So our trip itinerary may be changing from 3 nights in San Fran to 3 nights in Tiburon. We've eaten at Sam's Anchor Cafe many times in the past almost 20 years and are wondering how things are since they reopened after the fire. Also, any other recs for best places to eat in Tiburon? We might also hop over to Sausalito, so recs for there are also appreciated. Views are great, but great food at reasonable prices is the main goal! (B, L and Dinner!)
Thanks for the recs. Here's what we did:
Sunday afternoon. After not eating since the very early am on our travel day, we arrived in Tiburon and were famished! Sam’s had a 45 minute wait (and the staff was quite rude I might add), so we opted for Servino’s instead. The hostess was warm and welcoming and arranged for a great table with views/in the shade for us. Our waiter was prompt and friendly as well. My husband had their omelet of the day – ham/sun dried tomato/mozarrella/spinach. He said it was light and flavorful – a perfect choice. Fresh strawberries and gently crispy potatoes created a beautiful plate presentation. I needed a stick to your ribs type of meal so chose the gorgonzola/pancetta gnocchi. At first glance, the presentation was lovely. The sauce was thick and well balanced. Crispy pancetta bits broke up the heaviness. When digging in though, the gnocchi themselves were grey (not appetizing to look at – but thankfully coated in the sauce). They were not pillowy, but dense. I do happen to prefer them a little on the denser side, so still enjoyed them. Had I not been completely famished, I might have been more disappointed! I had an Angelino martini. It was incredibly unique and worth a try, though not something I would imagine wanting again and again. Overall, great view, friendly staff and good food. 3 drinks, 2 entrees - $69 before tip.
Tuesday evening – Dinner at Cottage Eatery, Tiburon. GREAT little place. Worth the entire buzz it’s getting. It’s small, but warm. The owner said they’ve been open 7 months now and are still trying to get a handle on the flow (apparently with kids all going back to school, weekday traffic seemed to slow for the week). When we first came in, we did have a table with 2 very young children next to us (yes- screaming), but they settled down and it didn’t land up deterring from the total experience. I had the best meal of the trip here. The amuse bouche was fantastic – little glasses of potato leek soup with onion focaccia bread and a garlic/bean spread. I’m normally not a fan of the texture of beans. This spread was delicious though! The tagliattelli with pork ragu and pecorino was nothing short of amazing. The fresh noodles melted in my mouth. They were coated perfectly as true Italians would have it – not over sauced. The depth of flavor was subtle and intense at the same time, perfectly balanced. I only wish the bowl was twice the size it was! My husband had the sirloin which he said was very tasty. The portion size was very small though - fine for him - but might not have been enough for a typically hungry guy! We split a piece of homemade peach pie with homemade vanilla bean ice cream. The ice cream was beautiful! The pie was good. I was partial to my mom’s pie, so the Cottage Eatery’s crust did not compare (theirs was not so flaky and somewhat doughy tasting). The peaches were flavorful, but cut in bits instead of slices. Not too sweet though which was nice. I would gladly return again! Bottle of wine, 2 entrees and 1 dessert was $120 before tax/tip. Warm intimate décor, GREAT service and GREAT food.
Wednesday lunch – heading on the road, so just got sandwiches to go at Café Acri in Tiburon. My grilled cheese with pesto on baguette was flavorful, though the cheese was not completely melted. My husband’s turkey/artichoke was very good. Large size sandwiches – I was unable to finish mine. Not amazing, but not bad for under $20.
Here's the permalink to your excellent trip report
in the "Dream SF/Sonoma/Napa Itinerary for a Budget-Minded Foodie" thread, which will save us from duplicate postings. You can use that as a pointer to the report and not cut and paste the text repeatedly.
re: Melanie Wong
The permalink goes directly to your specific posting of Sep 15, 2008 09:25AM within that thread. However, it includes that entire post and not just the Tiburon portion. While the entire discussion thread is lengthy, your specific post within the thread isn't too long for an interested reader.
I'm a local and I think Cottage Eatery is very good. It's not at all Salvadoran/Mexican as another responder said, but instead, very California, very fresh well executed food. I think it's excellent and it got a great review recently in the Chronicle. I love Picco in Larkspur. Their Pizzeria open for lunch and dinner on the weekends is thin crusted and fabulous. The Picco Restaurant is open for dinner every night and it's creative, eclectic and delicious. Fish, Sushi Ran, as well as Poggio in Sausalito are also first rate. Sam's is still the same. If you liked it then, you'd like it now.
Will you have a car?
A really nice Marinc County blog called 'Anna's Cool Finds' has lots of Marin county reviews with photos. . Click on the Tiberon and Sausalito links
Here's a list of what is in the Places Database
Cottage Eatery is a Salvadoran/Mexican place that has had lots of good mentions. I haven't tried it yet but it is high on my list
Sweden House is still there. Haven't been there is a while. Other than the princess cake, the food is average, but I always liked sitting on the deck for breakfast.
Guyamas from what I have read is a way over-priced and under-flavored restaurant, the main feature is the view.
You can change the search critera in the Places link to Sausalito.
One place that is new, great, but not really cheap is Murray Circle. A breakfast buffet is served daily from 7-10 the big feature are the baked goods, especially the croissants which are the best I've ever had. It also has a nice bar menu that isn't too pricy. The nice thing is to sit outside on the veranda watching the boats on the bay.
I had some wonderful old-fashioned American pie at an small mom and pop Indian restaurant in Sausalito called Sartaj India Cafe . They have some interesting breakfasts.
Fish is very good. It is very casual with picnic tables outside overlooking a marina. However it is pricy and only takes cash.
Le Garage is new and I want to try it based on some very positive mentions around the web.
If you have a car, let me know how far you want to drive and I'll offer some suggestions for nearby towns. Hope you report back, wherever you wind up.
Thanks so much! I read great things about cottage and plan to go there for sure! Le Garage is on the list too. Guyamas was one we did years ago and vowed never to repeat that mistake! No one has mentioned anything about Sam's since the fire/reopening. Have you heard anything?
We will have a car and don't have real set plans. So ANY recs for areas within driving distance are appreciated. I plan to certainly post my experiences when I get back from the trip. Thanks again to all who have helped!
>Cottage Eatery is a Salvadoran/Mexican place<
Nope. Cottage Eatery is in the location of Virapan's Tiburon Thai, the next to present incarnation of that location. Cottage Eatery's food is as described in other posts here (I've never eaten there, just seen it). The Salvadoran/Mexican place nearby is Poncho's Casa Manana at 110 Main St. I've liked it the few times I've been there.
On the way to Sausalito taking the MV-Stinson Beach turnoff there's Frantoio (dinner only), great for a drink and a pizza or dinner if the menu looks good. In Sausalito there's Fish. for a casual lunch on one of their picnic tables (weather permitting) or Sushi Ran off the beaten path a bit (on Caledonia) for terrific Japanese food. Lots more you'll be hearing about. Have fun and enjoy your Marin stay!