After spending a fun day in Half Moon Bay, we returned to Pescadero for dinner at the over 100 year old Duarte’s Tavern. This may be California’s answer to diner food; for me the menu was full of comfort food.
The layout of the restaurant and bar is eclectic with many small rooms that seemed to have been cobbled together as the restaurant grew. After navigating a maze from the entrance, we were seated at a small table between the bar and the kitchen. It was a high traffic location for a toddler, but we got to see everything going on and more importantly, all the food going by.
The menu will make everyone happy. You can find burgers and fries, pork chops and apple sauce, crab melt or BLT. There is a wide range of seafood cooked a variety of ways. For locavores, there is enough locally grown olallieberries, artichokes and locally caught seafood to ensure you overeat.
We usually eat family style so we can try as much as possible and prefer to eat locally and seasonally. So, for dinner we ordered the artichoke ravioli (warning, it sells out early), choppino (northern California’s answer to chowdah), and cracked Dungeness crab (it was my husband’s last weekend in California and he couldn’t get enough).
The ravioli was so good, I spent the next day searching stores in Pescadero and Half Moon Bay to bring some home. Something about artichokes works so well with cheese (think the classic artichoke dip) but rather than cheese with a little artichoke, this was artichoke with just a touch of cheese. The choppino was messy (red broth + toddler = lots of laundry) but tasty. I really liked that the shellfish absorbed the flavor of the broth without being overcooked and chewy. It’s hard to screw up or improve on fresh Dungeness crab, and our crab tasted very fresh.
But wait, there’s more. Duarte’s has a reputation for tasty, homemade pies. My husband has never met a pie he didn’t like and my daughter is following in his footsteps. I wanted to try their award winning olallieberry pie. After a filling dinner, we decided to share a piece of pie a la mode.
So would I go back? Heck yes and earlier in the day so I can try any more specials that might have sold out.
Learn about other Pescadero Eats.