I went to a preview of the totally renovated and swish Tiburon Tavern which opened this week with a new menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. I haven’t been to Tiburon in years, so I decided to take off early from work and head out through the (Caldecutt) tunnel and over the (Richmond-San Rafael) bridge to enjoy the beautiful weather and spectacular views. It was the kind of sunny warm day that really showcases the splendors of Tiburon, I was compelled to sit on a bench facing the water to revel in the loveliness for a spell. Then I headed over to the Tavern which is buffed up sleek and modern with hanging edison lanterns that impart a glowing fashion statement.
The sprawling space in the rear of the bar offers comfy and intimate seating for hanging out with friends while enjoying the refreshing beverages and delicious gastropub food that is served here. There is plenty of outside seating in both the front of the restaurant and rear to enjoy the fabulous Tiburon weather.
Speaking of beverages, one of the highlights of the evening was the high tech self-service wine bar. The Tavern boasts three WineStation dispensers from Napa Technology, which offers just a taste, a half or full glass option designed to pair with the menu. The dispenser has a cooling and preservation system to assure that each wine is pristine in taste with every pour. For the preview, each of the machines had a fully loaded card for free drinks, which made for a lively time. In order to use the dispenser, you will need to purchase a card that you can load up with credits that can only be used in these machines.
I spied a server walking by with a tray of cocktails which turned out to be a refreshing Backwards Root Beer Float, made with Thomas Kemper vanilla soda, a scoop of house-made root beer ice cream and a delicately crunchy pirouette cookie to sip through and then devour.
The Executive Chef Jamie Prouten joined the restaurant last year with experience teaching cooking in the Loire Valley of France and previously worked at the Carneros Inn, Aetna Springs and most recently with the Tyler Florence Group in Napa. Chef Prouten was attracted to the west coast by its abundance of fresh, local ingredients and the farm-to-table dining approach.
Back to the food. Chef Prouten was kind enough to plate a few dishes for me to photograph, as I kept missing out on the platters of samples that were coming out of the kitchen. I mean seriously cool of him don’t you think? Smoked Salmon ($10), served on grilled Panorama bread, spread with crushed avocado, paper thin slices of radish, pickled red onion, and drizzled with lemon oil.
It’s a very nice spot, wish it was in my neighborhood… If it were, I’d be hanging out there all the time.
1651 Tiburon Blvd, Tiburon, CA