birthday dinner for mom in San Rafael or Novato?
It's her 89th birthday, and the parents do like to have a nice dinner. I see mixed reviews on Chalet Basque, Vin Antico. L’Appart Resto not open on Tuesdays. Opinions please?
I think Il Davide would be lovely for a birthday dinner. I've only been there once but I loved my gnudi and we had a delicious gnocchi appetizer. 89! That's terrific.
Chalet Basque and Hilltop Cafe both have that white-tablecloth, crystal goblet, we're going to someplace nice for a special celebration ambience.
I've had good meals lately at the Left Bank in Larkspur, which has definitely improved in the last couple of years. There is a quieter area in the back that you could probably reserve. Fabrizio's nearby can be quite good, and serving older clientele seems to be one of their specialties.
Some people like Insalata's in San Anselmo a lot, but I was underwhelmed with both food and service, and haven't returned. Picco (Larkspur) might be an option. I've never been to Marche aux Fleurs in Ross, but have heard a couple good reports.
I haven't been in about a year, but had a great experience at Murray Circle at Cavallo Point for an anniversary dinner. It was upscale but comfortable, and the views are gorgeous. It is a very nice place to bring parents.
Chalet Basque is hit and miss -- I would not consider it upscale compared to the other restaurants I mentioned, it is more comfortable and homey.
Just noticed you were specifically asking for Novato and SR, but since you mentioned L'Appart Resto as an option had it been open I'll leave my other suggestions in the post.
Whatever you choose, have a wonderful time!