17 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, CA | Directions 9494137.906566 -122.546453
Very Pricy, but we liked it. – This was our first visit to both Mill Valley, and the El Paseo. My German wife had a French mother who was an excellent cook, and the meal brought back memories to her. I am a big eater, and feared those tiny servings would leave me unsatisfied. However, there were enough different items that I did leave fairly full. This dinner was a gift from the kids, on our 40th anniversary. We had a private room, and service was very good, except that they kept rationing out one small chunk of that really excellent bread at a time. We each ordered different items on the 4-course dinner, and shared tastes, and waited for the frequent "That's my Mother's ----- !" explanation from the wife. I cannot compare with other similar restaurants, because we do not frequent such places. However, If someone were to spring for the spread, I would not hesitate to return.
A romantic restaurant escape in historic Mill Valley that features modern French cuisine with a Japanese twist. – In Short
Diners step through a hidden brick passageway and are transported into a rustic romantic French bistro, which maintains the decor of 1940s France. Glowing red votive candles on white-clothed tables are the focal points of the dramatic dining room, encased by brick walls and high ceilings. Modern French cuisine is infused with a Japanese twist in the prix-fixe menu available in three-, four-, or five-course sizes. Exotic offerings include Marin vegetable terrine "La Jolla," a tai snapper poele with saffron sauce and indulgent profiteroles with chocolate sauce.
Under new managment with a new chef – I was very disappointed. After living in France for years I am always looking for anything close here in CA. There are a few better French meals to be had in SF now.
The new chef has gone with a prix fix menu that is not the best representation of classical French food. It is now far too California Nouvelle in its style and selection. The risotto was dry and the mushroom soup was bland and frothy from an overzealous amount of time in the food processor. Other courses were simply Ok. Also the wait staff was clumsy and lacking any French polish and knowledge to carry off the ambiance. The gateau classic chocolate was too dense and void of flavor.
The absolute biggest disappointment was the absence of French champagne on the wine by the glass menu. How is it that a restaurant that has scored so highly on the wine spectator list does NOT have classic French champagne to offer with its courses? Seems the new management has some things to reconsider in order to keep and enjoy the excellent reputation built by the previous owners.
The best meal I've had (outside France). – I had the escargot appetizer and the roast duck with onion & honey marmalade. It was amazing! The sauces are fantastic and very flavorful & French (how else can I describe it?). The service is great and the restaurant itself reminded me a bit of places I ate in France. Good desserts, too. I want to go there every night. I am fully addicted. I wish I actually lived in Mill Valley.
Most Romantic Restaurant – The atmosphere is so romantic. But the food and wine list also are great. Since the parking is very easy, we drive from San Francisco.
Good... – First I am French, so pretty critical about French Restaurants in the US !
The decor is really nice, very medieval. The service is fine but the waiters don't know anything about French food or wine.
The food is good, it was overall a good experience, even though I don't think I will go back. There is some cheaper French Restaurants in the Bay Area were the food is better and the service more elegant.
Romantic! Feels like you're in France! – Didn't get seated for about 20min after my reservations since they were running behind...but it was definately worth the wait!
Great service. Food was awesome. You gotta try the scallop/lobster dumplings! The Filet Mignon and Swordfish was awesome! Huge wine list!!
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