Larkspur >Food & Dining > The Tavern at Lark Creek
Larkspur home makes for a cozy dining experience.. It's rare to find a restaurant where dinner--both the food and the experience--is actually worth more than you paid for it. This cottage eatery (though "cottage" may diminish the house's majesty; it's actually a Victorian Murphy House from 1888) tucked into the Larkspur greenery is part of the Lark Creek restaurant group and was formally a fine-dining destination only those with deep pockets could enjoy. But with a new chef (Randy Lewis, formerly of Mecca in SF) came a new, lower price point and a new menu that focuses on casual, farm-to-table fare; lucky for diners, though, they've kept the high level of service and stunning ambiance. Sitting at rustic oak tables in one of three dining spaces--an upstairs room perfect for private parties, an informal bar area or the spacious main dining room--patrons peruse a menu dotted with new American comfort foods: mac and cheese croquettes, cool tomato gazpacho, shrimp and grits, grilled flat iron steak and Lark Creek's signature butterscotch pudding. Considering entrees range from just $10-$20, there's not a better deal to be found.
Not a 100% experience.
My wife and I had the occasion to eat at the Lark Creek Inn recently.
We had great service and the selections of wines is easily the best in the county. The service was fantastic and we didn't have to wait long for anything.
The problem was the food was good and bad. First the good:
There was a crab crepe dish that we couldn't stop eating until it was done. There was also a "relish plate" that was second-to-none, although it came without the advertised chervil tea sandwich that drew us to it in the first place.
We also had lamb meatballs which were tasty, but presentation-wise looked like they were served in fresh dishwater. The sauce underneath was soggy and salty, and the bit of cheese placed on top mashed and wilted the greens they covered, removing the one bit of color that might have saved the presentation.
Then there was the "Fried Chicken Salad" which we were really looking forward too. The salad part of the salad was very nice, fresh greens and just the right amount of Pt. Reyes blue cheese, bacon, and a kind of vinaigrette dressing. But the fried chicken itself was south of school lunch! Rubbery, bland, and tasteless. We left a good sized piece of it on the plate.
Overall I'd recommend this restaurant for any number of reasons, but I was expecting just a bit more for my buck.
Try it again..... I was told by some friends who live in Marin to go to eat at The Lark Creek Inn, apparently there is a new chef and she is doing some fun food. Lots of farm names on the menu, which I think is cool to see. I had a really good time with my partner, she had the sardines with beets and olives- I'm not a big fish fan, but she loved it. I had a salad with avocado and pickled red onions- it was really good. Very fresh and bright. For dinner I had Lamb with english peas- mashed! It was great and she had the salmon on rissotto, she said it was really good as well. Dessert was delicious and our server was great- it wasn't as expensive as I thought it was going to be and we thought it was well worth it.
Lark Creek Inn - never go there. LCI serves overstated food that is pretty ordinary - and snarly arrogant, inattentive service (yes, it can be all 3) make this pricey restaurant one to avoid. The signature ceasar isn't that good - and it goes downhill, despite the claims of pedigree ingredients.The really off-putting feature is the bad service - the people just don't care. It's a lovely spot - handy parking - but mediocre food and dreadful service make it easy to avoid.
Disappointing service and management. I dined at Lark Creek Inn in October 2006 and had a nice meal. Professional server, good wine list, nice selection of locally-sourced seasonal ingredients. October 2007 I was in town with a group, and we thought, based on our previous good experience, we would return to Lark Creek. I made a reservation for a party of eleven 3 weeks in advance, gave the reservationist my mobile number, and was told we were all set for the big downstairs table. When the day arrived, our group of eleven arrived together on-time. We were greeted with confusion from the hostess, who eventually found our reservation in the system and told us it had been canceled. She then brought out the manager, who told us it would be at least an hour until they could seat us, and seemed to almost insinuate that we were at fault. As we were leaving, he offered to follow up on what had happened and call me. I've never heard from him. Our group ended up down the street at Picco, where the whole group raved over the three AMAZING courses, great wines and cocktails, and impeccably gracious service. We won't bother returning to Lark Creek after treatment like that.
Worth the trip to Marin. My friends and I were in the Marin for the weekend and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try this restaurant that has always received rave reviews. The restaurant is in a converted house, which is cozy and quaint while maintaining its elegance. The service was friendly, unobstrusive and our waiter made wonderful recommendations on the menu. The food was amazing-- it was flavorful and well executed. I esp recommend the blue cheese souffle, salmon and the butterscotch pudding. The restaurant also offers a pre-fixe menu for $34, which is a bargain for the quality of food you get. I will definitely make my way to Larkspur Inn again for another wonderful meal.
TERRIBLE service!. We had the WORST brunch experience here on Easter Sunday. The service is terrible. Although the food was okay (it was much better the last time we were there) I would never go again b/c the service was so bad. We waited an average of 30 minutes between courses! The waitress forgot my coffee and I had to ask 3 times for it. Everyone we spoke to was so rude... finally I saw the manager talking to the table next to us... they were complaining about the service as well (surprise!) so I asked him to come over when he was done. I told him about our unfortunate experience and he seemed too overwhelmed to care. He did notice my coffee was empty and said he would be right back to fill it - and actually never came back to the table! After for waiting FOREVER for the desert, we finally got the check from our rude server - and she had automatically added 18% gratuitity to it! Unbelievable that they did this after we already complained about the terrible service we had. I noticed on the check that she put we were a party of 4 (instead of 2) just so that it would automatically add the 18%! At that point we had been there almost 3 hours and just wanted out so did not bother fighting it. I would not recommend this brunch to anyone.
A longtime Marin County favorite, featuring well-rendered California cuisine in a beautifully converted Victorian house set among redwood trees..
This venerable Larkspur restaurant is set in a converted Victorian house updated with ceiling fans and skylights. Add the wrinkled trunks of big, old redwoods just outside, and the setting is serene. Brunch highlights include hash with roasted red-pepper salsa, eggs Benedict and warm scones. For dinner, there's a blue nose sea bass filet with creamy polenta and grilled prime New York steak with potatoes and mushrooms.
Still the best in Marin. I used to live in Marin and visit all the restaurants there regularly. I recently went back to The Lark Creek Inn and realized how much I miss it and wished I had this kind of place near me (Peninsula). First, the place is beautiful. It's an old house and it has that comfortable residential feel. It's in a grove of redwoods with a creek out back. You can dine on the patio surrounded by lush trees and flowers. You can have a special occasion experience in the main room. You can also have a fantastic burger (big, juicy and tendernot tough) in the bar. The service is professional, but not uptight and formal. They seem to really want you to be there and to have a good time. The food is really good. The menu is one of those that make it tough to choose. The thing I like so much is that everything is satisfying. You like the first bite, the middle bite and the last bite (well, some things are pretty richyou might have to take some home and finish it tomorrow!). The wine list is great too. They have a good selection of hard to find things and my new favorite pinot noir (Papietro Perry). Wines by the glass are good (try the Old Press Syrah) and they have a half bottles. What else can I say?I wish I lived closer and could go more often. Dont miss it if youre there.
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