The service is exceptional and it’s not unusual for the owner, Sean Saylor, or the wait staff, to sit down and visit with you at the table. The kitchen staff has been with the restaurant since opening, and Jose, the executive sous-chef, makes some traditional food from his hometown of Guatemala as well as the many specials listed on the menu daily.
The clam chowder is so fresh and everything is made from scratch. No canned sauces or dressings in this restaurant. Fish comes in fresh daily and the portions are large enough to share. There is a children's menu available for the kids, and the menu changes from lunch to dinner at 5:00 pm. I recommend saving room for the sour cream fudge cake or the apple crisp. Even the desserts are all made from scratch. It really doesn’t get any fresher than this and with reasonable prices and such large portions to boot, you and the entire family are in for a real treat,Saylor’s Landing-style. Sean Saylor, a California Culinary Academy graduate, is the owner and executive chef, hence the name Saylor’s Landing.
The clam chowder alone is worth the trip across the Golden Gate Bridge!!!
Occupation: Operations Consultant
Location: Corte Madera
Favorite Restaurant: Hing Lung
Reviewed Saylor's Landing: Friday, July 7, 2006
We arrived at Saylor’s Landing promptly at 6:00 and we were immediately shown to our table. The place seemed busy and popular, since there were many reserved signs on tables as we settled into the large, airy, and pleasant room. We were just a few steps from the waterfront and there was lots of glass affording views of the surrounding hillsides. A huge stone fireplace seemed to invite a return visit even in the most inclement weather. It was a cozy room, and the prospect of a live jazz ensemble playing through dinner gave the evening great promise. We liked that the tables weren’t crowded together and the sea green and brown tones of the dining room had us in a pleasant mood as our waiter arrived promptly with menus and to inquire as to whether we wanted drinks or not. The first thing we had noticed upon entering the restaurant was a large board advertising a daily happy hour (which we were still in time to take advantage of) with different specials for each day of the week. When we asked our server to remind us of the drink special of the day, we were informed that the drink special policy did not apply to diners. Since the bar is an integral part of the room, we thought that this was unfortunate, and decided to restrict our beverage selection to compliment our dinners. A nice basket of very fresh bread and butter were promptly on the table.
We perused the "core" menu and selected New England Clam Chowder and a platter of steamed clams as appetizers. I’m from Maine and I know what New England Clam Chowder is supposed to taste like, and what I was served was even more disappointing than most canned representations of this dish. The "chowder" was a thick, almost flavorless glop containing a few clam necks, a couple of potato cubes, and served with oyster crackers. The crackers provided more flavor than the viscous mess presented. I was very hungry, it was only a cup size, and I chose not to finish it. The steamed clams were somewhat better, they seemed freshly steamed and the accompanying caper sauce provided a nice salty compliment to the clams. Unfortunately, this was the last time that salt was judiciously used.
Saylor’s seems to offer quite an array of daily specials. I chose the rib-eye steak and my dining companion chose the Mixed Seafood Grill. The service at Saylor’s was excellent, and we were pleasantly surprised when our dinners appeared as soon as our appetizers had been cleared away. The presentation of both the Mixed Seafood Grill and the rib-eye were exactly the same: a huge lump of heavily salted mashed potatoes, which did not taste freshly made, accompanied by "mixed" vegetables, which seemed to be the sort of mixed vegetables you can buy in the frozen food section of your local grocery store. None of the vegetables had any flavor left except for the flavor of heavily salted water, which they seemed to have been dipped in prior to serving.
The Mixed Seafood grill consisted of two decent scallops, two dried up prawns, and two small leathery pieces of what might once have been halibut sitting in a sauce of what tasted like A Thousand Island salad dressing saturated with salt. The rib-eye, which had been requested as "rare," was served medium-well with a crust of cranberries preserved in salt. The meat was soft and flavorless. Neither of us finished our dinners. In twenty-seven years of dining together, this has almost never happened. Our palates were overwhelmed with salt. The accompanying glasses of the house Syrah were OK, but overpriced at $8 a glass.
We chose to split an apple crisp for dessert. We were still hungry, but it was such a soggy flavorless crispless mess that we left it on the plate, taking small consolation in the fact that at least the coffee was decent. If we had experienced the same dinner for $40 in an area of the world not known for decent cuisine, we might have been OK with the experience, however $110 for a meal that was terribly overpriced, seemed to feature very little in terms of fresh ingredients, and where the only flavoring presented was way too much salt…well, here in the San Francisco Bay Area where even the smallest places take pride in fresh ingredients and good, often imaginative cooking, Saylor’s Landing was horrible and we will not be returning.
Occupation: Actor, Business Analyst
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Absinthe Brasserie & Bar
Reviewed Saylor's Landing: Wednesday, July 19, 2006
I went to Saylor’s Landing in the early afternoon for a weekday late lunch. There is parking behind the restaurant, which is good, because the Gate 5 area can be a difficult neighborhood in which to find street parking. As I’ve occasionally worked in this locale, I’ve eaten here before with both friends and workmates and enjoyed it. I was offered seating either outdoors on the deck -- on a cul-de-sac near the entry to a local yacht club, generally a very quiet, pleasant scene -- or indoors. I chose indoors and was seated immediately. Supper can be busy.
As one might expect, the decor has a sailing motif, and I’ve always enjoyed the models of sailboats around the room. The walls are wood-paneled, and there are high windows surrounding the room, which give lots of natural light and can be opened for air on warmer days. The service was very timely, courteous and, when asked, the waitperson gave thoughtful recommendations from the daily lunch specials list. They have a simple wine list and a full bar, but, since it was afternoon, I had iced tea, which the bus person continued to fill without having to be asked.
I found the appetizer to be very single flavored, as though the ingredients had been sitting together most of the day, and the crust to be a bit tough, though tasty. The chicken itself was perfectly tender, and there was a lot of it, so much in fact that I had half of it boxed to take home. The crab cakes entrée was delightfully filling and, though I like a courser mixture in a crab cake (the ingredients for these are very finely ground together), they were quite tasty.
I finished with a sorbet, the perfect end to the spicy meal.