New in Town: February
This month's newest eats, drinks, other happenings in and around Marin.
After a complete remodel, Floodwater opened in late 2019 in the space that once housed Frantoio in Mill Valley. The open hearth remains a feature of the main dining room, where TVs high above the room-length bar are large enough to watch the Super Bowl while noshing on chef Michael Siegel’s (Betelnut, Shorty Goldstein’s) tight menu of favorites like Vietnamese chicken wings, Shorty’s Reuben or a pizza. Across the foyer, a separate dining room is TV-free, and a private dining room and lounge with couches offers a more intimate space.
Though the canteen at the Point Bonita YMCA has been open since August, it recently transitioned to Cafe Bonita. The menu of hot coffee, homemade muffins, and turkey and vegan wraps, served from a window in the existing dining hall, is perfect for a post-hike lunch, but be sure and try the chili. It placed second in the 2018 Sausalito Chili Cookoff category of Judges’ Choice.
Hanson of Sonoma Distillery
The Hanson family of Sausalito’s Hanson Gallery of Fine Art launched a new program of vodka tastings in the gallery’s upstairs Tasting Room earlier this year. Made in the Hanson of Sonoma Distillery, the line of six organic vodkas is available to be sampled in cocktails or paired with Napa’s Kollar chocolate truffles or Hanson Caviar sourced exclusively by Regiis Ova from Thomas Keller. A special Valentine’s Day pairing of limited-edition Boysenberry Vodka with Kollar truffles runs from February 8 to 16.
Marin’s own Michael Mina’s has opened Bourbon Pub at Northstar in North Lake Tahoe, giving the apres-ski crowd a new place to gather. In the Village at Northstar, the kitchen, led by executive chef Jon Blackley, turns out hearty entrees (cauliflower steak, double cheeseburger) and lighter fare (avocado hummus, Asian chopped salad) all day and a special aprПs menu of drinks (Mountain Mule) and snacks (Frito pie, wagyu corn dogs).
Shangri-La Organic Kitchen
Honoring past tenants Napoli Pizza & Pasta and Taste of the Himalaya in downtown San Rafael, Shangri-La Organic Kitchen in San Rafael swooped into the longtime restaurant space in late 2019 with a menu that nods to both Italy and Nepal. Placed atop a crispy pizza crust, warmly spiced chicken tikka melds Italian with Indian accents; Nepal, which is cradled by the Himalayas, is the origin of the cute dumplings known as momos, which come in vegetarian, vegan and sweet versions.
Jerk chicken with just the right amount of heat is a menu highlight at Caribbean Spices in San Rafael. A brick-and mortar-outpost of chef-owner Frantz Felix’s food truck of the same name, the downtown restaurant opened in 2019. A native of the Haitian side of the island of Hispaniola, Felix knows his griot (pork bites) from his goat curry and serves it all with the region’s habanero-laced pikliz, a vegetable-based relish. 819 Fourth St.
Lotus Curry House
Surinder Sroa opened a new outpost, Lotus Curry House, in Novato late last summer, and plans are now underway to purchase a San Rafael building that once housed Pizza Orgasmica and move his downtown restaurant Lotus Cuisine of India into that space later this spring. With the building’s bigger footprint, Sroa also wants to open a grocery featuring Indian spices, beans and other regional products. 704 Fourth St.
Fabulous former Marin Magazine intern Sabrina Tuton-Filson moved on to open Closet Case, a virtual decluttering and organizing service for home, office and retail stores. Like a Marie Kondo for the North Bay, Tuton-Filson helps edit your belongings and encourages you to let go of what you no longer use, wear, want or need. She also provides merchandising assistance for storefront window and in-store displays.
Christina, now reformed, once believed that mixing alcohol and coffee was a crime. A long-time BayArea food writer, she hails from the Other 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. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to craft excellent edibles and spend time with her extended family.