We don't get a lot of Marin reviews...
Tanya's parents treated her and I to dinner Saturday at the Lark Creek Inn. Bradley Ogdens Marin county restaraunt gets it's share of good press. For the most part they earn it.
We arrived on the button for our 7:45 reso. The place was filled to the gills. We had just enough time to socially sip our way through most of our cocktails by the time our table was ready. I must learn to take better notes. I had a glass of sauvignon blanc that I thoroughly enjoyed, but is now lost to me.
In spite of the heavy rush hour din it was very easy to carry on on a conversation at our table without screaming.
I chose to abstain from an appetizer because I had a heavy hankering for dessert, and knew that a starter would kill my enthusiasm for sweets later on. The ladies each had the field greens with dijon dressing. I balked when I saw this item on the menu. It came exactly how I pictured it. A handful of mesclun that could have been had at any supermarket tossed with a dijon dressing. I expect more than that from somewhere that makes a living on a reputation for fine food. I must also add that my jinx was with me that night. This chowhound has a gift for picking the item on the menu that has sold out. Alas, the seafood stew that looked so lovely would be denied me. At least I didn't have to order it first only to be disappointed, that happens frequently.
The ladies both had the pork loin roast stuffed with dried fruit, polenta, and roasted winter vegetables. The pork was cooked perfectly without a bite of dried out meat. The dish came together very well. Ken had the New York strip. A tasty high quality cut of beef, but somehow I was not into the steak. I greatly enjoyed my diver scallops with leek risotto and blood orange reduction. I was a bit sceptical of how this dish would come together, but it was very satisfying. The 2 large scallops, like the pork roast were cooked just right. The risotto was pleasantly creamy with just the appropriate toothiness to it.
For dessert we passed around a vanilla creme brulee, a butterscotch pudding, and the special that evening, a pear napoleon. I like my creme brulee brutally rich and heavy on the vanilla. This one was aceptable (a little light on the vanilla and egg yolks I think), but I don't think I'd order it again. I would the Napelon and the pudding though. The layers of roasted pear, slighly crispy puff pastry, and custard made for a delightful variety of textures. The kitchen let the floral sweet pear stand on it's own, without heavy sweeteners or spices. My favorite dessert was the butterscotch pudding though. I was afraid it would be too sweet. It was a wonderfully textured pudding with a deep complex flavor. The unsweetened fresh whipping cream that topped it of only added to the experiance.
With the excetion of some uninspired salads the Lark Creek Inn provided a lot of high notes. Our bill came in at about $190. I would confidently recommend dinner here to my follow hounds.