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Report: Brick & Bottle in Corte Madera

b
balabanian Jun 17, 2010 10:55 AM

Went to Brick & Bottle in Corte Madera- just opened in the site of the old Izzy's, next door to Book Passage bookstore.

Food: Overall, very tasty, kind of crowd-pleaser food. Not super subtle or elegant, but delicious. Here's what we had:
- duck confit pizza, which had carmelized onions and fontina, it was great, very crispy nice chewy crust, duck was very tender, perfect balance of flavor with the cheese & sweetness of the onions.
- little gems (basically caesar) salad- nice sized portion, very fresh greens, great dressing. delicious.
-halibut with spring vegetable mix and bread crumbs- super tasty, especially for a non-fish lover- very meaty, rich, delicious.
- short rib grilled cheese sandwich & tomato soup- as good as it sounds, though also as heavy and maybe a little bland, i'd like a sharper cheese in it.

Drinks: Great cocktail menu (most $9), well-made drinks, good beer & wine list.

Atmosphere: A lot of outdoor seating- some tables, some more loungey- overlooks the parking lot, but otherwise nice. Indoors feels very lively- bar on the left as you walk in with ample seating at the bar and lots of tall bar tables. We were there at 6:30 and it was packed. The rest of the space sort of rambles through a few different rooms, some light filled and modern, the one we were seated in was in the back, dark and sort of clubby feeling. I think it would be a fine place to bring kids, particularly the outdoor seating.

Service: Was a little slow, and a little confused. But not rude or unconcerned, and since they just opened i'm not going to pass judgement on that yet.

All in all good, tasty, good value, good addition to the southern Marin options.

Anyone else been there?

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Brick and Bottle
55 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA 94925

  1. t
    tomatoaday Jun 17, 2010 02:30 PM

    We went for lunch today. Shared a pizza to start, big size - 10" or 11" with an excellent crust. Thin, crunchy outside, tender in, nice dryness. Fresh mozz, wild mushrooms and carmelized onions to add sweetness. Really good. $12. One of us had the sandwich combo above and I ditto all comments, including the sharper cheese. Gooey, rich, buttery - the fries were too much, I would order greens to counter act all that decadence. $10. I had the La Quierca ham, nectarines and arugula. The ham, an American cross between prosciutto and jamon was sweet, salty, sticky, soft and rich. Sliced thicker than prosciutto, with the sides it was a terrific light lunch. My only quibble would be putting the slightly underripe fruit slices directly on the meat. I would have preferred to mix the flavors of fruit, meat, arugula and crostini myself. $12. Not an every day place for lunch but good for a relaxed, quiet lunch.

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    Brick and Bottle
    55 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA 94925

    1. s
      sfgf Jun 18, 2010 11:24 PM

      Loved this place! Went in with a group of girlfriends for dinner the other night. Great cocktails, fabulous menu, sweet staff, fun, much needed spot in Marin County! We shared a bunch of pizzas, really good crab cakes, several salads (love the little gems with the super anchovy dressing!), and a really good steak. All of the food was prepared well, tasted delicious, and was very fresh. Nice wine list with lots of California options that I hadn't seen elsewhere. Charming manager who came around to talk to our table, very attentive. Love that the restaurant is open all day too, a perfect place to stop for a late lunch or happy hour.

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      Brick and Bottle
      55 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA 94925

      1. a
        alfairfax Jun 19, 2010 08:16 AM

        I enjoyed dining at Brick and Bottle with family on its 11th day. Mostly I was curious about what Scott Howard might be up to on his return to Marin, having enjoyed his food at the old Fork in San Anselmo and at Scott Howard in SF. It seemed clear to me that what Howard was up to was presenting Marin diners with cuisine previously proven successful here in the quiet hill country. Nothing cutting edge, no cute presentations, but really well-done hearty fare which reminded me of the original Lark Creek Inn menu or perhaps Buckeye Roadhouse. We had the little gem salad as mentioned by others, we had a wonderful rich soup, flavorful short ribs, panna cotta for dessert. All well done and crowd pleasing--and the crowd seemed to love it. Very busy when we got there at 6 on a Saturday, emptying out when we left around 8. Typical for dining out on a Marin Saturday, so its smart for B & B to be open days.
        Saving the best for last: really great french fries.

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        Buckeye Roadhouse
        15 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, CA 94941

        Brick and Bottle
        55 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA 94925

        1. b
          balabanian Jun 29, 2010 10:59 AM

          Went again so I'll add notes on new things I tried:
          - Pimento Cheeseburger- this came with a really tasty, sweet chili on it too. Very delicious, very very rich & messy. I love this kind of thing, but it was almost too rich/goopy even for me. Then again, I ate the whole thing. And it came with homemade potato chips (thick cut, delicious although would have been better if they were warm) with onion dip.
          - Crab Cakes- these were good, but not special. They were fried in a thickish crust, too thick & greasy for my taste, overwhelmed the delicacy of the crab.
          - Roasted Beet Salad- this was delicious, ample portion, perfectly cooked beets, nice greens.
          - Buttermilk pannacotta with basil strawberries- delicious, in the way that pannacotta always is, nothing particularly inventive or special.
          - We also had the duck confit pizza again and it was great again.
          - Preston Rhone Blend on tap (!) $6/glass, $18 for 500 ml carafe- very tasty

          My husband's comment about the food was "This is like food I'd make" which is a good thing (he makes very reliably tasty hearty food), but also a criticism (it's not so surprising/unusual). That said, we really enjoyed the meal and the service was very good this time.

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          Brick and Bottle
          55 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA 94925

          1. MSK Jul 6, 2010 01:18 PM

            I went back to B & B last night and although I should have taste tested other menu items to develop a good review, I could not resist ordering the same item I had the first time.

            The Petrale Sole is not something I would usually order but a waiter I have followed from many a Marin establishment could not recommend it highly enough. It was so good I had to order it again last night . Pan seared just right with a hint of outer crunch. Over crabmeat and mashed potatoes with a beurre blanc that had the perfect amount of lemon added. Asparagus added color, texture and vitamins for sure.

            Dining partners had the Lamb T bone which had them saying yum, yum. Israeli couscous side was colorful and a great accent to the richness of the lamb.

            Started with the steamed clams with a great broth (that had us using up more bread for dipping than we should have consumed) and the beet salad.

            They also loved the beer choices on tap. I loved seeing that corkage is only $5.

            Desert options did not wow us and the brownie, although good, was not spectacular.

            Service both times was outstanding.

            All in all, a great addition to the Marin dining options. Welcome back Scott!

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            Brick and Bottle
            55 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA 94925

            1. m
              Mick Ruthven Aug 14, 2010 10:00 PM

              A friend and I went there tonight. We split a beet salad (very good), the ricotta ravioli (also very good), and the Petrale Sole. We both thought the whole sole presentation was tasty and we ate it all, but (1) the serving of the sole itself was very small and (2) the crabmeat was pretty much undetectable. I wouldn't order the sole again.

              The physical place was like a dimly-lit barn (maybe an exaggeration but not by much) and neither one of us liked it. This place will not be on my go-back list except possibly to eat something at the bar.

              1. d
                dunstable Feb 3, 2014 08:01 AM

                Scott Howard has apparently moved to Los Angeles, and has been replaced by Bob Simontacchi, per Inside Scoop.

                I was actually quite a fan of his eponymous restaurant, but I thought Brick and Bottle, while perfectly fine, was sort of dull (and no carrot soup on the menu!). Well, good luck to him in LA, then.

                1 Reply
                1. re: dunstable
                  MSK Feb 7, 2014 08:57 AM

                  Have to agree based on the last 3 times I visited.

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