Behind The Butter

Victory Dinner at Stellina

So, last night I told you all a little bit about our epic hike at Point Reyes yesterday.

And now I shall tell you all about our victorious post-hike meal at Stellina in Point Reyes Station!

Here’s how it went down: it was six thirty and Cindy and I had just come off the trail after five solid hours. We were both hobbling at this point, and I was battling an angry dose of stinging nettle on my left calf. I had to pee.
We pulled off the side of the road the first time civilization struck and we ran into the first dining establishment that we saw. No matter that we were covered in mud and smelled like mountain lions. We needed food and we needed it fast. I slid into a seat at the bar in the back of the restaurant and chugged a glass of wine. Things were looking up.


This was the local “wine on tap”—a zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley. Love that it was only six dollars; it made me feel like I was in Europe or something!


Pretty much, I wanted to eat the entire menu.


But ended up settling on the second pasta item listed—the Bucatini with Tomales Bay’s manila clams, italian parsley and garlic and chilies. All the pasta at Stellina is handmade, which I loved!



out of control.

Sometimes you have those meals that are just so utterly perfect in every single way. These meals stay lodged in your memory forever and have the capacity to make you smile even when, twenty four hours later, you are eating leftover pizza by yourself in your kitchen wearing pajamas with holes in them.
Cindy also had victory pasta, but hers had thick cut bacon, cream and peas in it. It was divine.
Oh, but wait, there’s more! I almost forgot—we also split the grilled bread with fresh ricotta cheese and honey for an appetizer.

There were toasted macadamia nuts on top of the honey soaked cheese bread. I thought I had died. Right there.
After we sufficiently stuffed ourselves to the point of no return, we glanced at the dessert menu.

It looked delicious and while I was wearing my Lululemon wunder unders (thank God for stretch!), I just didn’t think I would be able to buckle my seat belt if I consumed any more food.
But, I HIGHLY recommend Stellina if you are in the Point Reyes area. I can’t wait to take Almanzo back here—he would love it!

I also wanted to run away with this teddy bear dog after dinner. But that’s another story.

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  • Run Sarah
    August 9, 2010 at 8:19 am

    What an amazing post workout meal – yum! Love Lululemon wunder unders – so comfortable, they’re my favourite workout capris.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    August 9, 2010 at 8:33 am

    i died just READING this…i can’t imagine what it was like to eat that fabulous meal! so glad you guys had such a wonderful hike!

  • Krista (kristastes)
    August 9, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Yummm. I love clams + pasta combo. Clams have been one of my favorite foods since I was literally 3 years old!! I was a weirdo. Also, love the restaurant name! My dog’s name is Stella and I think I have a new nickname for her…to add to the growing list: Stel, floppers, fuzzybeardog, pooper, bubs, STELLINA!

  • Misha
    August 9, 2010 at 8:36 am

    I have been a silent follower of your blog for a while, but I had to leave a comment here because this post brought back so many fond memories. I worked as a line cook and pastry assistant at Stellina’s and seeing your pictures made me super nostalgic. That place is amazing; the staff is the most loving and wacky I’ve ever worked with. I’m so glad you enjoyed your meal and beautiful Point Reyes. Make sure to get dessert next time…and the grilled cheese…and the nettle pizza…I used to make and roll all the pizza dough and it’s out of this world.

  • Jen @ Jen is Green
    August 9, 2010 at 8:37 am

    there is nothing better than glorious food after a long hike. looks amazing!! 😀

    • jassy
      August 9, 2010 at 9:12 am

      i agree 🙂

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    August 9, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I would have to go with the pasta with BACON in it! 🙂

  • Nicole @ yuppieyogini
    August 9, 2010 at 8:43 am

    LOL…I love that you had on stretchy undies!!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    August 9, 2010 at 8:43 am

    All of that sounds so so good. What a great reward for a longer-than-expected hike. And that dog is outrageously cute!

  • Heather
    August 9, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Wow, that food looks amazing, especially b/c I’m stuck at the airport and subjected to airport food for the rest of the day!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    August 9, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Delicious looking food!!! That dog is super cute!

  • Maria @ Kale and Cupcakes
    August 9, 2010 at 8:46 am

    O.M.G. That pasta with clams looks tremazing!!! My hubby and I love your neck of the woods – thinking Point Reyes might have to be a stop on our next vacation. Thanks for the resto recommendation!!!

  • Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf
    August 9, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Epic, indeed!

    I’m particularly interested in your photography in this post. What camera do you use?

    • jenna
      August 9, 2010 at 8:58 am

      A canon rebel with a 60mm macro lens

  • Sam @ The Second Lunch
    August 9, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Osteria Stellina!!! I love, love, love the place. Last time we went we had (among other things) the slow cooked octopus (a revelation!), and braised goat on polenta – two solid fabulous dishes. The home made pop tarts with buttermilk sorbet were also highly memorable. I’m always thinking of excuses to get back up there, as its not technically that far away!

  • Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman
    August 9, 2010 at 9:11 am

    So glad you enjoyed Stellina! I love this restaurant…everything is very fresh. I’ve only just recently tried it myself! And, BTW, I’m sure you fit in just fine with mud on your shoes, smelling of mountain lions…..that’s what I love about Pt. Reyes Station, you fit right in completely dressed down and braless or dressed up a bit…..definitely see all types of dress:)

  • jassy
    August 9, 2010 at 9:12 am

    i agree 🙂

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    August 9, 2010 at 9:30 am

    That dog really does look like a teddy bear.

    Sounds like an epic day, overall. yum yum.

  • Cara
    August 9, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Teddy bear dog is cute !

  • eatmovelove
    August 9, 2010 at 9:38 am

    First – that dog really looks like a teddy bear!

    LOL – I thought you went home and showered – the restaurant seems “high-end”!!
    I like Cindy’s I think…bacon versus clams 🙂

  • Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog)
    August 9, 2010 at 10:03 am

    That’s a winning dinner, for sure! I’ve never had handmade pasta at a restaurant, that’s awesome. That appetizer looks amazing, too. Yum all the way around. 🙂


  • Dorry
    August 9, 2010 at 10:04 am

    What a day! I love that the first restaurant you saw happened to be awesome – you live in such a lovely part of the country. 🙂

  • Megan (Braise The Roof)
    August 9, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Yum! I love seafood pastas. I went hiking this weekend, too! There must be something in the air. 🙂

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    August 9, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I love a post-hike meal. Especially one that involves a good friend and a meal to remember. So fun! 😀

  • Courtney @ Ice Cream & Wine
    August 9, 2010 at 10:32 am

    What a great end to a fun hike! Looks delicious!

  • R @
    August 9, 2010 at 10:55 am

    That dish sounds amazing! I wish I could try it

  • Anne @ the doctor takes a wife
    August 9, 2010 at 10:56 am

    What breed is that puppy dog?!? She looks a lot like my mix that we adopted.

  • Rachel
    August 9, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Teddy bear puppy!!

  • Teddy
    August 9, 2010 at 11:06 am

    wow what a lucky find for a desperate meal ( was afraid you might go for *gasp* taco bell or something LOL).
    eat well!

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    August 9, 2010 at 11:25 am

    ‘Covered in mud and smelled of mountain lion.’ LOL!
    Was sitting here trying to write an article–but stymied by 80% of my brain zeroing in on what’s for dinner and the grocery list. Now I have it. Thanks! LOVE Point Reyes. So amazing can happen on a foodie heaven even in that remote, sparsely habited area. Ahhh, the San Francisco Bay. More gorgeous pix.

    Wondered how highlighted menu lines?

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    August 9, 2010 at 11:37 am

    That pasta does look out of control, not to mention that heavenly looking appetizer with ricotta and honey. Sweet Moses! A carb-laden, decadent meal such as the one you enjoyed alst night is the ideal follow-up to an intense hike.

  • Whitney
    August 9, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Oh my, my, my! That meal looked amazing!

  • stephanie@Avocado Nation
    August 9, 2010 at 11:50 am

    The pasta looks good, but I am not a huge fan of clams. If it were mussels….yum!

    As for the hike, wow! How gorgeous!! I am so jealous.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    August 9, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Mmm, now this is what a pasta dinner should look like! Not the cheap spaghetti topped with canned sauce and meatballs that most restaurants try to pass off as pasta!

  • Stacey
    August 9, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    What a sweet dog. 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    August 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Wow, what a great restaurant find after a long hike!! Sounds like the food was to die for! 🙂

  • MC
    August 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    THAT DOG!! I WANT THAT DOG!!!! i absolutely ADORE teddy bear dogs. goldendoodles and labradoodles–yes!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    August 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    MmmmmMMMmmm! That’s a growling kind of yummy.

    I LOVE mussels.

  • Chelsey
    August 9, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    I love that the first place you happened to stumble into was that place – if that isn’t fate, i just don’t know what is!

  • Claire
    August 10, 2010 at 6:02 am

    I was JUST at Stellina after hiking a 14mile hike in Point Reyes. I live in Kansas but my best friend lives there and a friend from high school is the chef at Stellina….so glad you liked it. I will tell him that he is famous in the blog world now…..

  • Alison
    August 11, 2010 at 8:54 am

    The Bucatini with Tomales Bay’s manila clams looks AMAZING! I gasped.