During the holidays, when My Beloved and I were looking for those few last presents and a rope of Noble fir to decorate the front door, he treated me to lunch at a new-to-us restaurant over in Marin county. He had read about this place many moons ago and was intrigued by the idea of a restaurant with a bocce court and a fire pit. I have to admit, I thought the combination was rather gimmicky and that the activities would overshadow the food.
Just goes to show you how very wrong I can be.
Bar Bocce is a delightful place to while away an hour or two on a sunny day. We ate outside to enjoy the light but it was a tad chilly, so we were grateful for the warming lights above and the isinglass curtains to tame the breeze.
The server brought a tall, cold bottle of water and two glasses, so we could drink our fill. I love that way of serving water - no waiting until they notice that your glass is empty.
The bay is right at your feet with nothing between the view and you except the bocce court, ready for a quick game while you wait for your meal to arrive.
And, speaking of the food - well, baby, it was excellent. I had the roasted chicken salad and not since the storied Green Goddess salad at Poggio have I enjoyed such a perfectly fresh, well dressed, and generous salad. The young butter lettuce was almost crunchy, it was so crisp. The chicken really had been roasted before shredding. There was avocado for smoothness and toasted almonds for texture. The dressing enhanced without overpowering. Holy cats, that was a great salad! I ate every single bite and was sorely tempted to lick the plate.
My Beloved chose the meatball sliders and he shared a bite of his three with me. They were tender, well seasoned, and topped with a little cheese for extra richness. He loved them, and even ate the arugula salad that accompanied them, something he's inclined to leave if it's not well prepared.
We shared the cupcake dessert, one chocolate and one lemon. They were very rich and the lemon one was a tad too sweet, but when you are eating just half of each, it's fine. We ordered coffee with dessert and was delighted to see that each of us was presented with an individual French press pot to brew to our liking. The milk had been steamed, too, so it didn't cool the coffee, a nice little touch.
We sat sipping our cafe au lait and enjoying the play of waterbirds, paddle surfers, kayakers and sailors on the water, a peaceful little respite in the holiday madness. While it's not inexpensive, we felt that our lunch at Bar Bocce was well worth the price, and we'd gladly return, bringing friends to introduce them to a unique and well-conceived restaurant.