LARKSPUR, Calif.
Exploring the North Bay, one restaurant creating much buzz since opening earlier this year is Farmshop in Larkspur Landing.

It doesn’t hurt that the name already comes with some cache for those familiar with the original Farmshop in Santa Monica by Chef/Owner Jeff Cerciello. Cerciello, who once worked at Bouchon in Napa Valley before moving down south, opened his Farmshop Marin in a tiny Larkspur shopping mall and stays true to his philosophy of farm fresh dishes with flair.

The buzz makes it hard to get decent reservations, even on a Sunday night. That’s why when my friends and I visited after a day in Sonoma wine country, we ended up sitting at the bar, which serves the full dinner menu for walk-ins after 5:30 p.m.

Modern Casual
The bar area is almost as big as the dining room, with a long bar possibly fitting two dozen people and as many two-tops and more along the facing wall. A couple of things different about the dining room and the bar, though, are that there’s not much light in the bar and you don’t get a view of the large kitchen team working in a big open counter led by Executive Chef Mark Hopper.

The long bar at Farmshop. My friends and I sat at tiny round tables opposite the bar along the wall, sitting in the barely candlelit-space.

The long bar at Farmshop. My friends and I sat at tiny round tables opposite the bar along the wall, sitting in the barely candlelit-space.

The menu, which changes with the season, provides a long list of appetizers and starters, with a few entrees and sides. Because my friends and I were full from a day of eating, we had a light dinner. I ordered two appetizers that hit the spot for a light dinner, especially the ahi tuna crudo ($19), a beautiful plate with an unusual ahi presentation.

Probably the best-tasting tuna crudo I’ve had in a long time, the tuna chunks came out looking like watermelon, covered in a familiar sesame oil sauce but with a few hints of possibly chili and citrus.

A Spanish octopus menestra ($13) was incredibly tender octopus in a stew of tomatoes and olives. My friend enjoyed a hearty and refined winter salad sunchoke crema and chiogga beets ($13.50).

Side note: Getting into the holiday spirit, I ordered the special hot butter rum ($15) that had a nice cream topping and butterscotch flavor.

The Last Bite
While entrees seem on the high end, the quality of ingredients and refinement of presentation makes Farmshop an exciting new addition to the dining scene. Not just in Larkspur but the whole Bay Area.

Rating: 3 out of 4 camera snaps

3-snaps

 

 

Farmshop Marin, 2233 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur, Calif. PH: 415.755.6700. Open for dinner, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. daily (till 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday); and daily lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reservations, major credit cards accepted. www.farmshopla.com

Farmshop Marin on Urbanspoon

Getting into the season with the special cocktail hot buttered rum ($15).

Getting into the season with the special cocktail hot buttered rum ($15).

Ahi tuna crudo ($19) was an explosion of flavors with the rich tuna and refined oil sauce.

Ahi tuna crudo ($19) was an explosion of flavors with the rich tuna and refined oil sauce.

Full Belly Farm Red Kuri Squash Soup, $10

Full Belly Farm Red Kuri Squash Soup, $10

Spanish octopus menestra ($13.50) was a savory dish with tender octopus pieces. We ordered bread to sop up the broth.

Spanish octopus menestra ($13.50) was a savory dish with tender octopus pieces. We ordered bread to sop up the broth.

The kitchen army working in the large open kitchen area between the bar and main dining room.

The kitchen army working in the large open kitchen area between the bar and main dining room.

4 Responses to Review of Farmshop Marin in Larkspur

  1. That soup and octopus menestra look delightfull!

  2. Carolyn Jung says:

    The food looks amazing, especially that tartare. And the hot buttered rum is something I can really go for, given how cold it’s been lately. Brrrr!

  3. J says:

    Marin County Mart is so nice! I recently ate at Belcampo – was intending to eat at Farmshop, but it was so so crowded!

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