Paleo & Primal Food, Wine, Travel & Living

Primal Pre-Race Dining at… Piatti Mill Valley

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A few weekends ago, Running Bum and I took a little trip to Mill Valley to poke around at some property he is interested in buying. I tagged along with him to run a race the next day. The race, the Marin Memorial 10K, is one of the fastest 10K courses in the area, but it’s still a really tough course. No PR, and I was definitely not running with “fun runners” that day.

For our pre-race meal, we dined at Piatti. And we kept it Primal. Since Piatti is one of my sponsors on cakegrrl.com and will be migrating to this site at the end of the month, I wanted to show my audience on this site what we had for dinner that evening–without touching wheat/pasta/grains/rice.

Our appetizer was the Kobe steak crudo, secret sauce, capers, and tiny arugula. The dish comes with crostini, but we politely asked the server to see if he could swap it out for something else. Instead of telling every server in the world we are Paleo, I simply just say, “we are gluten-free”, or “we are wheat-free”. Our appetizer was served, honoring our special request, with a small side Caesar salad. Perfect.

Next up, we split a chopped romaine salad with salami, chickpeas, olive, peppers, artichokes, and two cheeses. I don’t freak out about chickpeas, and enjoy them about once a month, so I love them on this salad. I ordered the dressing on the side, but to be honest, this salad has so many goodies on it, I didn’t even need dressing or my typical balsamic and olive oil blend.

For the entreés, he went for the cioppino and I the espresso crusted filet, served with bloomsdale savoy spinach, extra vegetables instead of the mashed potatoes, Pt. Reyes blue cheese, and aged balsamic. We ate everything family style, as I love to get RB’s input on things I plan to write about. (Sometimes he even writes for me!)

The cioppino is probably the best I have ever had. The chef did something magical with his addition of a small amount of sambuca to the broth. The stew was heavy on seafood and once again by request we were able to get some extra vegetables on the plate instead of the bread that is typically served with cioppino.

The espresso filet is something I liked so much, I am going to try and replicate it at home. The execution was flawless both presenation and cooking-wise (medium rare!!). I tried to share it with RB, but I think I downed most of it. :)

By the way, this meal is going down as one of the best since we have been together. Of course, the meal at Place Pigalle still ranks supreme, but this one rates top notch on service and food quality. It just doesn’t feel or look like a chain restaurant.

Another win was the wine we drank with our meal. Piatti has a selection of wines available on tap called Barrel-to-Table (Piatti’s revolutionary barrel-to-table wine program pours these wines through a custom tap and barrel system which eliminates oxidation and brings the wine directly to the table using the most environmentally sustainable technology – no corks, foils or bottles.) So, yes, I will take the wine hose for $1,000, Alex.

Indeed, I was intrigued, so we tried the Kemiji Pinot Noir (a Barrel-to-Table selection), because we both thought it would be the best compromise for a pairing between the cioppino and the filet–and it was! Instead of playing around with a mere glass or a 1/2 Liter, we went for the Big Gulp–a whole liter for $55. ;)

That evening, we stayed at Marin Hotel and Suites. We took advantage of an Amazon sale from a couple of weeks prior and got the room at a very steep discount. RB and I just love steep discounts. :) It was a pretty good room for the price, equipped with a mini kitchen: a coffee pot, microwave, full-sized refrigerator, sink, and dining area. A bonus for me was that the room had a clock radio by the bed with an iPod dock and speakers…I took advantage of it, and plugged in my iPhone so I could blast Born and Raised. ;)

You can find Piatti Mill Valley on twitter here and the Sacramento location here. The Sacramento menu changes around, but you can typically find my favorite salad (the salad pictured above) on it. :) You can find Piatti on Facebook here.

PS: At the Sacramento location, don’t miss the summer music series every Friday night (hello, live music on the patio!) and the $10 wine list on Saturdays. :)

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One response

  1. Andy Harris

    “Sometimes he even writes for me”. Yes, I do. From a Paleo perspective, this and the meal at Place Pigalle are the two best we’ve had since October, so I’ll go ahead and chime in. :)

    Piatti really gets it when it comes to special requests. It doesn’t really take much in the substitution department to eliminate grains, sugar and dairy from your diet when dining out, and Piatti will cheerfully make Paleo substitutions for you. Kristy and I generally hate to ask for anything special in a restaurant because the wait staff can sometimes cringe at even the slightest suggestions, but Piatti Mill Valley came through with aplomb. Everything was flawless, including the view of the sun setting on the bay, and it turned out to be a perfect night out before the race the next morning.

    And, kudos to Marin Hotel and Suites in Corte Madera for offering a $189.00 room for only $89.00 on Amazon. What an incredible bargain on a holiday weekend!

    June 7, 2012 at 12:26 am

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