Dining: Ted & Will

Oakland restaurateur revives Tomales’ William Tell House

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Built in 1877, the William Tell House has new owner and menu.

“I never intended on taking on this project,” says Ted Wilson, the new owner of Tomales’ venerable William Tell House.

The bearded thirty-something restaurateur owns Metal & Match catering company and Fine & Rare, which is now operating out of his newly opened Alice Collective that is part cafe, commissary kitchen and event space in Oakland. “A friend urged me to look at this Marin opportunity when the building came up for sale,” says Wilson, “and here I am, staying upstairs in one of the four rooms” that will eventually be rented out to guests.

From the outside, the William Tell House looks like any small-town watering hole, complete with a sign proclaiming it “the Oldest Saloon in Marin (1877)” and a faded paint job. Inside, the light-filled space opens to an expansive 2,000-square-foot patio that will eventually boast two fire pits when it officially reopens. Dubbing itself a “pop-up,” William Tell plans to go dark in late fall, due to building code issues, but plans to reopen as soon as it receives the green light from Marin County officials.

Executive chef Austin Perkins, ex Nick’s Cove and Cyrus, has created a menu that captures the region without fuss or pretense. Classics like seafood chowder, Cobb salad and a daily hot dog belie their artful preparation. Every dish allows the locally sourced ingredients to shine, especially the chowder, chock-full of rock cod, clams, mussels and shrimp in a velvety broth—the antithesis of the goopy, floury soup too often found on this coast. The Cobb includes farm fresh eggs from down the road, Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese and chicken from Petaluma—a virtual poster child for local purveyors

William Tell House, 26955 Hwy. 1, Tomales. 707.879.2002.

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