Last Sunday we arranged to have family from all over the Bay Area meet in Marin as a central location for a family dinner. El Paseo was so accommodating. I was the the first to get there and was greeted by every member of the staff, as they were preparing for their day, even the Chef was friendly and smiling, it was a really good atmosphere of happy people.
We loved the beautiful winding brick alley covered in old vines, lit by hurricane covered candle light...exquisite brick and French glass romantic nooks with modern accoutrements. I don't know how a place can be rustic and modern, old and yet feel so fresh... It was just beautiful, felt like we were really somewhere special the ambiance is really worth the trip all by itself.
Since we live in Sonoma County and work in Marin we are surrounded by the BEST food a foodie could ever want. El Paseo did not disappoint. As a family we try to order almost one of everything and that's why I will comment on a few.
The drinks were very good, our family loved the wine suggested by our waitress. The brioche pop-overs were perfection. You get the feeling this is going to be something special right from the start, it's in the details ...the candle light, the flowers,...the hint of something special drizzled on the butter....
First the deviled eggs were the best we've ever had and growing up in the South I've tried them all over the US. The butter lettuce salad with the homemade green goddess dressing and quails egg was superb.
I LOVED the sweet pea risotto, my husband had the hamburger with bernaise sauce and he said it was great, the pork chop was delicious, the steak was melt in your mouth and flavorful, the Mac and cheese was fantastic, the Brussels sprouts were good and the asparagus was PERFECT!
The only thing we probably would not order again was the shrimp Louie as it was not as refreshing as say Scoma's, only because the shrimp are tempura fried so it's just a little different and deconstructed (but that was the point) but great grandma loved getting to eat the edible flowers on the salad so she was happy.
For the desserts, hands down our favorite was the deconstructed pecan pie with the bourbon Carmel ice cream. We loved the berry ice cream on the chocolate cake and the butterscotch pudding...
I also appreciated that if I come back with all types of friends you don't have to spend a fortune to have a wonderful meal. There are selections on the menu under $20 per person that someone on a budget can afford, the menu includes high priced selections too over $100, but they are rare and unique items that are worth the try that I have not seen else where. I also appreciated the rich and satisfying vegetarian selections, you didn't just throw a salad on the menu for the rest of us-BRAVO!
Our family ranged in age from my 2 year old grandson Cash, on the low end, up to to Great Great grandma Lillian age 90 on the high end. Our waitress Rochelle was so kind and accommodating with the kids, giving us secluded corner where the 2 year old and 4 year old could get up and change seats (musical laps) to be able to love on everybody in the family. Our wait staff served us with a continuous and appreciated SMILE (even when the 4 year old had a brief 30sec. melt down) and never skipped a beat, our water glasses were always full and things were always neat.
We will definitely be back! Thank you El Paseo for making memories for our family!
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