Ownership and address changes in Marin mean new dining experiences, with scores of meaty treats at a BBQ outpost that has Texas brisket, cheese bread, baby back ribs and a righteously good happy hour. In Corte Madera, the dining scene has an updated source for big Danish breakfast and lunch fare. Over in Kentfield, we love the idea of wines by the glass, especially when Italian pasta and pizza are part of the package.
Best Lil' Porkhouse takes the prize for most fun restaurant name and is expanding its meaty porcine empire via the opening of the new outpost in Corte Madera—the first location is still a weekend staple for many in nearby San Rafael. Menu highlights at the new location include pulled pork, chicken and baby back ribs, and the happy hour gifts imbibers with discounted prices on $3 beers paired with meaty nibbles of the winged variety. Brisket is prepared Texas style, which means it is cooked for sixteen hours at a low and slow temperature; fried okra and sweet potato tots are other dishes that have Texas leanings. Cheese bread is one side dish that is not typical to BBQ joints; coleslaw, baked beans and mac & cheese are among the other more familiar offerings. Fans are crowing over the butter cake, which is reportedly gooey and delectable. 60 Madera Blvd., Corte Madera. (415) 927-7427.
This item is actually a twofer about an address that is home to two food and drink businesses, all depending on what time of day you visit. Last fall, new owners took over the Corte Madera Café and revamped it into the Lighthouse Café for breakfast and lunch. At night, the spot becomes a rather cozy wine bar complete with its own separate menu. During the daytime hours, there is typical breakfasty fare of the pancakes and eggs variety. Still, fans looking to sharpen their Danish connection should point the GPS this way: one page of the menu is dedicated to dishes like eggs with Danish meatballs; curry herring with egg & apples; Norwegian smoked salmon with creamed spinach and Biksemad roast beef with meatballs, potatoes, beets, cucumber and a fried egg--whoa is right. Tuesday through Saturday in the evening hours, the spot transforms into the Night Light Wine Bar, where wine and beer are paired with meaty and cheesy items, pepperoni flatbread, and rich dumplings. Night Light is run by Julie Henderson and Jeremy John, who have a thing for wine and founded Wellington's Wine Bar in Sausalito. 12 Tamalpais Dr., Corte Madera. (415) 721-7700.
After a 14-year haul, the pizza, pasta and wine-centric Ambrosia is now open in a new space in Kentfield--we're sensing a wine-y theme on these new developments, too. Over eighty bottles are available and it’s easy to explore by the glass: super Tuscans or perhaps a saucy Santa Barbara county pinot with that tomato-pesto pie? Before you design your own pizza, there’s minestrone or tortelloni brood soup; or make it a wedge salad party with tangy and show stopping Point Reyes blue cheese. Sweet endings include New York style cheesecake and a popular tirimisu. Real estate watchers note this space did indeed house the Pacific Café restaurant before Ambrosia settled in. 850 College Ave., Kentfield. (415) 454-9292.