The main drag of San Rafael, particularly Fourth Street, is filled with a variety of shops and bustling cafes, pulling customers in and out throughout the day. San Rafael is in need of a relaxing eatery that accommodates the entire family. The new Kitchen Table restaurant at 1574 Fourth Street is just that, with its secluded ambiance and flavorsome Italian food.
Kitchen Table opened in December 2018, bringing a small restaurant with simple decor to San Rafael. The restaurant has a quiet atmosphere and a rustic look throughout the interior. The dim lighting inside is calming, and the classic wooden tables made me feel like I was at home, eating at my own kitchen table. Because the restaurant is so compact, the service is impeccable. All of the servers seem to enjoy working at the restaurant, and the main chef strolls through the rows of tables, chatting with customers to ensure that they are satisfied with their meals.
Main Chef Alexander Alioto, a Marin native, used to cook for French Laundry in Napa and the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco, both famed eateries. Chef Alioto focuses on highlighting the menu with locally-sourced fresh and seasonal ingredients. As of now, Kitchen Table only serves dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., but will soon have a brunch menu, in hopes of attracting more customers during the day.
Kitchen Table’s food is country-style Italian, using unique ingredients to make their meals. Some of their main dishes are dressed with thyme, lemon, orange glaze and mint, all of which add a pleasant tang to the meal’s main component.
The restaurant makes its pasta fresh every day, so I decided to order the linguini pasta with clams. Although I am not usually a fan of clams, this entrée changed my mind. The pasta and clams were seasoned with chili flakes, dressed with garlic and butter and topped with tomato chunks. Unlike traditional Italian restaurant plates, such as the classic spaghetti and meatballs, my meal was full of spices and strong flavors of chili.
Aside from the extremely fresh and soft homemade pastas, the menu also offers pizzas including sausage, margherita and artichoke pesto. There are also a variety of salads along with chicken and steak dishes. The menu has plenty of options, even a kids menu, which makes the restaurant inclusive for all ages to enjoy.
After choosing from the array of entreé options, I would recommend trying the s’mores for dessert. It consists of flourless chocolate cake topped with gooey marshmallows and crumbled graham cracker, a tasty, more upscale spin on classic s’mores. The rich and decadent chocolate cake paired with the sugary, sticky marshmallows contrasted the crunchy graham cracker crumbs, creating a balance between subtle and striking textures in the dessert. In addition to s’mores, the dessert menu offers a strawberry ice cream sundae, and a lemon tart with whipped cream.
As for pricing, Kitchen Table is not the cheapest. My linguini and clams dish was $19 and the s’mores were $9. Although this restaurant is fairly pricey, it is well worth it because of the high-quality food and top-notch dining experience.
If in the mood for a restaurant atmosphere without the chaos and crowds, Kitchen Table is the perfect option. In comparison to classic Italian food, Kitchen Table takes a more luxurious approach to its recipes, while still providing a comforting, warm environment that will make you feel at home.