New 'Tavola Italian Kitchen' Restaurant open, Sunset Concerts at BADM, Pop-Up Art Exhibit in San Fran & Fun Days at Marinwood Pool

I found a real gourmet gem in Novato last weekend, the new “Tavola Italian Kitchen” that recently opened in Hamilton Marketplace. No big name chef or fanfare launch but a wonderfully addition to Marin’s restaurant scene that supports local and artisan purveyors, not to be missed!

This weekend there will be a sunset concert on Friday at BADM, an interactive art exhibition and workshops in San Francisco on Saturday and poolside fun in Marinwood on Sunday! 

Weekend Event Highlights

Friday July 22nd

‘Summer Sunsets Concert Series’ from 5.00 – 7.00 pm at Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito; view website
The Bay Area Museum will be open late on selected Fridays and will be offering an entertaining mix of music, fun and food! Stop by to get your picture taken with Curious George who will be making an appearance at 5.30 pm and check out the “Curious George: Let’s Get Curious” exhibition. Musician Enzo Garcia will be performing from 5 – 7.00 pm, and food will be provided by the gourmet “Food Truck Crush” offering Big Jim’s BBQ and Susiecakes cupcakes! Various performers will also be appearing on August 5th and 19th. What a great way to start the weekend!

Saturday July 23rd

‘Mobile Arts Platform Exhibition’ from 1.00 – 5.00pm at Potrero Del Sol/La Raza Skate Park, San Francisco, free; view website
Head into the city for family focused art activities by the “Mobile Arts Platform” (MAP) to see an interactive pop-up exhibition with art making workshops for the “Urban Youth Arts Festival”. Planned fun activities include kite making and decorating, an artist decoration workshop, free hat giveaway, participatory mural painting, interactive stencil art production alongside a video slideshow of murals from around the world. The event is designed to inspire and engage children of all ages through participatory art! 

Sunday July 24th

‘Sunday Fun Days’ from 12.30 pm at Marinwood Pool, 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael, tel; 415 479 0775; view website
Every Sunday until August 14th there will be food and entertainment at the Marinwood pool. Lay out your towel in the sun and enjoy a swim or splash in the tot’s pool while listening to live music or a DJ, poolside games, bouncy house, food and beverages are available for purchase.

Restaurant of the Week

Tavola Italian Kitchen, 5800 Nave Drive at Hamilton Marketplace, Novato
Tel: 415 883 6686 view website

Most people come to Hamilton Marketplace to eat at the popular 'Toast' restaurant or perhaps lunch at 'La Boulange', but a great new restaurant has opened up in the former 'Pasta Moto' location which offers wonderful Italian food and wine. More people need to know about “Tavola Italian Kitchen” which appears to take great pride in supporting local and artisan purveyors, with a list of their various produce suppliers displayed on a large chalkboard.

A group of us decided to check it out last weekend and we were pleasantly surprised by their interesting and creative menu of fresh organic Italian cuisine and a varied Italian wine list.

We started off by ordering a wonderfully creamy Burrata (one of our friends pointed out that this seems to be the cheese at the moment) which was served with sweet tomato jam, sea salt and grilled crostini, it was also great spread onto their homemade focaccia bread. Both types of bread kept coming out until we finished the cheese which was thoughtful. We also ordered Point Reyes oysters in prosecco, red wine vinegar and shallots, and the steamed black muscles with preserved lemon and thyme brood. All very well received by the group!

For main course I ordered the arugula and fennel salad with golden balsamic vinaigrette, pecorino, pinenuts and juicy peaches; a refreshing mix of peppery greens, aniseed and sweet fruit. I also ordered the wild mushroom pizza with smoked mozzarella, walnut and dandelion green with prosciutto on top.  A nice combination of ingredients with commentary flavors on a fire oven pizza base. The simple Margarita pizza was also very good.

The braised wild boar with naltagliati pasta was a popular choice by a few and included oregano, morel and dwelley farms fava. Also a fettucine pasta dish with spicy tomato and local manila clams. These dishes were washed down with moreish glasses of fine Italian rosé, white and red wines.

The dessert menu included buttermilk panna cotta with strawberries and wild flower honey, walnut biscotti with apricot jam or Mill Valley’s noci gelato, but two of us chose the chocolate tart; one with the sea salt and olive oil and one without. It was a rich, dark chocolate on a crunchy base that was indulgent but good for sharing. Next time I think I will try the local cheese board with walnuts and preserved cherries.

If this review of delicious seasonal dishes is making your mouth water, be sure to come and try ‘Tavola Italian Kitchen’ for yourself. We enjoyed a fun evening and good banter with the friendly serving staff, and look forward to this place becoming our new ‘local’.

Mommy’s Treats

Will you be watching "The Real Housewives of NYC" finale with a glass of Pinot Grigio this Thursday at 10.00 pm on Bravo TV?

Feed your “inner interior designer” by watching “Design Star” on HGTV, Mondays at 9.00 pm.

Fans of Justin Timberlake will be seeing a lot more of him in the comedy “Friends with Benefits” out this week with Mila Kunis.

Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendars

Looking for something to do to entertain your toddler or want to reach out to new moms with babies this week?

Click on the ‘Weekly Calendar’ bar at the top of the page to view this week’s “Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendar”. 

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