Monday, February 15, 2010

Murray Circle in Sausalito

Located in the historic Fort Baker inside a beautiful renovated colonial-style military building, where top ranked officers used to live, is Murray Circle. Opened in 2008, Murray Circle is located at Cavallo Point – the lodge at the Golden Gate in Sausalito, California. Inside are rich hardwood floors, thick velvet drapes and an antique tin ceiling. Murray Circle is the only Marin restaurant to earn a Michelin Star – quite an accomplishment for such a relatively new establishment. Executive Chef Joseph Humphrey skillfully combines the fresh, organic and seasonal artisan ingredients in original and delicious ways.

Situated on the property are sweeping views of the Marin Headlands, the city of San Francisco and the world renowned Golden Gate Bridge. This exquisite resort has vast porches for guests to enjoy the views or simply sip a great glass of wine. The weather was perfect for our lunch visit and all of the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful.

We sat down for our 11:45 lunch reservation and the restaurant was still relatively vacant. Reviewing the menu, we noticed that the majority of the choices were centered on brunch type selections with a few lunch items scattered throughout. Right away we selected the house made breads and pastries. One word – amazing! It came with artisan butter and apple compote that was to die for. A great start, especially since we did not have breakfast and were quite famished.


I ordered a glass of Miner Family Vineyards Chardonnay from Napa, which was perfect - buttery, touch of oak, smooth and creamy. Lynette ordered a Viognier from a Winery in Napa called Grand. Brenley enjoyed bottomless ice tea. Lynette and I started with the Organic Sun choke Bisque, slow cooked winter greens, shallot confit and picnoline olives. The actual bisque was poured tableside onto the accoutrements. Brenley began with Little Gem Lettuces, creamy parmesan dressing adorned with anchovies.

Onto the main event – we all selected different items so that we could have a small sample of each dish. I ordered the “fried chicken & waffles” with buttermilk brined game hen, herb gravy and southern style greens. It was tasty but a bit disappointing on the “chicken” portion – basically four small bites of meat. I had never has this dish and always wanted to try it. Lynette enjoyed the shaved fennel, apple and cucumber salad, wood grilled prawns with juniper vinaigrette. Brenley selected the Dungeness crab “BLT” with smoked bacon, avocado, sundried tomato pesto and chips and dip. The dip was interesting and sort of resembled a mound of slightly flavored cream cheese – a mystery dip indeed.

Dessert was definitely the highlight of the lunch and the pastry chef is to be commended on the wonderful  pastries and the divine dessert. We chose the Sticky toffee pudding with whipped crème fraiche. It was rich, decadent, flavorful, and creamy and worth each bite of calories.

Overall, the service was wonderful, the scenery was spectacular, the food was good just not great and the dessert was divine. Not to mention the company was spectacular as always. Next time we are off to Healdsburg to Charlie Palmers Dry Creek Kitchen along with a bit of shopping thrown in for good measure.

Murray Circle
Cavallo Point
602 Murray Circle
Fort Baker – Sausalito, Ca 94965

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