When Madcap opened last summer, it was the talk of the town.
Being the only fine dining destination in Marin County in the city of San Anselmo, people have been raving about this restaurant. The intimate Californian cuisine restaurant focuses on seasonal and local ingredients and offers an à la carte or tasting menu which is comprised of dishes off the à la carte menu. Since we were a group of four, we decided to just order numerous dishes off the à la carte menu to share family style.
Rustic sourdough country loaf as well as a seeded brown bread were both delicious with the butter.
A tasty comforting soup shooter flavored with swarnadwipa, a curry spice blend with lemongrass, coconut, galangal, kaffir lime, and smoked paprika, that was reminiscent of a delicate frothy clam chowder.
While the flavor of the soup was delicious, I was expecting a hot soup and this was chilled. The avocado mousse underneath almost got lost from the sweetness from the corn and the trout roe added nice texture but lacked that intense sea flavored salinity.
The fresh shima aji was luscious but lacked salt. The tart peach jam and the puffed crispy rice cracker were great components but overall the dish felt incomplete.
Perfectly cooked Mt. Lassen trout with crisped skin was finished with a warming dashi broth. The various pickles added that nice acidity to cut through the richness of the fish.
Tasty tortelloni were stuffed with tender rabbit in an umami packed miso broth. Comfort in a bowl.
I wanted to love this dish but the ravioli lacked seasoning. It was slightly bland and even the summer squash lacked salt. Seasoning a dish makes an enormous difference.
Nicely charred ribeye steak had thin slices of abalone on top with a vibrant pesto sauce underneath. I loved the sautéed sweet peppers, eggplant, and zucchini blossoms which embodied all the fantastic Californian produce.
Anything with caponata is right up my alley and with the moist salmon it was even better. This dish was simple but fresh.
Sweet corn polenta was the bed for meaty duck slices. Fruit always harmonies well with duck and the sweet juicy blackberries were great with the meat.
The silky smooth caramel pot de crème was my favorite dessert of the night. The almond sherbet melted in my mouth and the streusel added a great crunch to the pot de creme and sherbet.
Who knew shiso flavored panna cotta could be so freakin’ good?! The panna cotta texture was also perfect and the addition of the chewy matcha macarons were spot on.
The raspberry chocolate cake was good but definitely my least favorite out of the desserts. I felt like the flavors were a little one dimensional compared to the other desserts.
I can see why Madcap is popular amongst locals in Marin County as it’s the only elevated cuisine in the area. While the majority of the dishes were delicious, nothing was that inventive or necessarily exciting compared to some restaurants in San Francisco. Since the city is closer to me, I would rather dine at restaurants there. Nonetheless, the meal was still enjoyable so my rating is an 8/10.