C'est magnifique! Be prepared to search for this hidden gem in Sausalito, CA because, surprisingly, there are no signs for it. Just look for a building that looks like a garage with tables and chairs out front, and you've found Le Garage, a newcomer to Marin. Only locals seem to know about it through word of mouth. With a unique mix of French bistro and an industrial outdoor/indoor setting, Le Garage offers an extensive lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, and dessert menus along with a wine list.
Right upon seating, bread and water are served and everything on the menu looks appealing. For a first course, if you are feeling adventurous, try the fig salad. However, this is not just your average fig salad, if you can call a fig salad average. The salad was made up of black mission figs stuffed with fourme d'ambert with arugula, cherries, pistachios, and a pomegranate vinaigrette. The stuffed figs were creamy paired with the peppery arugula and the sweet and tart vinaigrette. The cherries and pistachios added a sweet and nutty balance. It was a delicious start for the meal. Next up was the croque monsieur, a classic French sandwich. The croque monsieur was layered with ham, bechamel, gruyere and two thick slices of brioche. It was served with lightly dressed mixed greens which compensated for the incredible creaminess of the sandwich very well.
What else could there be to eat besides sandwiches and salads, you may wonder. The answer for you meat lovers is steak. Steak frites, to be precise. A flat iron steak with a sweet shallot confit and fries (hint: ask for the garlicky aioli to go with the fries- so divine!). Of course, there are many other dishes on the lunch menu that I would not have minded ordering if I had a larger stomach, including: an array of seafood dishes, chicken, a Kobe beef burger, all most likely winners. For dessert, there was a heated debate between the Nutella panna cotta with chocolate chips or the chocolate fondant. I picked the latter, though on the menu there are less rich choices as well. The chocolate fondant was a small cake that exploded with intense dark chocolate lava from within. There was a hint of raspberry flavor in the cake as well. This is a highly decadent pick, but perfect for a chocolate lover's taste buds.
Whether you are seated inside or outside at Le Garage, there is a snapshot-worthy view of the Sausalito marina. The bay, boats and yachts are your audience at this small, airy bistro. The surroundings impart a nautical vibe that is very much welcome while dining al fresco. A major plus is that it is affordable and there is something for all ages; whether you are a young family, a couple enjoying a romantic meal, or friends grabbing a bite after a brisk hike or bike ride. The wait staff is also friendly and helpful. We waved goodbye as we departed, with definite plans of returning another day.
Le Garage is open for lunch Monday through Friday until 2:30pm. No reservations are accepted for lunch. First come first served. According to our incredibly informative host, the best times to come and beat the lunch crowd are 11:30am, right when they open, or 2pm, before closing. Dinner offers candlelit tables and heat lamps for outdoor diners. Reservations accepted for dinner. Saturday nights are the busiest, so reservations are recommended. Bon Appetit!
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