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Monday, October 29, 2012

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By Emma Krasov, photography by Yuri Krasov
Multidisciplinary approach to art and entertainment proves rewarding at the opened earlier this year all-American restaurant Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, California.
By merging music and culinary arts in one rather spacious and inviting venue, the founding member of the legendary Grateful Dead and a Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Phil Lesh and his wife Jill brought together a vast array of performing live bands, an army of music fans, and stellar seasonal cuisine by Chef Chris Fernandezwith Oliveto and Poggio experience under his belt.Chef Chris Fernandez
Suffice it to say that Mr. Lesh performs at the Terrapin Crossroads when he is not touring, as well as his famed colleagues – Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, Dickie Betts and Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers, Jimmy Herring (Widespread Panic), Mike Gordon (Phish), John Scofield, Jackie Greene, Stanley Jordan, J. Geils and others.
While the well-appointed dining hall sits 150, the Great Room (performance venue) fits 350, plus there is a popular in fair weather waterfront patio overlooking San Rafael Canal with a private dock for diners’ boats, and a bar/lounge area for 85, where people dance to no-cover live music several times a week.  
As for food and drink, an eventful evening here can start with a specialty cocktail, like the Jade, made with Hendrick’s gin, St. Germaine, basil and lime, or with a glass of one of local draught beers, like a refreshing Magnolia Kalifornia Kolsch.  There is also a very satisfying wine list comprised of enticing labels mostly from Napa and Sonoma.
Fried Squash Blossoms from the Bites menu are melt-in-your-mouth doughy morsels stuffed with airy ricotta and complimented with sweet tomato jam.
Crispy Pork Belly from the Small Plates is glazed with Lagunitas “Brown Shagga” beer and garnished with flavorful caramelized apples.
Mushroom and arugula wood-fired pizza is made with roasted crimini, fontina, and plenty of arugula.
Delectable skinless Alaskan halibut is crisped in olive oil and butter, and served with pea shoots, frisee, Jimmy Nardello peppers, and toy box tomato sauce.
Rotisserie half-chicken from the wood grill is golden-brown and irresistible with shallot herb jus, creamy mashed potatoes and fresh snap peas.
On the dessert menu, warm chocolate tart is predictably decadent, while Orange Sugar Dusted Donuts belong to the never-to-be-missed category. These crispy fried beignets have just a hint of orange essence thoroughly enhanced by two delectable sauces – butter bourbon and crème Anglaise.
Terrapin Crossroads is located at 100 Yacht Club Drive in San Rafael, California. The dining room is open Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with bar service from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call for reservations 415-524-2773 or visit


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