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09.21.11

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Phaedra
Photograph by Nicolas Grizzle
MAKIN' DAT DOUGH: Cafe Reyes' crust occupies that rare space of perfection in pizza making.

Reyes the Roof

Wood-fired pizza to die for at Cafe Reyes

By Nicolas Grizzle


It's a good thing big pharmaceutical companies haven't heard of Point Reyes Station. If they had, many of their stress-related cure-all products, from blood pressure pills to anxiety medication, might see a pronounced dip in sales.

There are many fine eateries on the town's small strip, but for everyday noshing, head to Cafe Reyes. The beautiful indoor/outdoor dining space is at the end of block, but it's worth the extra 30-second trip. Their specialty is wood-fired pizza, although a multitude of interesting entrees and other dishes can be had for around $10.

With pizza, it's really about the crust. Anyone can put a bunch of quality ingredients on some dough and bake it, but the best dough is a recipe guarded with a spell even Harry Potter couldn't break.

This dough is no exception. It's chewy and flavorful, a little salty and served perfectly. The pizzas are thin but not crunchy, soft but not soggy. If ever there were an example for the rest of the world to follow for a "California-style" pizza, Cafe Reyes has perfected it.

The dough is made daily from scratch using Caputo 00 flour. Pizzas are expertly tossed to order before heading into the wood-fired oven. Upon exit, they're drizzled with olive oil and Grana Padano cheese.

Try the Inverness, a chicken sausage and mushroom pizza, or the Limantour with fresh basil, cherry tomato and garlic. Feeling adventurous? The Estero bursts with flavors of three cheeses, including Pt. Reyes Blue, and fresh spinach. Wanna go crazy? Try a simple tomato and mozzarella Bodega with the addition of marinated anchovies (and cancel your after-dinner makeout session).

With pizza this good, the next obvious question will be answered: Yes, there are local beers on tap. Point Reyes Porter from Marin Brewing Co. is an obvious staple at this restaurant, and Healdsburg and North Coast brewing companies are also represented.

Cafe Reyes has existed in its current form for about three years, although the space has been a restaurant for the past 16 years, says server Krystle Madayag. She's been working there for five years and remembers when it was a Mexican restaurant. This explains the southwestern design scheme inside, which almost feels out of place with the current menu.

Madayag also says the simplification of the menu (it's a one-sided sheet) has attracted more families, and on any given night parents and children can be seen bonding over a common favorite food. The mix is about half locals and half tourists, which is fairly common in the small coastal town.

The atmosphere is jovial, the staff down to earth, and the chocolate cake out of this world—it is a "Got Milk" ad waiting to happen, and really should come standard with a wide mug of the stuff (for dipping).

While making a day of it, don't let Point Reyes Station's small size fool you—there's enough entertainment to stay the whole day, and it'll still be cheaper than a visit to the doctor's office.

Cafe Reyes, 11101 Hwy. 1, Pt. Reyes Station. Tues-Sun, Noon-9pm. 415.663.9493.


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