Monday, May 12, 2008


We went to dinner at Horizons for Mothers Day. We had a reservation. It turns out that it may not have been necessary but it did secure a window table for us!This place has a very cool, yet funky interior. Its very casual and we were a bit over dressed. It's been around for while, but in nearly 19 years of living here in Marin, I've never actually dined there before. I have eaten at Ondine, which is above Horizons and under the same ownership, but much more posh.

We were seating immediately at a table with a gorgeous view of Belvedere, Angel Island, and of San Francisco. We were greeted right away, our cocktails arrived in a timely manner, but they were not garnished and my husbands vodka tonic was lacking vodka and the tonic was flat. So he sent it back and ordered red wine instead. I was bummed that my dirty martini was lacking olives, and my daughter was equally upset about the lack of cherries in her Shirley Temple. No garnish? I ordered her another one and had to request cherries in this one

Our next disappointment was that they were out of steamed clams. However, they kept enough on hand for the paella & bouillabaisse. Hmmmm. We were all looking forward to some steamed clams, but instead, we ordered fried calamari & a Colossal prawn cocktail. I loved the presentation of the calamari. It was battered and breaded, fried a golden brown, and served in a newspaper printed paper cone inside metal spiral cone. It was served with cocktail sauce, a chipotle aioli, lemon remoulade, & cocktail sauce. It was good. The prawn cocktail was not very "colossal". There were only 4 prawns, 3 of which were decent sized, one of which was considerable smaller, and they were very tough. The cocktail sauce was described on the menu as "spicy", however, it was not spicy at all. We love spicy. The hotter, the better.

My girls ordered pasta: one with marinara, one with butter & parmesan. These portions were very tiny and the parmesan was absent. They were still hungry, so we knew dessert were in their future. My husband ordered the Seared Sea Scallops with ravioli and he was very happy with the flavors, but again, the portion was small. I ordered the Surf & Turf after much consideration. I wasn't sure how the quality would be based on our appetizers. But it actually had potential. It was an 11 oz New York steak which I ordered medium well, but came extremely well done, and about a 3 oz lobster tail. The flavor of the steak was good, but because it was so over cooked, it was a bit tough. If I order my steak medium, its always too rare, so its always hit or miss with my medium well preference. The lobster was also tough. The mashed potatoes were of good consistency, but rather salty. The green beans were perfectly cooked and delicious. My entree was a good size portion, and I took home more than half of my steak.

We rarely order dessert, but we did last night. My daughter chose the raspberry & mango sorbet duet, I ordered the Tiramisu, and my husband and other daughter shared a "Fishbowl hot fudge sundae". The desserts were all very good, but the word "fishbowl" implied a larger portion than what was actually served.

The service was slow and just plain bad. It was a holiday and our waiter was busy, but it just took longer than necessary. I know he was trying to be attentive, but he only did what he had to do and was just not overly helpful. I was content just enjoying my time with my family on Mothers Day, so I did not complain. I don't think we'd go back, though. Maybe if we just want a beer and some fish & chips after a long day of touristy sightseeing when in the area, but we won't have high expectations. We really should have gone to my absolute favorite, The Spinnaker. But we went there last year for Mothers Day and we wanted to try something new. One thing I've learned is to not try new places for special holidays. Go to somewhere tried and true.

I've been ignoring this blog for too long. Honestly, dining and writing reviews is a passion of mine, so I need to get here and blog more often.