Belcampo - Larkspur
- Robert Lauriston Dec 20, 2012 11:18 AM
Anybody been to this place? Butcher shop and restaurant, has its own farm and slaughterhouse, owned by Anya Fernald of the Slow Food Nation and Eat Real festivals.
They're planning three other locations in the Mission and Southern California.
I've been to popup events they had at Blue Bottle in 2011. The heritage pork was really tasty, esp the bacon. The taste was appreciably different from the Devil's Gulch pig I sometimes get and it's a treat to have such variety nearby.
re: Pius Avocado III
"the Bay Area ... has yet to welcome a meat temple of its own"?
Ignorant Williamsburg hipster doofus.
Incanto served its first nose-to-tail dinner before any of the NY and LA restaurants mentioned in that article opened.
Cafe Rouge has had its own butcher for over 15 years.
Adesso sells little but its own ~50 varieties of charcuterie.
Oliveto has a meat locker big enough to hang sides of beef:
re: Robert Lauriston
There is also a feature in the January 2013 Food & Wine magazine about Anya Fernald and her various enterprises. Looks like she is on a big PR push right now.
Agree that the Bay Area is blessed with more than it's fair share of great places for fine meat. So I don't see what is new about this place.
I might be in the north bay this coming weekend, so maybe I will have a look.
It was right before the holidays and my plan was to stop by and get something from the "grab and go" section of premade sandwiches. However, when I arrived I was told that they stopped premaking sandwiches because the quality did not hold up throughout the day. So if I wanted to get something to go I could order from the made to order menu. The made to order menu only had about 6 items (not including sides and salads) and none were really meant to eat out. The only two sandwiches were French Dip and hamburger which both would be better suited eating in. I hoped if they were going to eliminate the "grab and go" option that a couple of items would move to the "made to order" menu to have for people that would like something that travelled better.
The food looked good, the butcher shop was busy but I had no time to sit and eat and had a 30 minute drive to my next destination so will have to stop by again when I have more time.
I stopped into Belcampo today, but not at a time for me to eat so I just looked around. I saw some good sodas in the cooler, including Abita Root Beer. I'll definitely have lunch there sometime soon. In case anyone isn't clear where it is, it's in Larkspur Landing, now officially named Marin County Mart but I don't know anyone who calls it that.
A few photos (no food yet).
re: Malcolm Ruthven
Today I had lunch at Belcampo. I had the Smoked Pork Loin & Honey-Mustard ($13). It was a plate with what seemed to me to be pan-fried thin slices of pork with the honey mustard sauce, and a side salad of ingredients that I can't name (but you may recognize from the photo). It all looked great, but it just didn't work for me. The sauce was too sweet, the pork didn't have much flavor (maybe because of the sauce), the slices were somewhat tough, and the salad didn't have much flavor. I'm not giving up on the place; I think they're trying to do a good thing and others may well have liked that item much more than I did. Try the place for yourself and see what you think.
I had their birria several weekends ago...
And it was quite nice... Tender pieces of lamb in a spicey (well, not too spicey to me ^^) broth with onions and cilantro atop, but they really should give you something to accompany it... Like tortillas...
I have not eaten at Belcampo but shortly after they opened went in to check the butcher counter. Was disappointed enough by what I saw not to buy: meat looked somewhat dry, not well cut, chops quite small in size, and prices very high. Has anyone tried their meats? I intend to sometime but compared to Cafe Rouge in Berkeley or Marin's Woodlands Market meat counter (which has Marin Sun, Niman and Five Dot Ranch meats and good butchers) it looked like a bad quality to price ratio.
Two weeks ago I stopped by for the first time on my way north. It's been a couple years since my last foray to Larkspur Landing and, my oh my, it has changed as Marin Country Mart.
I bought English cut short ribs ($12/lb) at the butcher's counter. Belcampo beef is Wagyu-Angus cross and dry aged 21 days. I do agree that some of the cuts looks rather "rustic". I oven-seared the short ribs at 450 degrees to brown them, then baked overnight at 190F in half a bottle of zinfandel with herbs and mirepoix. In the morning they were meltingly tender and the house smelled like the richest, cleanest beef imaginable.
Short ribs may not be the best indicator to judge flavor, especially when cooked in this way, but I would certainly buy here again. $36 worth of short ribs was enough for dinner for two, so a splurge.
I did see a gorgeous whole brisket in the case. There may be more uncommon cuts at other times, since the whole animal is butchered here.
On the way out, I grabbed a hot dog, $4, from the kids menu. Delicious in its assertive spicing and a touch more smoke than the norm, the hot dog has a little bit of coarseness to it, not emulsified smoothness. It was griddled, giving it a crisp initial bite, and it popped with juiciness. Excellent light-textured bun of a pan de mie-like bread, cut down on the sides and slit across the top, then toasted in butter to approximate a New England style bun. It came with a side of ketchup . . . I went back inside to ask for mustard. The ketchup was dominated by cinnamon spice and I didn't like it very much. Mustard was a Dijon-style.
Los Angeles is pretty excited about the burger.
P.S. I was told that the San Francisco location, on Pacific @ Polk across from the Jug Shop, would be opening in two weeks. Any day now.
re: Melanie Wong
Welll, a bit too much of a splurge for me. I am glad that the withering of Larkspur Landing Mall has morphed into the more pleasant, more serviceable Marin Country Mart (its own Saturday Farmers Mkt, Veronica Salazar's El Hurache Loco and very nice locally owned bookstore, for example) but Belcampo seems far to expensive and I would call it more precious than rustic. I like butcher shops with small heaps of meat trim and fat on a slightly bloody butcher block behind the counter. We already got plenty o' that there precious here north of the bridge. Know what I mean?