Cafe Verde impresses with excellent food, sophisticated vibe

Matthew Friend

Cafe Verde patrons enjoy the eatery’s outdoor dining option.

Café Verde, Corte Madera’s newest dining attraction, may be located a stones throw from Redwood, but it feels more like a European coffee shop than your new backyard eatery.

Nearly half of the cafés’ seating is outdoors in an uncovered plaza bordering the Corte Madera Town Park. There were patrons of all sizes and shapes, from families with dogs to teenage couples, sitting in front of the café when I arrived, creating a welcoming atmosphere.

I ordered two sandwiches, the roast beef Panini and the tuna salad panini.  The meal was delicious. Both dishes tasted fresh and homemade. The roast beef panini was accompanied with avocado, sweet roasted peppers, and caramelized onions atop a soft ciabatta roll. Unlike your traditional roast beef sandwich piled high with meat and various condiments, this came off light and savory, matching the sophisticated feel of Café Verde.

That being said, this is not the place for you if your first priority when picking a restaurant is to be sure to have enough food for the next few days. Most of the dishes are light and healthy, and when the restaurant begins to serve dinner after its grand opening, even these dishes will be more like hors d’oeuvres than full courses.

According to Saeed Farahmand, one of the owners, Café Verde has been “softly” opened, meaning they are working out some final kinks before the official opening in approximately a week. Until then though, expect your dining experience to be filled with some growing pains as the staff is being trained and polished.

For example, when I ordered my food, the sandwiches came out pretty quickly from the kitchen, but sat idle behind the counter for five minutes before I went to go check on them. A surprised waiter handed them over, as if he had forgotten he needed to deliver the food.

However, it is important to remember that the staff is still being trained, and problems such as this should be fixed by the time Café Verde officially opens.

The menu is concise, featuring only four breakfast items, five sandwiches, five soups and salads, and an array of pastries.  Despite this, Café Verde still manages to have something for everyone. There are vegetarian options, elaborate coffee drinks, and simple dishes to satisfy the entire family.

Café Verde attraction moves beyond just the food it serves. When the new owners Saeed and Manoochehr Farahmand took control of this lot, they were forced to renovate from the bottom up. Their work has clearly paid off — the pristine look of freshly painted walls and new furniture gives Café Verde an air of professionalism, with everything clean and in place.  The restaurant features sliding walls on the sides facing Tamalpais Drive and Town Park. These help the restaurant adapt to the rapidly changing weather of Marin County, especially during the winter.

In addition to the food, Café Verde features a full service bar with several European beers on tap and a variety of wines, both imported and local.

Open at 7 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends, Café Verde is positioned perfectly for a quick pastry or hot beverage on the way to work or a leisurely brunch on a day off.

Café Verde is located at 502 Tamalpais Drive in Corte Madera, right across the street from the Corte Madera Recreation Center and in front of the Corte Madera Town Park.

Cost: $3-$4 for drinks $4-$8 for food

Hours (Once open officially): 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. M-F, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. weekends.