Earlier this year, Chef Scott Howard opened Brick & Bottle with his partners in Corte Madera. Chef Howard hails from North Carolina and lives with his family in Novato. He recently worked at Five restaurant in the Hotel Shattuck in Berkeley. Bay Area eaters also know Howard for his cooking stints at Fork Restaurant in San Anselmo as well as his eponymous restaurant in the City. His newest restaurant is a spot for California comfort food such as the famed pimento cheeseburger or thin crust duck confit pizza made in a custom wood stone oven. Lunch and dinner are served daily, and the menu also includes sandwiches, meaty main dishes, salads, steaks, fish, pastas and appetizers. Guests can grab a quick bite at the bar (that pimento burger is definitely worth ordering) or huddle at one of the leather booths for a nice view of the open kitchen. Craft cocktails, local brews & wines fill out the "bottle" portion of the restaurant's name.
Howard told me he is busy starting up a catering operation. Earlier this year, he mentioned he may rev up a pimento burger truck in Marin, in what would surely be a unique twist on the food trucks of today.
When he's not working, Chef Howard hits up Vin Antico Urban Trattoria in San Rafael, where "they have a fantastic risotto." Another favorite treat: "One of my all time favorites at Boca Pizzeria is the garbanzo bean bruschetta -- delicious!"
Another local Marin food haunt is Sol Food, a Puerto Rican spot. "I often go (there). I can make the trip simply to order their Cuban sandwich. Love the hot sauce!" Chile heads should know that Chef Howard is known to make his own Brick & Bottle hot sauce. The results are tasty & spicy.
For date night, the chef heads to Marinitas, for "a great atmosphere, managing to be cozy and inviting yet very lively at the same time. Last I was there I had a meatball type dish and the black beans Rancho chili. Both were wonderful." This chef creates his own guilty food pleasure. "I would have to say that a local food pleasure is one sourced from my own kitchen -- my Mom's rum cake! I use her recipe to create it at Brick & Bottle and it's a dish I grew up with so nothing can beat it." Last weekend, the San Francisco Chronicle named this cake as one of six Bay Area dishes that "take the cake": That's sweet news: better save room next time you dine at Brick & Bottle.