It's mind boggling, when you think about it. So many chefs live in Marin County.
I ran into Ron Siegel at the farmers market a few weeks ago. I mention him by name because he may be one of the most famous. (He once won an episode of "Iron Chef" — in Japanese!) But several other stellar chefs, many of whom own or at least cook at some of San Francisco's finest places, live here. Many of them are our local French chefs, presumably because of access to a French school in Marin for their kids, but probably also because they're a tight gang and love to hang out with each other.
You'd think the eating would be better in Marin because of this, but no.
We have Applebee's.
Oh, to be fair, we have loads of lovely, small, personal restaurants. I haven't even visited them all.
(I tend to return to some of my tried and true joints.)
It was while I was snacking on a dish of wonderful carpaccio with capers and cheese and arugula at an old standby restaurant that I sensed an infusion of spa-smacked radiance. A bolt of buffed and puffed beauty had entered the room, I could tell even with my back to the door. All mani-pedi, exfoliated and gelled to camera-ready faux casualness, it was Tyler Florence. TV chef guy. I actually don't know much about him.
I do know he recently moved to Marin County, without a place to cook. He just squeezed in amongst all our talent, and — I guess he's waiting for an offer.
He popped into this restaurant at the side of the hostess (she was taller), took an appraising gaze down the length of the place (it's gorgeous; it could stand a little spa-smacking, but it has good bones), and then he vanished.
I don't know what that was all about.
But I do know Florence is in partnership with Applebee's, creating Marin-worthy yummables such as the Bruschetta Burger.
See ya there?
Didn't think so.
UPDATE: Tyler Florence will be opening his "first signature restaurant" in San Francisco this summer, in the York Hotel, which is being renamed Hotel Vertigo. Urp! Hee hee. Guesses are still on as to what he'll call the eatery.