4 Irresistible Desserts From Local Marin Restaurants to Celebrate the Holiday Season

Surviving 2021 calls for a little celebration. Chefs have answered the call with desserts ready to strut their stuff.

Marin

Insalata’s

insalatas

Celebrating 25 years in the restaurant business is no small thing, and chef Heidi Krahling and her team have added a new dessert (and other new items) to celebrate the milestone. Chocolate olive oil mousse rests under a cloche of shredded phyllo that shatters when struck with a fork. A whirlwind swirl of chocolate similarly captures sesame, tahini cream and za’atar sesame crumble for a look that’s so retro-fabulous it’s avant garde.

120 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo; 415.457.7700

Picco

picco

Executive sous chef Celtin Hendrickson-Jones designed the restaurant’s carrot cake with Sicilian Paesano olive oil to give it a luxurious texture and flavor. Warmly spiced with ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice blend, the cake leans savory and is studded with sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds. Cream cheese and Greek yogurt frosting is sprinkled with fresh thyme and marigold petals that gives the dish a sunny outlook, even on the drippiest winter day.

320 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur; 415.924.0300

Farmshop

The Salted Butterscotch Budino may be inspired in equal measure by Italian pudding and Yorkshire treacle, revealing the multi-culti origins of the dish. From the French comes a crispy topper of feuilletine in shades of vanilla and chocolate, while toffee and crème fraîche add layers of buttery flavor to a dish designed to be eaten by the spoonful.

2233 Larkspur Landing, Larkspur; 415.755.6700

Crave

novato crave

The dessert menu is tight at Crave, but each item hits just the right notes. No need to pine for chocolate with the Triple Chocolate Cake. The moist cake is 70% Valrhona chocolate and is slightly bittersweet. Chocolate buttercream adds sweetness while chocolate ganache sauce graces the top and adds chocolatey oomph to the layers. Did I mention “chocolate” enough?

340 Ignacio Blvd, Novato; 415. 883.0901

Want to venture further to satisfy your sweet tooth? Visit SF Bay Better for our guide to the Bay Area’s best desserts.


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Christina MuellerChristina 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 PublishingSunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her child’s school, and supports the Marin Audubon SocietyPEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.