Nick's Cove and Cottages - Review

No matter how how you slice it, Nick’s Cove and Cottages is one romantic destination.

I’ve been touring little weekend getaways here in the Bay Area for over a decade now. Some of my favorites include  Carmel Valley Ranch, the Kenwood Inn & Spa in Sonoma, and the Cottage Grove Inn in Napa. Now I can add Nick’s to the list. Pretty and serene are two adjectives that come to mind. I’ll leave it up to you whether or not Nick’s Ghost continues to dwell in Ruthie’s cottage, the one you see here in this “Amityville” inspired (as dubbed by my Clint) Stark Insider TV episode.

Rumors that a malevolent presence occupied the site made my partner in crime, cameraman Clint, especially interested in the shoot.

Incredible views of Tomales Bay notwithstanding, what’s particularly unique about these cottages is that they’re perched right on top of the water. As you walk across the hardwood floors (and heated bathroom floors!) you can feel the history of this old fishing village from the 1930s sooth your soul — it’s a welcome break from the go-go-go of Silicon Valley and congestion of Highway 101.

Amazingly, most of the self-contained cottages used to be located across the bay. As part of a renovation they were transported by barge to where they rest now, near Highway 1 up in Marshall, California. It took me just about an hour (you could do faster I garner if you’re not driving a Prius) to get there from the Bay Area.

As you’ll see in the video, this was possibly our wettest shoot yet. Proof positive that it does sometimes rain in California. No matter, the warm hospitality of the staff, Chef Austin Perkins’ delectable seafood, and bartender Casey Marr’s knock-out (literally) “Marshall Manhattan” made this place feel like the warmest spot along the cost.

When general manager Dena Grunt invited me up to experience an evening, I jumped at the chance. Rumors that a malevolent presence occupied the site made my partner in crime, cameraman Clint, especially interested in the shoot. We spent an evening in “Ruthie’s,” one of several cottages located on the grounds. The views were fabulous, and I had a great vantage. In fact, Dena’s husband proposed to her on Hog Island – watch the video as she recounts the story. As I relaxed by a real, wood-burning stove (we need more of these), I noshed on Chef Perkins’ delectable BBQ oysters, and read, while a certain someone else watched the NFL playoffs and sipped on Napa Chardonnay.

WATCH: A Ghostly Visit to Nick’s Cove & Cottages

IN PHOTOS: Dinner at Nick’s Cove Restaurant

Nick's Cove Restaurant
Dungeness crab Mac and cheese: pt. Reyes Tina, spring hill cheddar, parmigiana reggiano.
Nick's Cove Restaurant
Roasted Kurobota Pork: blue cheese-walnut risotto, cider poached apple, apple jus.
Nick's Cove Restaurant
Wood Fired Loch Duart Salmon: carrot-coriander purée, baby carrots, carrot gastrique.
Nick's Cove Restaurant
Seared George’s Bank Sea Scallops: Israeli couscous, delicata squash, pomegranate reduction, pomegranate basil emulsion.
Dinner at Nick's Cove Restaurant
Oyster Mornay & Oysters Nick-erfeller.
Warm sticky toffee pudding: vanilla ice cream, muscavado toffee sauce.

IN PHOTOS: Nick’s Cove

Nick's Cove and Cottages





Nick's Cove Map and Directions

RECIPE: ‘Marshall Manhattan’ Cocktail as seen in the video

Marshall Manhattan Recipe - Nick's Cove

Cocktail ingredients:

2 ounces St. George Breaking & Entering Bourbon
3/4 ounce spiced stout syrup*
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Spiced or Brandied Cherries

Marshall ManhattanDirections:
Combine the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice cubes. Stir and strain in a martini glass. Garnish with cherries.

*Spiced Stout Syrup:


In a stainless saucepan add:
12 ounces Anderson Valley “Barney Flats” oatmeal stout
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon allspice powder
Zest 1/4 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Bring the ingredients to a simmer for 20 minutes, allow to cool and strain.

Loni Stark
Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.