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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

August, 2006

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Restaurant Review-Eaten' Out
By Jeanette Pontacq

This is the first in a new, regular series of restaurant reviews in West Marin. Each month, one restaurant will be reviewed for service, cuisine, and price. We have chosen the STATION HOUSE CAFâ in Point Reyes Station for our first review. We are very open to emailed comments on reviews or suggestions for other reviews. Let us hear from you at [email protected] (attention: restaurant reviews).

There are four restaurants in Point Reyes Station, but the Station House has always been considered THE restaurant in town. Its placement right on Highway One, immediately seen as one arrives from the south, is enhanced by a lovely garden area for dining among roses, running water and other, fabulous greenery. (reservations (415) 663-1515)

The main dining room is an open, large area with an almost unseen counter area for individual dining. That's too bad, because restaurants in other towns have proven that "eating at the counter" can be stylish and fun. The seating area in the main room has always been rather staid and boring, although efficient. The ambiance seems to be one of "being seen and seeing others."

Rumors have swirled around about "the food" since Pat Healy sold the restaurant to Cheryl Cahill in June of 2005. Even before the sale, the menu had become too "expected" and sometimes not up to snuff. Hopes were high that Cheryl would be able to reinvent the restaurant, to bring it back to its halcyon days of yore. In less than a year, it seems Cheryl is on the right road. The addition of David Cook as chef in April of 2006 has created an excitement that had been lacking until then.

On a recent visit to the Station House, frankly, we were not expecting much, just a standard meal. But we were pleasantly surprised! Each dish ordered by any of our party of four foodies was super. The Osso Bucco was tender and delicious, circled by a bed of marinated organic vegetables that set off the taste of the meat perfectly. The dish was both visually appealing and a treat for the tastebuds. The Oyster Stew was a visual work of art and more than just tasty! We were very pleased to note that the restaurant has been growing as much of its own vegetables as possible in a protected plot of land behind the restaurant. Chef David Cook is obviously working hard (and well) to bring the Station House back to its former fame.

Additional trips to the restaurant for breakfast kept me happy because the offered dishes are classic and well-done. Overall, we need to applaud Chef David Cook and Owner Cheryl Cahill for dusting off the Station House and making it live again.

West Marin Rating: 3 Stars (out of 4 possible stars)

Prices: Medium
Service: 3 1┌2 Stars (out of 4 possible stars)


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