Hilltop 1892 Is a Hidden Gem
Less than 30 minutes from San Francisco, discover one of Novato’s best-kept secrets – Hilltop 1892. Perched up high with beautiful views of the Marin hills and the bay, this hidden gem is a foodie’s delight. Built as a family home in 1892, the estate has been completely renovated and is open seven days a week. The expansive dining room has banquettes and tables facing the large windows and sweeping views.
Chef Nicolas Abrams put together a creative menu featuring American cuisine with a California twist. Classic cocktails and an interesting selection of wines are available from the bar. We started our lunch with one of their specialty cocktails – the Hummingbird – a refreshing combination of sparkling wine, elderflower liqueur, and a splash of soda.
Deciding which appetizers to share was challenging, so we opted to taste a few. Served with a chile-citrus cream, the Dungeness crab cakes are loaded with crab and lightly breaded with panko crumbs. The summer vegetable bruschetta is piled high with English cucumbers, avocado, and tomatoes, all atop a fava bean hummus and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. The steamed pacific mussels are plump and delicious. Their broth is made with roasted tomatoes, spicy Italian sausage, and white wine. The homemade chicken liver paté is rich and flavorful, and comes in a small Mason jar with house-made olive oil, fennel crackers, and pickled vegetables.
Instead of hamburgers or sandwiches, we chose the seared ahi tuna salad. Slices of tuna combined with an Asian-inspired salad made a for a yummy dish. And finally, we tried one of the newer dishes on the menu – BBQ shrimp and grits. The BBQ flavor is terrific and the parmesan herb grits are a winner.
Leaving just enough room for dessert, the warm harvest peach crisp with melting vanilla gelato on top was the sweet ending we craved.
Hilltop 1892, in a wonderful location, serves food you’ll want to come back for. Eat, drink and enjoy the view from the hilltop.