Thursday, November 23, 2006


Ward Street Cafe.
Yesterday morning Paul came over for a visit, and was hungry for breakfast. I told him that there was a highly recommended spot in Larkspur that we should try. I double checked the website for Ward Street Cafe, and confirmed it opens at 8 a.m. and invites you up front to come in for "a cafe and a croissant in the morning". Larkspur is a very charming town, so Paul thought it a fabulous idea. The most recent review of it in newsprint was March 2006, and it hailed it as "...the best new restaurant in Marin since Maria Manso debuted in 2004". Encouragement indeed.

Our first surprise when we arrived was that they only serve breakfast -- 'brunch' -- on weekends. Oops. Paul was good natured about the unexpected news and we sat for an early lunch.

Paul ordered the chopped beef sandwich on focaccia and said it was excellent. The presentation was beautiful too.

I ordered the prosciutto salad, the menu stating that it had 'grilled peaches', goat cheese, candied nuts, and was dressed with honey champagne vinaigrette. This salad was absolutely delicious! However, it was different than the menu described. First, note the fruit - yep, not a peach but a grilled pear. Next, I don't think it was dressed with honey champagne vinaigrette. It had the color and taste of a rich, expensive balsamic. You can see the red drops to the right of the photo clinging to some fresh green leaves. I asked the waiter about the peach switch and he apologized for forgetting to note that it was made with pears since peaches are now out of season.

The exterior looks a little sad, but the interior of this cafe is warm and in full harvest attire. It is like a different place when you step inside the door. For such a highly rated restaurant, there were a lot of missteps, but the friendliness, decor and most of all the great food have won me over. Will be back again, and hopefully they will have polished up their website and those slightly off kilter details.

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