By Zach Chouteau
The road to Nobilis—a new Richmond restaurant in Point San Pablo Harbor—is bumpy and filled with its fair share of twists and turns. But the payoff for weathering the wild ride is well worth it, given the delicious eats, extraordinary waterfront views and friendly people that await you.
The ‘Rich Life’ segment recently visited the eatery with a small group on a weekday afternoon for lunch. Nobilis exceeded expectations at every turn, starting with a warm greeting inside at the counter where we ordered our food. We found a table on the attractive outdoor deck amongst a robust clientele and enjoyed the glistening waterfront views while we awaited our food.
Touted on its menu by its owners—husband and wife duo Victoria Rowley and Chef Todd Corboy—as a “finer diner,” Nobilis lived up to its tagline and then some.
Our party ordered the North Coast Clam Chowder with bay spiced crouton and parsley oil, Fried Chicken Sandwich with pickled red onion and “jalapeno business,” a Caesar Salad with fried chicken and anchovies and a Pile of House Fries with herbs and aioli.
One member of our crew, a visiting East Coaster particular about her chowder, raved about Nobilis’ version, which was a lighter New England style. There was a similar favorable reaction from those who noshed on the salads and sandwiches.
For dessert, everyone shared Melodies Peach Cobbler, a flavorful combination of fresh, warm peaches encased in a sugary crumble and topped with vanilla ice cream. This dish was a crowd pleaser for sure, with everyone remarking they would order it again on a return visit.
According to Chef Todd Corboy, Nobilis has been doing “very well” since it’s opening July 7.
“Opening weekend was a smashing success,” he added. “We did around 300 people on Saturday and close to 200 on Sunday. We’re not doing those numbers anymore…but every day has been very steady, very good with lots of repeat customers already, which is awesome.”
Chef Corboy’s lunch menu, a Spartan but delicious array of so-called “smalls” (appetizers/sides), “sandos,” (sandwiches/burger) and salads, is what he calls “an homage to what this location has always been: a diner on the waterfront.
“In its early iterations it was a greasy spoon diner called the Galley Café, serving bacon and eggs in the morning and burgers and beer in the afternoon to a really thriving fishing community that would come in and out of the harbor every day,” he continued. “So when I was looking for ideas on what to do to breathe life into this space again, I really wanted to treat that memory right and to really do elevated diner food.”
And what does Chef Corboy have to say about Nobilis’ location? “It’s out here,” he said, “but that’s part of the draw. It’s out of the way, it’s out of the ordinary, it’s in this beautiful location looking across San Pablo Bay…There’s nothing else like this in the Bay Area, in my opinion.”
Nobilis serves lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wed.-Fri. and brunch Sat. and Sun. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Visit www.nobilis-restaurant.com for more info.