Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jan 25, 2013 08:54 PM

Terrapin Creek Cafe - Bodega Bay

we had a very nice meal recently at Terrapin Creek in Bodega Bay.
the drive up the coast on a Thursday eve was pleasant this time of year - with hardly any traffic. we took an early dinner reservation and enjoyed the sunset brightening the dining room. It's a well run restaurant ...... things flow smoothly and the kitchen knows how to execute. The menu is not too wild: a pork chop, duck breast, scallops, short ribs & chicken & dumplings ... you get the idea. But each item is very well done and each componentis well seasoned and correctly cooked ( as the french are want to say ) Our waiter gave us a good wine recommendation. We shared a couple of appetizers ...... Monterey Sardines were pan fried filets that came with a radish & cabbage salad, avacado and a curry/lime vinaigrette. Eaten together, the fresh crunchy elements provided a nice counterpoint to the briny sardines. Avacados added a rich buttery note. The Roasted Beet salad was perfectly dressed with lots of goat cheese scattered about. The Sonoma Duck breast came with forbidden rice and greens and my pork chop was very nicely cooked ( moist, tender ) with creamy farro and kale. ( big portion ) The Maine Scallops ( 3 ) were large specimens that had a beautiful sear and were juicy - Mashed potato and fennel were underneath. We finished with the German Chocolate Cake - caramel sauce.....adorned with toasted coconut and hazlenuts IIRC. Delicious way to end the meal ......

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. one more photo ...... of the restaurant interior.

    1. Great photos and nice review! They are on our list to try next time we go to the Sonoma Coast. Good thing I just ate dinner or your pix would make me hungry, LOL.

      We enjoyed River's End restaurant up in Jenner on our last trip. Have you ever tried them and could compare the two?

      3 Replies
      1. re: jaiko

        Glad you enjoyed the review and pics ( i just got a new camera and I'm still learning the ropes ). I know folks like River's End but I haven't had the chance to eat there yet. The folks at Rocker Oysterfellas are very nice - we stop there when we can.

        1. re: gordon wing

          Ah, I was wondering about Rocker as well. many restaurants, so little time! We went to Sonoma Cty 4x last year, each time a 3 day trip, but we can't cover all our favs and still fit in new ones too. What do you recommend at Rocker?

          Was in Sebastopol only for lunch last week and had a nice meal at K&L Bistro. Omelet was a little too buttery (and I don't often say that) but the wild mushroom filling was delicious and the salads were phenomenal. I love it when a kitchen not only knows how to make a balanced vinaigrette, but uses different ones for different greens. Something so simple but so many places screw that up. Service was top-notch; they don't skimp on the waitstaff like a lot of places are having to do these days.

          1. re: jaiko

            Rocker Oysterfellas - their menus has some seasonal changes but I've enjoyed the fried chicken and the oyster platter ( cooked ) is very good. I've had the burger - very good and the oyster po'boy was well done last time we were there. The cornbread is also tasty.

      2. I was very impressed with lunch there, am looking forward to going back for dinner sometime.

        1. The changes out in Bodega Bay in the last couple years are quite remarkable. Didn't used to be much of anything worth eating, one was better off buying crabs or salmon and cooking at home.

          I took note of a couple new casual spots Fishetarian and Fisherman's Cove deli that look promising. I did enjoy both of their chowders last weekend.

          Still haven't had a chance to eat at Terrapin yet. All my friends say the people are lovely.

          1. Celebrating our son's and his wife's birthday, we chose dinner at Terrapin Creek Cafe and boy are we glad we did. Outstanding dinner from start to finish, you know everything is really good when all four of us claimed to have the "best" meal :).
            Terrapin Creek Cafe is small but seats are spaced well and comfortable. It is tucked away in a small strip mall on Eastshore Rd in Bodega Bay.

            We were warmly greeted by owner Andrew Truong who takes care of the front of TC and service while his wife Liya Lin looks after the well run kitchen. We chatted with Andrew during the evening and you won't find a more personable and modest host.

            On to the food, let me start by saying every dish, apps, entrees, desserts were distinct in flavor and well presented. Starters were Salad of roasted Cauliflower and Baby Artichokes with baby spinach, Estero Gold cheese, warm pancetta-sherry vinaigrette.
            Salad of Grilled Octopus & Potatoes with sauce gribiche, shaved red onions, fines herbs, paprika oil.
            Hamachi Crudo with chopped favas, mint, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt.
            Potato Gnocchi with Wild White Shrimp with sauteed asparagus, basil & pistachio pesto.
            Each was delicious. I never thought I would have gnocchi as good as The Blue Bottle Cafe in NJ but these were every bit as good.

            Entrees kept up the pace. Creekstone Farms Beef Rib Eye with potato puree, sauteed broccolini & mushrooms, bordelaise sauce.
            Glazed Baby Back Pork Ribs with creamy polenta, clamshell mushrooms, sauteed Swiss chard.
            Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut with farro, roasted leeks & shiitake mushrooms, lemongrass & coconut broth.
            Liberty Farms Duck Breast with black forbidden rice, scallions, roasted baby carrots, spinach, duck jus.
            Take your pick, each was excellent.
            We also had a basket of assorted bread with some tasty olive oil.

            Pretty full at this point but who can resist dessert :) We shared a Banana Cream Pie with shaved coconut, chocolate sauce etc and Molton Chocolate Cake. Both were rich without being at all heavy. Along with some coffee, a perfect way to end the meal.

            We also drank well, a 2010 Damilano Arneis and a 2000 Chateau Dauzac paired very well with the variety of food.

            Service was relaxed, efficient, you felt like a guest in one's house. This while the restaurant was packed with diners.

            Terrapin Creek Cafe may not be the easiest restaurant to get to but is very much worth the effort and equally worthy of receiving (and keeping) a coveted Michelin Star.

            Pictures below should be in the same order as above.


            3 Replies
            1. re: tom246

              Just a quick update, our daughter is visiting from NJ so after some wine tasting at Copain and Lynmar we headed out to Bodega Bay for dinner here Friday evening.

              As reported above, apps of roasted cauliflower and artichoke salad along with the gnocchi were excellent. We also had the raw Miyagi oysters with shallot and fennel migonette which brought out the briny freshness... yum.

              Ribeye and halibut were perfectly prepared, new entree this time was the braised lamb sugo with fresh pappardelle pasta with roasted butternut squash, Tuscan kale, feta & parmesan cheese. Deep savory flavors in this dish and the bowl got passed around often :)

              Shared a light but decadent cheesecake made with creme fraiche in a small pool of raspberry sauce which was great way to end the meal.

              Another great meal, get Terrapin Creek on your list of places to try.

              1. re: tom246

                Okay, now I'm officially jealous. Besides the pasta with butternut, did you find much change in the menu in a week's time?

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  We were there eight days apart and the menu was the same, no additions or deletions.