou @ Mostly Healthy
    July 20, 2010 at 10:26 am

    BWahaha 2 scallops for how much? 😉 This could not even be considered an amuse-bouche hehehe 😉

  • Megan
    July 20, 2010 at 10:27 am

    It looks beautiful there.. You make me want to come to the West Coast so bad!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    July 20, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Wow that looks AMAZING. I love oysters on the half shell, but there was a place where I grew up that did fried oysters with some type of chutney on top that were amazing and I’ve never tasted anything like them since!

  • Dorry
    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Oh I wish I could wear a sweater wrap right now! I’m craving some cooler temperatures down here in Texas. I love fine dining but I’m a big portion kind of gal! I’d want about 6 of those scallops. 🙂

  • Anya
    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Mm, what a tasty dinner! 🙂 I also dislike tiny appetizers though. Glad the rest of it was pleasing.

  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete
    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Oh my gosh! That looks like such a cute area! The hubs and I love places like that, that aren’t big city, you know? Great food, beautiful scenery! You are so right that you don’t need a cell phone in a place like that. 🙂

  • *Andrea*
    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 am

    what a fun date! you’re so pretty in the pics…very artistic too!

  • Angharad
    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am

    That place looks adorable. I am not a big fan of raw oysters either. I feel so inexperienced…I had them in Baltimore recently and just…meh…the texture freaks me out and I don’t love the flavour either! I must be missing something.
    Roasted though – those I would try. Also: 2 scallops is absurd.

  • Nichole
    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Are you sure you weren’t filming the spinoff to The Hills? This looks amazingly comfortable. Gorgeous pier.

    Can’t do oyster, ick:)

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am

    What a super cute area!! I Love it!

    You cracked me up with the “2 scallops”

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Only two scallops? What do they think you are, Smurfs? I’m glad the food was still good though- happy nostalgia is the best. I love that last picture of you!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    July 20, 2010 at 10:40 am

    What a beautiful place! I love how old but well kept it looks.

    I hate raw oysters. My grandma forced me to try them a few years ago and I have yet to forgive her.

  • Daisy
    July 20, 2010 at 10:52 am

    you guys go on the best date nights.

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    July 20, 2010 at 10:52 am

    haha you’re funny- I thought you were serious about the scallops for a second! I’m so gullible. Looks like it was a lovely dinner 🙂 You should come to New England for some REAL chowder!

  • Angela (ohsheglows)
    July 20, 2010 at 10:54 am

    That’s the last straw. I’m moving in with you and we shall explore California together (Almanzo can come too!). Hope you don’t mind. 😉

  • Sandra
    July 20, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Love seeing all your pictures of my hometown! I lived in Pt Reyes for the first 22 years of my life!

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    July 20, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Tomales Bay!!! Gorgeous pix. Am ‘borrowing’ a couple with live link to ELR for FB page. Thanks!! Oh, Almanzo, what a romantic, sweet guy!

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    July 20, 2010 at 11:08 am

    PS–The profile photo of you is prettier than any movie star. 🙂

  • Camille
    July 20, 2010 at 11:15 am

    What a lovely dinner! Geez, are they trying to budget their scallops or something?

  • Anna
    July 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

    How cute is that place!! I love quaint little hidden treasures, especially those close to home. I’m not a big fan of raw oysters, either. They remind me of loogies. Sorry for that visual.

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    July 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I was like, two? That’s it? Sheesh. But the burger looks more than generous.

  • britt
    July 20, 2010 at 11:26 am

    wow, i can’t believe they gave you two measly scallops! but the food really does look delish! i’m actually one of those weirdos that LOVE raw oysters. of course, can’t have any right now with a lil’ bun in the oven but that’s definitely one of the foods i’m looking forward to eating again. oh, and wine too!!

  • Alyssa @ BrideToBeFit
    July 20, 2010 at 11:40 am

    What a date night! Looks delicious and relaxing 🙂

  • Laura @ youngDCliving
    July 20, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Darn, I saw Laura and got all excited! The dinner looks great, I would have been disappointed with those tiny two scallops too, even though the plating is beautiful. All your restaurant meals always look superb

  • Lindsay
    July 20, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Love the photo of you walking away, next to the boat. That is an incredible shot!! Almanzo must be a good photographer 🙂

  • crunchy granola gal
    July 20, 2010 at 11:47 am

    what gorgeous scenery. these pictures make me wonder why i’m slogging away in NYC when i could be in cali! ugh!

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly
    July 20, 2010 at 11:50 am

    You always post the most gorgeous photos on your blog.

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels
    July 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Jenna that looks like the cutest dinner in the world! love eating by the water 🙂

  • Rosey Rebecca
    July 20, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Your pics make me feel like I’m there. The scallop thing is hilarious. I actually laughed out loud.

    Almanzo sure does know how to take a girl out on a date. 🙂

  • Nelly
    July 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Oh man…the food looks totally delish, but it’s that first view of the pier that’s got me spellbound. Beautiful!

  • Anne
    July 20, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Have you checked out the website? Nick’s rooms are hundreds a night. I’d love to stay there, but with that price tag, it ain’t happening! Keep going towards Pt. Reyes for equally sweet, affordable B&Bs.

    • jenna
      July 20, 2010 at 12:19 pm

      hahaha oh well, a girl can dream!

  • Emily
    July 20, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    weird comment but your hair looks so great in the pictures from the pier! whats your hair routine?

    • jenna
      July 20, 2010 at 12:20 pm

      Hah!! Yesterday I let it air dry (with some Bumble and Bumble styling creme and Aveda smoother in it) and then I wrapped sections of it around a curling iron to give it waves. But it ended up just looking like I was an ex-prom queen, circa 1984. Thanks, though!

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    July 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    What a sweet night with Almanzo. I’m so glad you have Cali a longer chance. It has its treasures : )

  • Pam Lambert
    July 20, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    You’re blog always makes me miss northern California. I went to school at Sonoma State University.

  • Kelly
    July 20, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I am really digging “Almanzo’s” name. It makes me giggle every time. Your pictures are beautiful! And you are right the “LowCountry Oyster” is the best!

  • Amanda@SenseiTalks
    July 20, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    What an adorable restaurant! The food looks amazing. I’m a huge fan of Cambria pinot…mmm! But have yet to venture down the raw oyster road…eek!

  • Jess.
    July 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I have always wanted to move to California and I have been seriously considering it the past few years and all of your adventures and photographs convinces me it is the right choice for me. That restaurant(and most places you go) look right up my ally.

  • AB
    July 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Wow girl, your pics are SO gorgeous! What kind of camera are you using and what setting are you using?!!

  • Tammy
    July 20, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I thought Jenna’s boyfriend’s name was Adam? What are I missing? Love your blog, Jenna!

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day
    July 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I live on the Peninsula and am always looking for a great weekend getaway, I think you sold me on this one! Just how cute are those cottages?

  • Following Julie
    July 20, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Not really a horror story, but I went to renew my license and the DMV employee kept retaking my photo like it was a fashion shoot. She was all “Ok, now tilt your chin and relax. SNAP. Oh, no good. Let’s try again. Think about seahorses. Yeah, that’s it. SNAP. No, that’s not the one. Try laughing!” This went on for several shots. It was so strange!

  • Jaime
    July 20, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Yum! You are making me so hungry for seafood – it all looks so good! Even the pitiful two scallops!

  • Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/
    July 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    The almanzo still cracks me up every time.

  • Chelsey
    July 20, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    That is such a cool restaurant. I totally agree about the snot of the sea comment – I had an oyster a couple of weeks ago in Savannah, GA, and I felt like I had a loogey that slid down my throat.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    July 21, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Haha I hate it when restaurant portions are super tiny! Especially when I’m a starvin’ marvin!

  • Kristy
    July 21, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Every single one of these pictures is so….complete! The one of you walking past the boat deserves some type of award!
    That resturant seem to have a cute “worn in” feel.

  • Allie
    July 21, 2010 at 6:31 am

    That restaurant looks so amazing and I absolutely love the picture of you on the dock. It looks so movie-like!

  • Judith
    July 21, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I loved reading all the comments , as well as the original post, about Nick’s Cove. It is the brain child of one of the most successful restrateurs in the country, Pat Kuleto. All that quaint charm cost a forune to create.
    I am jealous you got to go there Jenna, but the 2 scallop plate doesn’t suprise me. This place is always on the best 100 restaurants in the Bay Area lists

    Anyway see the quote below from the Inet.
    In 2000 Kuleto bought the Nick’s Cove & Cottages, in the isolated unincorporated town of Nick’s Cove, between Marshall, California and Tomales, California along the beach at Tomales Bay in Marin County north of San Francisco. He restored the property to a rustic 1930s appearance at a cost of $14 million, then reopened it in 2007 as an inn of twelve cabins and 130-seat restaurant.