Great Dinner at Le Garage - Sausalito
Each year we bring in our sales team into CA for a two day meeting, and this year we holed up at Cavallo Point (which was great) Murray Circle handled the catering and the food was super, as was the service of the catering staff – perhaps I’ll review that later.
Our second night we did a book-out at Le Garage at Schoonmaker Point and really had an outstanding experience.
The restaurant is in a pseudo-industrial sort of space at the marina there, and boasts a roll-up door (which the weather prohibited us from using) opening onto to boats bobbing in the water. The staff wears mechanic’s shirts. Outside of that, it’s pure French – the staff, the wine , and the food!
For our group of 30, the chef, Olivier, proposed a menu comprised of an amuse, a choice of 4 first courses, a choice of 2 second courses, 4 mains, and 3 desserts.
Our rather rowdy group happy to be done with a 9 hour meeting milled around for an hour drinking a few glasses of wine.
The wait staff was first class, pulling off friendly, professional service in spite of the cacophony that was us. When I was able to convince everyone to have a seat the food began to arrive
Amuse – One perfect fried shrimp, with a brushstroke of cilantro avocado aioli across the plate. Sweet and fresh, it was the best bite of seafood I’d had in some time, and perfect with a glass of a mysterious white from Penedes. It did its job of firing up our appetites
First Course – Lobster Ravioli with Sauce Americaine. One very large, loosely constructed ravioli, filled with chunky sweet lobster, sitting atop the sort of sauce only the French can put together – rich, buttery, and tasting intensely of lobster. This was absolutely spectacular. There were quite a few wines running around the table, and as it happened the one stopped in front of me was a Louis Latour Pouilly Fuisse, as all of their wines are it was clean and focused, if maybe a bit simple. It let the lobster show its stuff – all the better. Other choices included a Torchon of Foie Gras (tasted my neighbors – wow!) a Voul a vent with sweetbreads, truffles and chestnuts which looked great and got rave reviews, and a vegetarian Mille-feuille with porcini and a pea coulis (didn’t see one of these)
Second Course -Russet potato and peppercress soup with Roquefort and crispy prosciutto or Arugula salad with extra virgin olive oil, Meyer lemon and garlic croutons. I tasted both of these - presentation of the soup was beautiful, handsome china , garnish etc. Salad was properly dressed, and greens sparkling fresh.
Main Course - Beef Tenderloin served with a potato-parsnip gratin, and a marchand de vins sauce. This was a perfect piece of meat, and the gratin was excellent. Went great with a 2005 Vieux Telegraph (out of Magnum), and a few other reds floating around. Other options included Sea bass with sunchoke purée, Hedghogs, brussels sprouts, baby amaranth & a caviar champagne beurre blanc, or roasted quail stuffed with chard, piquillo peppers and pine nuts. Sadly I didn’t get to taste the latter two – no one was motivated to share!
By dessert, our group had left their chairs and were milling around, so the staff asked about how to serve – we decided to spread an assortment of all of the around the tables and let people grab what they wanted – the strategy worked well, because I got to taste them all. Pear and chocolate tart was a grand slam, Isle flottant a nostalgic walk down memory lane, and espresso pots de crème with a financier on the side delicious .
All of those in attendance work in the wine industry have been to countless restaurants in the course of work. Everyone, and I do mean everyone raved about this dinner . This was four-star cuisine in a fun, casual atmosphere, served forth by a warm and talented wait staff, overseen by co-owner Bruno – a real pro
I highly recommend Le Garage, and can’t wait to go back
Those of you in Sausalito are lucky indeed.
85 Liberty Ship Way Ste 109, Sausalito, CA
Thanks for this report! I have only been to Le Garage for brunch, but truly enjoyed myself. I subsequently sent a friend there with his mom because they wanted to be slightly off the beaten track, and they really loved it as well. Casual, friendly location and service, with superb food at decent prices. Sausalito residents are lucky indeed.
I've had two great lunches at Le Garage and last night had dinner with two visiting friends who have eaten at a lot of very good restaurants. We turned it into a five course (2 apps and three entrees) tasting dinner, each item served separately in time, and everything was superb, all in a fun (if noisy) casual atmosphere. We had a bottle of Peachy Canyon Zin and two 500ml decanters of their house red and white. Total including tax and 20% tip was $190 and absolutely worth it. Of course you can get out for a lot less by not indulging like we did. This is a fun place with stunning food and service at a very fair price.
I left the specific items we had for last because my opinion is that you really don't need to read that. This is a place that whatever on the menu appeals to you will be special. By now I have the mussels on my "must order" list. They come in different versions; I've had two of them and both have been wonderful. That said, here is the five-course tasting menu for three that we put together.
Mussels Bohémien with chorizo, piquillo and organic yellow gypsy peppers, and tomatoes
Dungeness crab stuffed piquillo peppers lightly fried and served with a tomato basil concassée
Pissaladière - French Onion Tart. This isn't on the online menu so I don't have the description.
Polenta - This isn't on the online menu so I don't have the description. It was a soft version, unlike anything I've ever had, and as special as the rest of the food.
Duck Confit served with white emergo beans, chorizo, frisée and poached quince with a pippin apple gastrique