Weaving through the curvy road of College Ave in Larkspur and along the way, passing several yellow diamond shape signs with a deer, we reached Picco. Larkspur’s downtown is a vision of a family who owns a white picket fence, manicured lawn and 2.5 children. Next door to Picco is Pizzeria Picco one of the best pizza in the Bay.
A balmy breezy night so we decided to sit outdoors (no heat lamps available) surrounded by lush tall trees and beautiful, very beautiful Larkspurians painting the town red. A combination of weather, lively energy and deers strolling around like it was Snow White’s backyard made it a phenomenal dinner.
The $12.50 Risotto of the day made every half an hour, a mustard green spice and corn. The aroma striked a lightning to my stomach as I gobbled it up before Andy has a chance to eat. Maybe there is a strategy at serving it every half hour because the temperature was just right with the corn singing through the rich creamy rice.
The $14.50 Ahi Tuna tartare, apple, shiso, sesame, soy, sticky rice cakes makes my list of favorite dishes in 2009. I am big on texture and this had it all with the cubed firm tuna, a faint of sweetness from the apple crunch and the ultra crispy crackling crust of the sticky rice cracker while the inside was still soft. This dish satisfied the taste, texture, presentation AND price category. Before we ordered, the waitress advised us everything on the menu was family style. Needless to say, I hogged the first two dishes.
Next was the $7.95 “Slice of Ice” iceberg lettuce, crisp house cured pancetta, creamy tomato-herb dressing, soft cooked egg, too bad social etiquette adverts me from licking the plate. The pancetta was hard and crispy in a good way, the iceberg lettuce was indeed very fresh dripping with nature’s sweetness and combined with melty egg yolk. Again, I dominated the plate, Andy is not moving fast enough.
Sitting outdoor gave me a chance to people and deer watch. Every so often a deer would cross the street or lolly around minding his own business. My attention to the deers is probably the reason why I only had one slice of the $8.25 Avocado Brushetta, manodori balsamic, sea salt. A simple dish, buttery green thin sliced avocado on toasted bread drizzled with thick sweet balasmic.
I ordered the $8.95 Pan roasted artichoke, coriander ailoli in lieu of fries. The plate was stacked high with artichoke hearts roasted to a deep brown, tender with the leaves flaked apart on a dollop of fragrant aoili. The dish was finished off with a sprinkle of a crumb topping(I'm guessing it was Panko.)
The $14.95 three mini grass feed burgers, caramelized onion, mushroom and pt. reyes blue cheese sauce was inhaled by Andy because I was busy admiring the abstractly beautiful red color of the burger. When labeled “grass fed” it truly has a "beefier" taste. I requested blue cheese on the side, it was warm melted blue cheese spread, too strong for me. This mini burger was even better than Epic Roasthouse’s $20 burger.
To end, the $8.95 butterscotch bread pudding done unconventionally, four single mini one inch round bread pudding topped with light whip cream. This is dangerous news to make them so easy to pop into one’s mouth. The bread pudding was very airy and a number 2 reason why it’s dangerous.
Picco Restaurant and Pizzeria Picco are one of my favorite restaurants and I’m lucky to work very close to them. Both are on Michael Bauer’s 2009 Top 100 restaurants in the Bay Area. Picco commits to using local and sustainble ingredients. They offer a Marin Monday $36-$43/per person family style menu includes about 6 dishes. I’m looking forward to a free Monday night to dine at Picco.
320 Magnolia Ave
Larkspur, CA 94939