Hawk’s Tavern in Mill Valley
There are at least two reasons to dine at Hawk’s Tavern in Mill Valley, not far from San Francisco. First is the wine list. Compiled by sommelier/general manger Chris Lamm, it is seriously comprehensive and significantly value-priced. Suffice it to say that Sine Qua Non Grenache is there, as well as Dunn cabs of different vintages, and a pinot noir list includes Beaux Freres, Penner-Ash, Femme Fatale by Clouds Rest, Freeman, and other sought-after labels.
Two iconic California wineries that defeated the French once and for all in the historic Parisian blind tasting back in the 1970s – Stags Leap and Chateau Montelena – grace the bottle selection, while Sequana pinot, Seghesio zin, and Fisticuffs cab are available by the glass along with Roederer brut rose, Walter Hansel char, Long Meadow Ranch sauv blanc – and the list goes on…
The second reason to dine at Hawk’s Tavern is the new chef, Safir Rezzoug, and his new menu, featuring “international classics” cuisine. Chef Safir, who recently arrived from Paris, used to work with Alain Ducasse among other masters of the trade. Now he brings his Michelin-star experience to the Northern California town, where he pursues the neighborhood restaurant’s commitment to serving seasonally inspired offerings prepared using locally sourced, sustainable, and organic ingredients.
On the night we dined, our meal started with a glass of Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA and the Tavern’s traditional complimentary appetizer of a warm soft pretzel and whole-grain mustard on a side.
The beer list is also brimming with rare and excellent choices. Hawk’s Tavern is the first and only restaurant in Mill Valley to offer an artisan selection of cask ale beer with a new brew tapped weekly. It has eight locally crafted lagers and ales on tap and 12 available in bottles and cans.
We tried two new dishes prepared by the Chef from the updated menu that moved from a small plate format to a full meal with starters and entrées.
Our traditional Spanish paella was comprised of saffron rice, chicken meat, chorizo, clams, mussels, shrimp, and topped with basil micro-greens.
The short rib plate contained the most succulent smoked baby rib meat with crispy skin, smothered with tangy balsamic reduction sauce and garnished with lightly caramelized apples that maintained their wonderful color and texture, and crushed red-skinned potatoes made irresistible by truffle oil.
Hawk’s Tavern’s ambiance is stylishly rustic with reclaimed barn wood walls, a fireplace, mid-century brushed-brass lamps, and vintage Western art on the walls. The main dining room seats 45, and the heated front porch 35. The restaurant recently introduced weekend brunch service (Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 am to 3 pm) and Happy Hour (Monday through Friday, 3 pm to 6 pm).
Hawk’s Tavern is located at 507 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, California. Dinner is served nightly until 10 pm, with weekday lunch and weekend brunch beginning at 11:30 am daily. For more information or reservations call (415) 388-3474 or visit their website.
Editor’s note: This venue is now closed.