Hawk’s Tavern in Mill Valley is quickly approaching their one year anniversary. They started out with a small plate menu but found that their clientele preferred the traditional Starter Entrée Dessert format and recently hired a new Executive Chef Safir Rezzoug to make the change. Don’t let the name Tavern fool you, as this not a Bar but actually a very comfortable and inviting Restaurant with a local neighborhood feel. As you enter, you see that there are three rooms. In the middle is the Bar and Counter Seating with an exhibition kitchen view. There is a Private Dining Room which seats 16 to the right. And the charming main Dining Room is to the left with booths and tables which are nicely space. There is also an intimate heated porch in the front for both dining and drinks. The pleasing décor feature rustic barn wood walls, a two sided fireplace, banquettes, brushed brass lamps, vintage framed maps and faux hawks. The new cuisine created by ultra-talented Chef Safir Rezzoug, a native of France who trained and worked at Michelin Star Restaurants in Paris, features seasonally inspired dishes using locally sourced, organic and sustainable ingredients. He told us how much he enjoys going to the local farmers markets and dealing with local purveyors and having the opportunity to add his flair to the menu.
We were seated in the main dining room and soon had sparkling water and were enjoying their Signature Pretzel with house ground mustard. Our first course was the Vegan Soup of the Day which was a delicious Broccoli Puree with truffle oil topped with micro greens and cornbread sticks. This delicious soup with a glass of wine could be a meal by itself! The Starters that we had were both magnificent! The Summer Bruschetta made with tomato chutney, burrata, oven baked sweet cherry tomatoes and salsa verde on top of garlic bread was the best and unlike any we have ever had. The texture of the burratta was perfect and the sweetness of both the caramelized and roasted tomatoes was just luscious! The Warm Mushroom Salad with watercress poached egg, salsa verde and crispy potatoes was unique and delicious as well. The poached egg provided the dressing for the salad and the flavors all melded together with perfection!
We were already full…. but knew we had more tasting to do. The Entrees were very generous portions. The Marinated Kurobuta Pork Ribs with smashed potatoes and caramelized apples and fabulous smoked balsamic reduction fell off the bone and had an excellent taste. The Bistro Filet Steak with pommes frites, truffle shallot puree, fresh herb jus and watercress was sliced and prepared medium rare, just as ordered. We couldn’t finish them, so we had them boxed up and were pleased that they held up quite well for lunch the next day. We were glad that we also had a Side Dish of “Fire Roasted” Shisito Peppers with lemon, chili, smoked olive oil, buttermilk aioli. Hawk’s Tavern features locally crafted lagers and ales on tap and this week’s special was the Red Seal North Coast Brewing Ft. Bragg Cask Ale. The Wine List is mostly California with bottles starting at $20.00 and 20 wines by the glass. We enjoyed the lively and fruity 2011 Long Meadow Ranch Napa Sauvignon Blanc with our starters and the rich and bold 2009 Fisticuffs Napa Cabernet Sauvignon with our entrees.
We ordered espressos and were ready for Desserts. We loved both the Lavender Crème Brulee and the Sticky Ginger Cake topped with dates. We were very impressed with the excellent reasonably priced cuisine, the comfortable inclusive atmosphere and the friendly professional staff. Hawk’s Tavern has created a welcoming destination restaurant where you can meet friends or bring the family and enjoy both hearty and unique cuisine. The Private Dining Room hosts special Tastings and Wine Maker Dinners regularly and would be perfect for your Holiday dinner or party. Hawk’s Tavern is Open Daily 11:30 AM-10:00 PM, has Happy Hour 3-6 weekdays and has Free Valet Parking on Fri & Sat nights We look forward to returning for lunch!
By Carol & Joe Davis
507 Miller Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941