Oyster Pizza at Osteria Stellina, Point Reyes Station, California
11285 Highway 1 Point Reyes Station, CA 94956 (map
Pizza style: California–style
The skinny: Oyster pizza is a slice of the California coast, but try the other pies, too.
Price: 10-inch pies range from $15 to $17
I know what you're thinking. Oyster pizza?! But hear me out: oyster pizza makes sense in Point Reyes Station, which is thisclose to Tomales Bay—the epicenter of California's oyster industry.
The oyster pizza at Osteria Stellina tastes more like a slurp of oyster chowder than a slice of pizza. The center is downright soupy with leeks leeks braised in Straus Family cream, but that's acceptable—luxurious, really.
The local Drake's Bay oysters on top of the pie tasted a little bitter to me, which was odd considering that I had just sucked down six sweet raw ones a few minutes earlier, but I actually enjoyed the bitter contrast to the sweet cream topping. Halfway through my meal, a dreadlocked oyster-delivery guy arrived with a fresh bag of bivalves, still dripping sea water, so I know it wasn't because they weren't fresh.
While the oyster pizza was unusual and quite tasty, I actually preferred the roasted tomato, fontina, mozzarella, basil, and crushed chili pizza. This sauceless pie was sweet from the roasted tomatoes under a rich blanket of browned cheese, and the basil sprinkled on after cooking came on strong and fresh. A heavy dusting of Parmesan on the intersection of crust and cheese blanket added just enough salt.
The California-style pizzas at Osteria Stellina are cooked in a gas oven, and the crust is crunchy and crackly with almost no char. There are typically three daily pizza offerings to choose from. The prices are commensurate with all the restaurants in this touristy little burg, but the quality is much higher than most.