Don't you just love when life's unexpected turns deliver you to something amazing?
Yesterday I found myself on Shoreline Highway in California in an effort to avoid stop and go traffic on the 101. I had just delivered cases of 2009 Expression 44º Pinot Noir to Wellington's Wine Bar in Sausalito and was heading back to Napa - when my appetite insisted I find a place to beat the rush hour deliciously.
Where to go, though? As I pulled off the main highway into the familiar stretch of road I had traveled many a-time on my trips to Stinson Beach - an un-assuming sign caught my eye...
The decor was warm and inviting as was the young man who greeted me. Both very encouraging signs when one chooses an unbeknownst-to-self eatery on a whim. And of course, as a lone diner, a girl appreciates a welcoming diner-style bar counter, complete with swivel seats that I couldn't stop, well, swiveling in. I felt like a girl of five in a beloved aunt's farmhouse - until I ordered a glass of Albarino in which case I felt like a silly thirty year old with a swivel problem.
What can I say? I'm young at heart.
I quickly learned that the family-owned Dipsea Cafe has been a popular breakfast spot for locals since 1986 and in April of this year The Dipsea introduced dinner service as well.
Lucky for me!
The menu is Mediterranean comfort food with everything from Moussaka to Souvlaki but after much debate - I chose the Lamb Burger. The idea of tzatziki and kalamata tapenade on my burger was the irresistible spin that tipped the scales in it's favor.
I selected staff-recommended Dipsea Onion Rings with Ranch dipping sauce as my side and when the dish arrived I knew the right decision had been made...
I couldn't help but think the Expression 44º 2009 Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir I had just delivered in Sausalito would have been the perfect accompaniment to this dish and kicked myself for not bringing an extra bottle. Even more so after the first bite. Nothing else could have enhanced this little piece of heaven. Okay huuuuge piece of heaven...
Perfectly prepared, the lamb's mild gaminess was complimented beautifully by the cooling tzatziki.The kalamata tapenade added a bold savory note to the classic burger garnishes of tomato, lettuce and red onion. The onion rings which were amply battered were amazing...A sinfully rich and delicious combination of carmelized onion sweetness and deep fried crunch which suited the palate cleansing Albarinio selected earlier with ease.
Not a chance.
I was forced to take a slice of the triple layer chocolate cake to go.(Yup, the very one from the counter photo.)
I suspected the 2009 Roserock Vineyard Pinot Noir I had waiting for me at home would be the icing on the cake that was the sweet finish to my very memorable meal...
And it was.
Visit The Dipsea Cafe when you are in Mill Valley. I know I'll be making an exuse to find myself in their neighborhood again soon.
Of course I'll be packing Pinot next time...
By the way, while you are there, say hello to Anthony Siotos, one of the family who own Dipsea Cafe and the rest of the wonderful staff. Especially my lovely server Debra. Tell them the crazy girl with the camera phone taking notes on the back of a business card sent ya...
Monday & Tuesday:
7am - 3pm,
7am - 9pm
Serving Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner.
200 Shoreline Highway
Mill Valley, CA 94941