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Marin - Dinner for birthday? Good food, festive.

rln Apr 6, 2008 11:24 PM


My girlfriends and I are looking for a good place for dinner to celebrate a birthday in the Marin area.

A group of us meet from SF, East Bay, Marin and Petaluma so need something in the Marin area which is central.
We just went to Picco and really loved it.

Any ideas? We are thinking of Left Bank. Thank for any ideas!!!

  1. r
    rln Apr 6, 2008 11:25 PM

    Forgot to add a point-- many of the group eat seafood/vegetarian so having those options is important. Thanks!

    1. s
      Sharuf Apr 6, 2008 11:32 PM

      My favorite festive places are:

      -- El Paseo in Mill Valley (country French, despite the name)
      -- Pelican Inn at Muir Beach (16th century English Inn)

      1. a
        annabana Apr 7, 2008 09:32 PM

        Buckeye Roadhouse is still and always really good and they have very tasty fish entres and don't forget the oysters bingo, roasted artichokes and garlic fries. reserve for the dining room where I have seen Sen. Boxer dining several times but really I prefer the bar, the Marinites there bring out the Margaret Mead in me. Bungalow 44 owned by the same team is also good but I prefer Buckeye, both in Mill Valley. Poggio in Sausilito for really good and not generally the same old same old italian food. For one of the best views in the world, but alas only so so food the Spinaker in Sausilito. Farther north but still in central marin, Fork and Insalatas really good food. and nice atmo

        1 Reply
        1. re: annabana
          rln Apr 7, 2008 10:19 PM

          Thank you for all these ideas!! We regularly have lunch in Marin too so can add these to places to try.

        2. d
          DBO Apr 7, 2008 10:29 PM

          I recently had a great dinner at Insalatas. I had forgotten how good it was. Not a lot of vegetarian dishes, but some seafood.

          1. c
            cyleater Apr 8, 2008 08:55 AM

            I second the Buckeye and Bungalow 44 recs. The food, while not top-notch, is reliably good and both have a fun, festive atmosphere. If you go to Bungalow 44, ask to sit in the back patio near the fireplace.

            Another option is Ora in Mill Valley. It's Asian fusion. I've been there plenty of times and liked most everything I've had there.

            3 Replies
            1. re: cyleater
              Mick Ruthven Oct 8, 2008 08:30 PM

              I thought I'd add to this old thread after two of us went to Bungalow 44 tonight. We loved it. Mussels & Frites and Steak Tartare & Frites couldn't have been better. We sat in the bar section, not the fireplace room, and liked that a lot too. I liked the modern bar atmosphere in that room better than the more conservative space with the fireplace. I'm ready to go back and try something else. Oh, the crowd was very mixed-bag (which I like), all ages and types.

              >I second the Buckeye and Bungalow 44 recs. The food, while not top-notch, is reliably good and both have a fun, festive atmosphere. If you go to Bungalow 44, ask to sit in the back patio near the fireplace.<

              1. re: cyleater
                melisky Oct 12, 2008 06:25 PM

                Just like to throw in my two cents about Ora. I ate there for my birthday last year and was disappointed in the food - plated in that fancy 80s California fusion kind of way, but ultimately not very good.

                1. re: melisky
                  Sarah Oct 12, 2008 08:40 PM

                  I think Ora's long gone....

              2. l
                luckygrlllll Apr 8, 2008 11:40 AM

                I third buckeye roadhouse. Everything there is really good and it is fun (for marin)

                1. p
                  porkbunny Apr 8, 2008 11:49 AM

                  i'm a big fan of marche aux fleur in ross. great ambience and wonderful menu.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: porkbunny
                    bubbles4me Apr 8, 2008 11:51 AM

                    We love Marche Aux Fleur...food is solid.

                    1. re: porkbunny
                      MSK Oct 13, 2008 10:21 AM

                      Or you could try their sister restaurant in San Anselmo...AVA

                      They have a large private table in a small back room.

                    2. m
                      Mick Ruthven Apr 9, 2008 10:05 AM

                      I like D'Angelo in Mill Valley (Italian) very much, and I always feel like has a festive atmosphere. Many times there is a large group celebrating something.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Mick Ruthven
                        chowpiggy Oct 12, 2008 08:46 PM

                        I'd like to add Picco in Larkspur, and AVA in san anselmo. Both are good for more veggie and fish options.

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