Monday, November 26, 2012

101 North: San Rafael, Terrapin Crossroads

Terrapin Crossroads  100 Yacht Club Dr./Francisco Blvd., central San Rafael exit off Hwy. 101, (415) 524-2773.  D Tu-Sun, Sat-SunBr; $$.  Located in an unlikely spot behind a frontage of car dealerships, this new restaurant and music venue is owned by Grateful Dead musician Phil Lesh.  It is expansive, with both indoor and outdoor canal-side seating.  An adjacent auditorium where Lesh performs regularly with musician friends is in the process of being refurbished.  Restaurant decor features light hardwood floors, some portholes, and rough weathered barn-wood walls adorned with photos of Lesh and others.  Seating areas are varied—one is especially for families--and include many comfortable oversize booths.  Organic and local is the aim of the eclectic seasonal menu featuring wood-fired pizzas with exceptional thin crust, housemade pastas, a burger on a potato pepper bun with housemade pickles (a veggie version, too), Alaskan cod fish & chips, and a chopped chicken salad.  My choices were a creamy-smooth cauliflower soup and spectacular, tender balsamic-glazed pork ribs with a perfectly prepared mustard-spiced potato salad.  My dining partner chose a satisfying mushroom risotto.  We shared and demolished the best chocolate cake I’ve had in ages—sort of a devils food-style double chocolate cake with a creamy chocolate frosting.  I can see why people become loyal repeat customers—the menu holds more mouth-watering items than can be sampled in one visit.  More reasons to return include for brunch on the patio that stretches into the San Rafael Canal, for the complimentary live music at Wednesday dinner and Sunday brunch, and for the scheduled concerts in the auditorium.  The taproom bar dispenses draught beers, wines by the glass, cocktails, and more.  Should you want a souvenir, a counter at the entrance sells posters and t-shirts, 

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image ©2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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