The dining room at the Olema. Photo courtesy UrbanDaddy.
As previously reported on tablehopper, Margaret Grade and Daniel DeLong of ~MANKA’S~ (music alert) purchased the former Olema Inn last year, with plans to reopen the former roadhouse in their own style. Well, they’ve renamed it simply ~THE OLEMA~ and opened their doors on Thursday February 21st, with a new menu and a new paint job. The 1876 roadhouse has been “roughed up,” according to DeLong, who says the pair was initially worried the grand old Victorian house would feel “too pretty.” Rather than formalize it, they’ve tried to make it feel more like a joint on the road where you’d stop after a day at the beach or a long hike. The exterior has been repainted a deep gray, and UrbanDaddy has a slide show with the new interior.
The menu was kept pretty simple, with a focus on, as DeLong says, “things I’d like to eat.” Everything is available à la carte, and designed for sharing. They’ve got a “bouillabaisse” made with fresh garden vegetables instead of fish, a “faux gras” duck liver mousse with Pt. Reyes plum preserves, and—in keeping with the tradition of oysters on the menu—there are oyster shooters with a jelly of oyster juice, for maximum oyster flavor. The prices are approachable, with appetizers around $10-$12 and entrées at the $20 mark. Most of the wines are from Marin County, with a few farther-flung choices here and there. Eventually, they hope to add a spit to the fireplace for roasting meats and an herb garden to the large field that surrounds the main house. For now, they’re open for dinner Thu-Sun at 5:30pm, with plans to expand the hours once they get going. 10000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Olema, 415-663-9559.