1580 Eastshore Road / Bodega Bay / 707-875-2700
Category: International Comfort Food
11am – 2:30pm Thu, Fri & Sun L
4:30pm – 9pm Thu, Fri & Sun D
Closed Mon & Tue
Beer & Wine.
***** 10/30/11 $$$-$$$$
3 years and 1 Michelin Star later, Terrapin Creek Cafe is preparing some of the most exciting food on the Sonoma Coast. With a dining capacity of only 35, the kitchen can and does succeed in turning out both visually exciting and wonderfully seasoned plates. The owners, Andrew Truong and Liya Lin, are a couple with impressive culinary resumes, having cooked at many of San Francisco’s top restaurants; she at Michael Mina, Ame, Ducca and Absinthe; he at Jardiniere, Ame, and Bacar. Just 2 chefs who decided in 2008 to move to Bodega Bay to get away from the high anxiety and stress of the restaurant world in The City to start a family and a restaurant in this beach/fishing community on the Sonoma coast.
All that talent now benefits Terrapin Creek Cafe’s lucky diners. And lucky you will be if you make a reservation quickly, now that the news about their Michelin star is out. Trust me. This place is worth the drive, even for lunch in case you won’t be staying overnight.
We were staying in Bodega for a couple of nights, and I had made our reservation before reading about the one-star rating. In fact, it wasn’t until my husband pointed this out to me the night we were to dine there! Many of my readers and blog followers know that I normally prefer unsung restaurants to Michelin rated hot spots that are generally, but not always over-priced, over-rated and over-egoed. However, having read several reviews on Yelp about this place, I had a good idea we were in safe territory as the owners got high marks for their friendliness, and higher marks for their adorable toddler daughter who could be seen there. Oh yeah, and the food got high praise too!
Now to the food. Having read a Yelper review about the incredible Ahi Tuna Poke, I just had to give it a try. The Figs & Prosciutto Salad was recommended by the owner so we ordered that, too. The dishes came out together and looked impressive. The Ahi Tuna Poke was delicious, on a bed of seasoned seaweed, thinly sliced onion, and toasted pine nuts. Figs & Prosciutto salad was a perfect blend of endive and radicchio, toasted almonds, goat cheese and dressed with tart cherry vinaigrette. Delightful.
Main courses ordered: Liberty Farms Duck Breast, with roasted brussels sprouts & butternut squash, spatzle, bacon bits and natural jus; and a Kurobuta Pork Chop, with creamy Farro, fontina & bleu cheese, fresh pears & figs and balsamic gastrique. Both dishes were incredibly good. The duck, cooked perfectly pink and juicy, and the accompanying sprouts, squash, and spatzle with bacon bits gave the dish a wonderful earthiness fitting for a game bird. The pork was succulent and mild, a thick sirloin atop the Farro, pears and figs. To wash this all down, I chose a ’08 Freeman Winery Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir that went well with the duck and pork meat.
This restaurant deserves its Michelin star and the owners could not be more friendly or involved with their food and their customers. Their philosophy: Use top quality produce, meats, and fish that showcase both local and global cuisines, using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. I think they’ve succeeded in their mission; you try it and see if you don’t agree. Get Thee to Terrapin Creek Cafe and enjoy!
On the wine. Very decent offerings from varied sources. By the bottle and by the glass. Corkage: $15.