New concepts from the Speakeasy and Bacon teams come to Novato; Mill Valley lands a salad and bowl restaurant; a long-running San Geronimo restaurant has new owners; RH drops a new store and restaurant in San Francisco; and more openings in Marin and around the Bay.
Featured: Giaco’s Roadhouse
San Geronimo-based Andrew and Susi Giacomini (another branch of the extended Giacomini family ranches and makes cheese in West Marin), regulars at the former Two Bird Café, purchased and renamed the restaurant run by Tony Miceli for the past 40 years. General manager and chef Alejandro Cano will run the restaurant; the Giacomini family’s long history in agriculture and environmental stewardship will guide his menu to focus on seasonally driven, locally sourced and ethically produced food. That means Stemple Creek eggs in a breakfast dish of steak and eggs and Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company toma on a lunch order of grilled cheese. Dinner is served three nights a week, and a to-go picnic basket program is expected to launch soon. To honor great-grandfather Noel’s history as a big band conductor, the Giacominis are planning a local live music program, too. The nearby inn, also purchased by the Giacominis, is currently under restoration and anticipated to open this summer.
625 San Geronimo Valley Dr, San Geronimo
Eat & Drink
Owner and executive chef Munther Massarweh recently took over what was once a seamstress shop next door to The Speakeasy and converted it into what he calls a “piano dining room” to build the attached Boardroom.
“The concept is ‘Prohibition old Chicago,’” he says. A secret library door was built, connecting The Speakeasy and The Boardroom, to drive home the booze on the sly concept. Though there will be lunch at both places, The Speakeasy’s focus remains on the bar, with a tapas-style bites menu (mini street tacos, Marsala-sauteed chicken livers), while The Boardroom offers a full menu for lunch and dinner. In The Boardroom, golden light cascades from shaded chandelier sconces onto a pressed-tin ceiling and dark walls, where Prohibiton-era photos (and plenty of Marilyn Monroe) hang. A piano sits under a photo of Elvis. White linen-covered tables are paired with dark leather chairs and plush carpet. It’s a good match for the classic wedge salad, escargot and herb-crusted filet mignon that anchors the menu. Into this setting, a Fly Me to the Moon or martini cocktail feels apropos, but you can also avail yourself of the expansive wine menu.
504 Alameda Del Prado, Novato; 415.883.7793
Cofounder and CEO Leslie Silverglide has had her eye on Mill Valley for a decade and finally found the right spot to open the latest iteration of her San Francisco-based fast-casual salad, sandwich and bowl restaurant chain; the new outpost is expected in mid-July. “Our local, sustainable ethos aligns well with Mill Valley and Marin,” Silverglide says. An extensive ingredient list and in-house preparations mean a crave-worthy Puebla salad with addictive spiced and roasted sweet potatoes and roasted poblano dressing, or a classic crispy chicken sandwich on a challah bun. The local focus extends to the fired clay tiles and utensil vessels made by Marin-based artists. The entire building was rebuilt to create a walled outdoor courtyard dining space.
590 E Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley
Novato’s San Marin Plaza welcomes the latest culinary offering from owner Tien Lam (Bacon, Pearl), a soft-serve ice cream shop that tilts toward Asian flavors. The menu is expected to expand over time, but for now choose your cone style (waffle or wafer), ice cream (ube, matcha, vanilla or taro), and toppings, ranging from Pocky sticks and mochi rice cakes to matcha powder, fresh mango and sprinkles.
109 San Marin Dr, Novato
With more than 80,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, RH — housed in the historic Bethlehem Steel Building on Pier 70 in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood — opened in mid-May and is the latest architectural takeover by the Marin-based home decorating brand. On the first floor, galleries give way to the Palm Court restaurant, a garden escape reminiscent of a more glamorous age that includes a center fountain, chandeliers and towering date palms. Live-fire cooking is at the heart of a lunch and dinner program in dishes like wood-grilled maitake mushrooms, burgers and carved rotisserie chicken. A wine bar features global selections and an extensive by-the-glass menu. Step up the building’s original grand stair rotunda to find the home galleries — Interiors, Modern and the Atelier — and a rooftop park.
590 20th St, San Francisco; 415.865.0407
Owner Karen Goldberg, who lives in Mill Valley and also owns Tamalpie restaurant, has always loved design. In a bid to share her love of good quality and well-designed products with her Marin community, she opened a furniture, art and homewares consignment store in March. Look for vintage and modern finds and a collection of outdoor furniture, lamps and tableware, too. “Being across from Tamalpie makes it an easy commute,” Goldberg says.
444 Miller Ave, Mill Valley; 415.888.2757
More from Marin:
- Marin’s Cities & Towns: Mill Valley
- 5 Best Places to Get Barbecue in Marin — With a Global Flair
- Stewards of a Historical Gem: How the Sweetwater Music Hall Was Re-invented as a Nonprofit to Preserve a Legendary Venue
Christina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract Publishing, Sunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her childrens’ schools, and supports the Marin Audubon Society, PEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.