Most people would probably call it a day after Hoovering five different preparations of Tomales Bay oysters, local white anchovies and clam chowder, but for me and Matthew “Mattatouille” Kang, that was just the beginning. We knocked back some espresso at Toby’s Coffee Bar, gathered our composure while wandering Point Reyes Station and drove north for more seafood.
We settled on The Marshall Store, which took the name of a town that dates to the 1850s, when five brothers arrived with cattle and launched a still-thriving dairy industry. The building has rested on Tomales Bay since 1926. Its current incarnation allows tourists and locals to order at the counter, grab food and sit at a counter or table overlooking the wind-torn water.
A blackboard menu featured plenty of tantalizing options, including six preparations of locally farmed oysters. Think raw, BBQ, chorizo, Rockefeller, smoked and Kilpatrick (bacon and Worcestershire). Dungeness crab cocktail and the smoked fish sampler with salmon, herring and oysters didn’t sound too shabby either, but as big as we were talking, our stomachs were still depleted from our meals at Nick’s Cove and Hog Island Oyster Co., so we limited our intake to a pair of daily specials.
The Marshall Store Fish Stew ($6) featured a zesty tomato brothy loaded with spicy andouille, juicy halibut, clams, fennel, potato, celery and okra.
Tomales Bay Mussels ($6) arrived plump and cool, tossed with a light vinaigrette, onion, pepper and cilantro and served with garlic bread.
Considering all of the tempting seafood emporiums that line Tomales Bay in Marin County, it will be tough to resist racking up multiple stops on my next trip north. However, The Marshall Store was convincing enough to warrant a more dedicated exploration. Smoked oysters and herring? Yes please.