If you haven’t been to Point Reyes Station, go. If you’ve been, but haven’t eaten at Osteria Stellina, then turn right around and go back. You can’t miss it. It’s right on Highway 1, just about opposite the supermarket. By its name you can tell it’s Italian in bent. It also prides itself on using locally grown, organic ingredients. How can you go wrong?
The restaurant has got its breads and pizzas down to perfection. So if you’re a dough nut. Go and order one. Or maybe even two. Despite the fact he doesn’t like mushrooms – don’t ask me about the reasoning of a ten year old boy – Monkey ordered the wild mushroom pizza. It was delicious and I’m not even supposed to eat gluten, so I kinda just ate a piece of the crust because that doesn’t count, right?
Even the bread – a crusty country loaf and a beautiful focaccia – is divine, accompanied as it is by the deepest green, richest, most peppery extra virgin olive oil I’ve come across in a while. I would have been happy just to eat the oil off a spoon. So I did.
There was just so much goodness on the menu that we went a little hog-wild (there were four of us after all) and ordered as much as we decently could without attracting disparaging looks from other diners. We sampled the zuppa del giorno, a fresh spring vegetable affair; ordered the “Beans and Greens“, rosemary-simmered cannellini beans and braised greens; decided it would be rude not to order two of the aforementioned pizzas, and opted for a couple of dinner plates.
I ordered the Tomato Minestra, Stellina’s take on a bouillabaisse with clams, mussels, squid and shrimp. It came with toast points to mop up the wonderfully fishy, tomatoey broth and overall was good, although the mussels were super fishy (I don’t recall their origin) and slightly overpowered the rest of the seafood.
We started to slow down by dessert course, but not so much that we couldn’t order a couple to share. Apparently the food stupor really started to kick in at that point and I have no pics to share with you, other than one of the menu, which is probably enough to get you drooling. The ice cream sandwich of the day is a must, although it’s large enough for a family of five or one ten year old boy; and the toasted sesame madeline cake was a hit, especially with one of our companions who shares the same name. (Madeline, not toasted sesame).
All in all, we left overly satiated and marveled at the fullness of our bellies and the beautiful starry night sky as we wended our way back home through the back county roads of Marin and Sonoma.
Osteria Stellina is open for lunch and dinner on various days of the week. Reservations are recommended.
Update: We went back for a quick lunch on 11/3/13 and it’s still consistently great. The menu changes based on what’s in season and available and with the onset of fall, I had a delicious butternut squash soup followed by a preserved tuna and cannellini bean salad.
Monkey opted for a Roma tomato pizza with pepperoni. He particularly loved the fact that there was no tomato sauce and the the cheese was laid straight on top of the dough. The freshly baked bread, served with local McEvoy olive oil, was moreish and spot on. So again, I urge you, if you haven’t been, go!