My Return to Hawk's Tavern

Hawk’s Tavern, 507 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley; view website

I recently wrote a review about a new restaurant that opened up in Mill Valley called Hawk's Tavern. I was lucky enough to be invited back to sample some more items from their menu, so this time we decided to leave the kids at home and enjoy a date night for my birthday. It was definitely the right decision, as we were able to take the time to enjoy our surroundings, appreciate the fine food complimented by the great service and atmosphere.

Hawk's Tavern dining room

The main dining room and bar area at Hawk’s Tavern has a stylish rustic feel with up-lighted repurposed barn wood walls, vintage framed maps and old illustrations of hawks on the walls. It is designed for comfort and warmth, especially with the modern central fireplace which I was pleased to be sat next to. The interior of Hawk’s Tavern transforms us both back to being in a stylish pub in England, which feels nice.

We were greeted by our friendly waitress who was so informative and attentive all evening by taking the time to fully describe the food and drink menus. She recommended her favorite items and described how they were prepared and served, which not only made our mouths water but made us feel fully involved in our dining experience. Something you lose sight of, when you are juggling two kids and trying to get through the meal as quickly and quietly as possible.

As soon as the appetizer plates hit the table, the collection of wonderful smells got us excited. I started off with a wonderful creamy Organic Burrata served on garlic sourdough with collard greens, crispy kale chips and olive oil drizzled on top. It was so delicious especially with a glass of the Freeman Pinot Noir from the Russian River. 

Organic Burrata at Hawk's Tavern

My husband chose the Tamales Bay Mussels served on toast with patatas bravas (Spanish potatoes), aioli and fantastic Chorizo with “true Spanish flavor”. He washed it down with a glass of the Matilda Belgian Style Pale Ale from Goose Island Brewery in Chicago. This was our waitress’s first choice of ale of the evening, fruity yet spicy yeast that was the highest alcohol volume on the menu so served in a wine glass.

Tamales bay Mussels at Hawk's Tavern

For main course I took our server’s recommendation, which was the Wild and Tame Mushroom Pappardelle Pasta which featured meaty Trumpet and Shiitake mushrooms with scallions and Bloomsdale spinach. The crust of herb bread crumbs served on top complimented the saltiness of the lemon caper beurre blanc perfectly, and the fusion of flavors and textures made this dish incredible!

My husband ordered one of the specials that the evening which was a Pork Chop with celery puree with vanilla bean, glazed asparagus, carrots and salsify. The pork was marinated in a brine and sugar solution overnight before cooking, which not only imparted great taste but made it one of the juiciest pork chops my husband has ever had. Who would have thought vanilla and celery could work together, but it was delicious! He also moved onto the Deez English Mild Ale from Dying Vines Brewery in Oakland, this time from a more masculine English pint glass.

Pork Chop at Hawk's Tavern

We were spoilt for dessert, when we couldn’t make an amicable decision and they heard it was my birthday, they decided to bring ALL of the desserts out including a Panna Cotta with blood orange that wasn’t on the menu! 

Panna Cotta at Hawk's Tavern

The rich Warm Chocolate Muc Cake came with a candle and the most wonderful vanilla bean ice-cream and chocolate sauce which almost made me lick the plate!

Chocolate Muc Cake at Hawk's Tavern

The Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake was yellow cake served inside a glass jar with refreshing small chunks of vanilla poached pineapple on top. But the best of the bunch was the amazing Sticky Toffee Pudding which I said I would come back for in my last review, and I am glad I did. It was perfection served with wonderful warm toffee sauce and whipped cream sprinkled with brown sugar. I enjoyed this heavenly sugar feast while sipping a Sparkling Mojito with prosecco, fresh mint, lime and simple syrup…heaven indeed!

Sticky Toffee Pudding at Hawk's Tavern

My birthday had a disastrous start to it but as soon as we sat down and starting to eat and drink, the day’s troubles melted away and sent me off to dreamland as I started to plan when we could come back and do this all over again!

The seasonal menu is created by Tyler Florence and prepared by Chef de Cuisine Rob Lind. We are so grateful and we were given the chance to come back and sample more of the wonderful food, wine and beer served at Hawk’s Tavern.

A private dining room can be hired for up to 12 people or the main dining room can be hired for events or special dinners. The stylish front porch can also be hired and is a fantastic place to relax in the sunshine with a drink and play a game of backgammon, checkers or dominoes provided.

Private dining room at Hawk's Tavern

I hope more restaurants in Marin and the Bay Area will follow their lead and create more seasonally-inspired pub style restaurants as it is a great place to bring the family for an informal early dinner with a pint of beer or shady, a buzzy place to meet friends at the bar and grab some small bites and cocktails…but for me it will be top of my list for future date nights, when we can take the time to savor each delicious bite, just the two of us!

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