Finally! Dungeness crabbers are now out in full force and these sweet, delicious little crustaceans are ready for your table. That means you can make a Sunday trip to Bodega Bay to grab the freshest creatures that have gone from crab pot to boiling pot in a matter of hours. Not days. Or even worse, weeks or months in a freezer.
It’s worth the journey to the coast not just for fresh crab but for all the tasty goodness along the way, and to directly support fishermen (and women) who have been hit hard by the long delay to crab season.
Bite Club spent most of Sunday afternoon winding our way around the area, eating some pretty dang good seafood. Here’s what you can’t miss.
Hello to my new favorite Dungeness crab sandwich. Though I usually prefer a soft roll with crab meat nestled within, Ginochio’s buttery, griddled slices of white bread hold huge chunks of freshly picked crab and a slice of melted cheese. It’s a messy affair and resplendently rich, so you could probably split one with a friend or take some home for later, especially since the chowder here is required. We love the soft scallops and clams dotted throughout the chowder, and the big plus is that seafood outweighs potatoes. It’s one of the best chowders on the coast. Next time we’ll definitely try the caramel bacon monkey bread. Plus, they have some great wines, beer and cider, including Claypool Cellars, that are hard to find elsewhere. 1410 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay, 707-377-4359.
Anello Family Crab and Seafood
Follow the bright orange crab signs to this dock-to-table family crabbing operation. Though we usually hit up Spud Point first, we decided to try this restaurant pop-up and crab boil instead. Giant live crabs are pulled out of the tank and immediately cooked and put on ice. We’ve never had a crab this fresh, sweet and delicious, ever. Ever. Cooked crab runs for about $12.50 a pound, which isn’t the cheapest, but it’s worth every penny. After a giant crab sandwich, we weren’t hungry for their hot food, but a take-out window serves chowder, sandwiches and more. Weekends only. 1820 Westshore Road, Bodega Bay, 707-232-8002, anellofamilyseafood.com
Always jammed, always great. A crab sammie on a soft roll and chowder comes with plenty of garlicy goodness. Owned by Tony and Carol Anello. 1910 Westshore Road, Bodega Bay, 707-875-9472.
Barbecue oysters are always my favorite here, but their crab sandwich on toasted ciabatta is another must-have. 1850 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay, 707-377-4238.
Best fish and chips, according to my dad. So there you go. They also have crab cakes, tacos and whole Dungeness crab with melted butter ready for eating. Don’t miss the super-fresh poke and rockfish ceviche. 599 Highway 1 S., Bodega Bay, 707-875-9092.
On the docket for this weekend is Huria’s, best known for their wood-fired Napoletana pizzas that come in flavors so dreamy you’ll have a hard time choosing. Start with the Margherita, the standard of any great pizzaiolo, with simple San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, oregano and olive oil. Move on to the Bodega, with Bechamel sauce, clams, mozzarella and garlic and the Chateau Rouge with Havarti, fresh mozzarella, smoked and caramelized onions, cremini mushrooms, Parmesan and dried herbs with garlic oil. There’s plenty more to love, including house-smoked salmon on sourdough toast, wood-fired butternut squash with ricotta and octopus with caramelized tomato salsa. Takeout only. Inside the Pelican Plaza, 1400 N. Highway 1, Bodega Bay, 707-377-4721.
Now that we’re in the clear for more outdoor dining, stay tuned for even more coastal eating adventures.
By: Heather Irwin