When we were invited to join pal Sari's birthday lunch at Stellina, we accepted with enthusiasm. We always jump at a chance to fête Sari and when the venue is Stellina - well, we know a good thing when we taste it.
Point Reyes Station has become a lively little burg these days, filled with fun shops, a Saturday farmer's market, a feed store that has reinvented itself as a gift shop and coffee house, and three good restaurants.
We enjoy the garden and the shakes at the Station House. The Pine Cone Diner's "Good Food. Prickly Service" always makes us laugh. And, when we want a truly amazing meal, one to make me wish that special occasions happened every day, we go to Stellina.
Yes, we embarrassed Sari by giving her tacky silk flower leis and presents, and by singing "Happy Birthday" off-key. All that is de rigueur on birthdays. We also toasted her with a lovely glass of prosecco, then settled down to make the tough choices about what not to eat for lunch - it's painful to eliminate any of the offerings at Stellina.
The seafood stew won out for me. Mussels in iridescent shells, dainty quarter-sized clams and a great big shrimp gently simmered in the most wonderfully flavorful broth with garlic and morsels of a spicy housemade sausage. It was a serving to please Goldilocks - not too big, not too small, just right. I spooned up the broth once the shells were emptied, then soaked up the last drops with bread - it was too good to waste even a smidgen.
Dessert was a rich, decadent Affogato with whipped cream, espresso and ice cream. Richer but not as sweet as the Café Liègeois that we enjoyed in Belgium, it was still a vivid reminder of that unforgettable pleasure.
All six of us had a wonderful meal at Stellina. For your next special occasion, you have six endorsements for a special time in Point Reyes Station.