Two New Family Friendly Restaurants in Novato
March 31, 2009Posted by pamela |
It's been a few months now since the new Hamilton Marketplace shopping center was completed, and slowly but surely new tenants are starting to occupy all of the spaces. There are a few restaurants in the mix, notably the recently-opened Sonoma Latina Grill and Toast.
We had a chance to check out Sonoma Latina Grill for lunch the other day. It's kind of a hybrid Mexican/California place and definitely a step up both in price and quality from your typical taqueria. Quality of food is really the emphasis, with fresh organic produce, handmade tortillas, and locally sourced meats and cheeses being the order of the day. Sonoma Latina Grill's other standout feature is their wood-fired grill which they use to cook meats and their signature flatbreads. The restaurant is owned by the Tamayo family who run La Tortilla Factory in Santa Rosa. Apparently this is the first in what they hope is a regional chain of restaurants and has the well thought out design and stylish decor befitting a flagship location.
We had burritos, which at $7.95 is a little more expensive than your local burrito joint but not out of line for a relatively affordable lunch. Everything was tasty and fresh, and there was plenty of it. Their aguas frescas (we had strawberry and watermelon... yum!) are fresh, delicious, and with free refills hard to beat. And they're healthier for you than sodas, too, so you can feel better about you and your kids drinking them. We'll go back and try them for dinner at some point—their wood-fired chicken looks really, good. They serve beer and wine, too. When we were there during the week it was busy but not busy enough to deter us from eating lunch there. Definitely worth a try if you live in Novato or if you're up this way.
The other new Hamilton Marketplace dining hot spot is Toast, the new Novato location of Mill Valley's popular comfort-food destination. We haven't been there yet, but reports from friends and the crowds we see there suggest that it's deservedly popular. Toast specializes in contemporary American comfort food, including breakfast all day (go out to dinner and have breakfast... why not?) with familiar fare like pancakes, benedicts, omelets, and waffles, and Mickey Mouse pancakes for the kids, as well as more unusual stuff like chilaquiles and breakfast pizzas. Lunch and dinner includes wood fired pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, salads, pastas, and other favorites.
You can also create your own pancakes by adding ingredients such as blueberries, coconut, pecans, M&Ms, mango, and more. Toast has been pretty popular since it opened in February, so expect a wait of 30 minutes or more at times for a table. You can always go over to Peets down the way and drink coffee until your table is ready.
Both restaurants are located at the new Hamilton Marketplace shopping center off Nave Drive in southern Novato. To get there from the south, take Highway 101 north to the Bel Marin Keys Boulevard exit. Turn right at the stop light onto Nave Drive, then left into Hamilton Marketplace. From the north, take 101 south to Bel Marin Keys Boulevard, then cross over the freeway heading east toward Bel Marin Keys; turn right (south) at the stop light onto Nave Drive and the shopping center will be about a quarter mile down on your left.