Sometimes it takes a few tries, but things end up like they were meant to. Take Bootjack Wood Fired. Ged Robertson, who previously owned crowd favorite Small Shed Flatbreads in the same space, and Kyle Swain, who cooked in its Molina incarnation, have teamed up for this new endeavor with a warm, friendly menu they dub “family to table.” While pizza and the famed Alan Scott oven are still the heart of the operation, you can expect different Italian inspired and Northern California produce–centric choices, along with macaroni and cheese, wood-fired half-roasted chicken, beef meatballs and pork ribs.
Mill Valley residents Lara and Gar Truppelli, who’ve taken over the former Balboa Cafe location, are hardly new to the restaurant game: they run the Park Chalet and Beach Chalet in San Francisco and Lake Chalet in Oakland. Gravity Tavern is a family affair, with their kids on staff, while executive chef Michael Baker’s menu evokes both early 1900s elegance and modern-day comfort — think lamb T-bone chops alongside roasted bone marrow brûlée — and a nifty Liquor Locker program lets you purchase a bottled house-created cocktail or in-house barrel-aged whiskey in advance so it’s tagged and ready when you arrive.
Chef Kyle Swain and Mill Valley restaurateur Ged Robertson are also bringing their talents to the Mill Valley Lumber Yard. Swain, an alum of San Francisco’s Jardinière and Saison, continues his focus on locally grown and sustainable fare with a menu including Green Gulch produce and proteins from nearby ranches, fisheries and farms. Lamb ribs, cod ceviche, flank steak and octopus skewers are among the options. A large bar with ample seating, wine on tap and curated beers is sure to be popular, though you’ll also find tables for group dining throughout the airy, rustic space. Stay tuned for an expanded menu, including items that can be enjoyed outside in the courtyard space.
This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition with the headline: “Mill Valley Meals”.