Sophistication, quality, and attention to detail define a fine dining experience. From artfully constructed small plates packed with flavor, craft cocktails, and incredibly knowledgeable and attentive servers, these nights out are always a treat. The 2023 readers’ choice Best of the County winner is Madcap (pictured above). For the rest of the Marin Magazine‘s Best of Marin County Fine Dining picks see below.
Our 2023 Dining category sponsor is Rodney Strong.
Because there are so many great ones, we’ve broken it down by region: Southern and Central Marin.
Oysters Bingo, baby back ribs, and chili-lime “brick” chicken are a few of the satisfying comfort-food menu items that have made this classic roadhouse a favorite since the ’30s. The warm dark-wood bar with red leather booths is a popular spot for cocktails, conversations or a light meal. Heated patio seating offers a moments respite with a fresh espresso and breakfast burrito from the weekday Buckeye Joe Coffee Kiosk out front.
15 Shoreline Hwy, Mill Valley, 415.331.2600
A party lounge and restaurant from chef Michael Mina boasts epic views and a menu of seasonal California fare executed by chef Harrison Chernick — crispy Liberty duck wings glazed with Grand Marnier and black pepper, garganelli Bolognese, jalapeño shrimp toast — at night. Brunch cocktails pair with sweet potato pancakes and hot chicken and waffles on weekends while the upstairs lounge boasts late-night service (until 12 a.m.), a billiards table, a gas-powered fireplace, and a live DJ on weekends.
5 Main St, Tiburon, 415.366.4088
Tiburon resident and 20 year-old CEO Nikita Khandheria plans to open a U.S. outpost of the India-based restaurant group. Perched above The Trident on Sausalito’s expansive waterfront, the restaurant’s interior design from Petaluma’s Maureen Kelsey includes stone table tops, velvet chairs, hand-woven wall coverings, and glass accents in an understated palette. Perched above The Trident on Sausalito’s expansive waterfront, the restaurant’s interior design includes stone tabletops, velvet chairs, hand-woven wall coverings, and glass accents in an understated palette. Perched above The Trident on Sausalito’s expansive waterfront, the restaurant’s interior design includes stone tabletops, velvet chairs, hand-woven wall coverings, and glass accents in an understated palette. The European-Asian fusion menu — both prix-fixe and a la carte — from chef Cody Buchholz features dishes like miso Chilean sea bass and imperial Wagyu strip loin, with an expansive wine program from wine director Marco Buffa and bar program by the in-house mixologist, Alvaro Calle. A late night bar program is also in the works.
562 Bridgeway, Sausalito, 415.758.8762
Executive chef Renzo Azzarello serves Sicilian seafood and homemade pastas with a Californian touch. The seasonal menu incorporates fresh and organic produce, local naturally grown meat and poultry from small farms. The restaurant complies with Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, so all the seafood is sustainable. A recent expansion tripled the size of the patio to accommodate more diners. In 2014, diners voted Luna Blu one of the Top 100 Neighborhood Gem restaurants in America.
35 Main St, Tiburon, 415.789.5844
Enhanced bay views from every seat are just one of many charms after an extensive remodel reworked the entire space. The revamped menu of well-crafted comfort food from land (bone-in filet mignon, French onion omelet) and sea (gnocchi with crab, abalone dore) options features classic cocktails and a wine list that leans towards American, Italian and French bottlings.
2000 Paradise Dr, Tiburon, 415.435.3400
This authentically Parisian-style brasserie by Chef Roland Passot has been serving the Larkspur community for more than two decades. Whether on the patio, at the European-style bar or in the casually elegant main dining room with a huge fireplace, it’s a fun and French downtown experience. An all-day menu features authentic French cuisine utilizing seasonal, local and organic ingredients, along with an extensive cocktail menu, a wide range of beer options, and an expertly-curated wine selection.
507 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, 415.927.3331
The sleek aesthetic — cool gray concrete walls, dark woods and plush banquettes — remains the same for the 2021 Michelin one star restaurant, but chef Ron Siegel and wife Kimberly Siegel, who runs the front of the house, have streamlined the menu of Japanese-inflected dishes. That means a single tasting menu that hews to the seasons and understated, ever-present service.
198 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo; 415.453.989