Beach House

Marin’s Coastal Kitchen revives Dillon outpost

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A tall, cold michelada adds to the great views at Dillon’s Coastal Kitchen. Credit: Tanya Henry

Pray for Surf is emblazoned in all caps on the exterior of the newly refurbished white and black trimmed Dillon Beach Resort. The surf/beach theme continues throughout the expansive project that includes a restaurant, cafe and general store with a great liquor aisle.

Coastal Kitchen opened in December with chef Todd Shoberg at the helm, but he has since moved on to Brewsters Beer Garden in Petaluma (owned by the same group). New chef Matt Elias is holding things down now.

Partners Mike Goebel and Brooke Gray bring considerable restaurant and hospitality acumen to their vision to revitalize the 55-acre property on the Marin-Sonoma County line between the mouth of Tomales and the entrance to Bodega Bay. A handful of tiny houses overlooking the ocean are nearing completion and along with a general store that stocks Equator Coffee, Marin Kombucha on tap and plenty of other locally produced items. There is also a surf shop equipped with soft-top boards and warm sweatshirts.

Look for oysters on the half shell, a few shareable items including pickled vegetables and several creative salads. The menu changes weekly and staples include a Stemple Creek burger featuring Estero Gold cheese and changing toppings depending on the season. While the dishes feature beautiful fresh ingredients from nearby ranches including Pink Barn Farms in Sebastopol and grass fed beef from Tomales-based Stemple Creek, some dishes miss the mark. The burger lacked flavor and included oddly textured mushrooms and the frittata was bland despite its promising topping of a lemony chard pesto.

A compact, well-crafted list of beverages include an Iron Horse sparkling wine and just a couple of red and white choices. I loved the michelada with Scrimshaw pilsner, tomato juice and a nicely spiced salted glass rim.

With seating for 60, the cheery room with large ocean facing windows is casual beach chic at its best. A 50’s era blue painted floor, white walls and a canvas tented roof strike the perfect balance between beach shack and restaurant.

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