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Jun 25, 2013 12:58 PM

Barrel House Tavern opens July 1 in Sausalito

I put this here because the article says the chef is Matthew Bousquet, previously executive chef at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville and also an owner of Mirepoix in Windsor, both places held in high regard here.

The location is on the water on the main corner in downtown Sausalito.

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  1. Interesting. The Bousquets left Windsor under some high drama.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Wow, quite the drama. I do look forward to seeing what they come up with in that great, if touristy, Sausalito location.

      Have you been to Mamma Pics recently (I've never been)?

          1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

            October 2011. Then another BBQ operator took over with a new name/concept.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Do we have any reports about that new place? Do you know the name?

              1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                I googled the street address to come up with the name. It's Jaded Toad BBQ & Grill. I've not been there because I've only heard bad news from friends and I've got so many more places to check out.

                In other Sonoma County bbq news, Rasta Dwight's is back.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  The Jaded Toad menu doesn't look interesting to me. I'm not interested in chicken at a bbq place, the only ribs are baby backs (but they can be good), the pulled pork is served on sliders mixed with sauce, and no beef.

                  1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                    I'm not even sure it serves "barbecue". The food sounds like it's broiled or grilled, not smoked low and slow.

    2. I went to Barrel House with a group this weekend.

      The setting is beautiful - having a drink on the back deck with the view of the Golden Gate Bridge is a quintessential Bay Area experience.

      We were a party of nine, seated inside adjacent to a beautiful glassed in fireplace. At one point a busser burned himself on the fireplace, though, so I'm worried it's a safety concern!

      The food was good, but not amazing. They brought some housemade onion crackers and an "apple salsa" when we were seated. The crackers were very flavorful, maybe even too oniony. The salsa just tasted like more onion to me.

      I only tried a small part of the menu:
      -Goat cheese donuts. This was described as a salad with goat cheese, raspberries and beets and small savory donuts. The salad part was true, but it came with two big (nearly the size of cake donuts from a donut shop), plus two or three donuts holes. The donuts were very simple fried dough with very little added flavor. A few bites had some goat cheese in them, but most were plan.
      -Salmon with fig sauce, broccoli rabe and delicate squash - the salmon had a nice crispy skin. All the favors were good, but there was just a bite of fig and a bite of squash. Great dish, but easy to make at home.
      -Sole with panko and anchovy. This was a nice delicate fish with a salty and tangy sauce. It came with some nice roasted broccoli and Tokyo turnips and onions. The fish was not nearly as crispy as it should have been.
      -Crème brulee - exactly what you'd expect, super standard, nicely executed
      -Chocolate bread pudding - I only ate a bite. It was served in a mason jar with ice cream and whipped cream on top. It was basically crumbled up bread pudding. I don't think that a jar is the best format for this dessert, but everyone thought it was cute.

      Others at my table had dishes that I did not try - pork belly and swordfish with white beans (some thought it was very rich but fantastic, one was a bit underwhelmed), trout with olives and fingerlings (again, one thought it was fantastic, another thought it was just good), butternut squash risotto (seemed very good), spinach salad with fried oysters, chicken with mashed potatoes and bacon (gigantic portion, was told it was very flavorful), crab sliders (well liked), various beers and wines and housemade sodas (again served in mason jars).

      Service was nice and accommodating. The server spent quite a while telling us about the restaurant, chef, etc. They happily split a few entrees. We pretty much shut the place down just after 10 pm. They ran out of a dessert (butterscotch pudding) after we'd ordered it, and also ran out of the salted caramel ice cream which was supposed to accompany the chocolate bread pudding (they subbed vanilla).

      I would definitely return for the location and view, and the food is just fine as well.

      1. Hmmm, Matthew Bousquet seems to have moved on, wonder where he is now. The chef page on the website has been removed. Opentable shows Rick Richardson as chef.

        ETA: Chef Bousquet is in San Francisco at Per Diem,