By Sean Timberlake

From the moment you step into the barn-like space of Camino, now in its third year on Michael Bauer’s list of Top 100 Restaurants, you’re struck by the welcoming sight of the massive fireplace that, along with a wood-fired oven, is where nearly all of the dozen or so dishes on the small menu are roasted, grilled, or baked. And yet Russell Moore, a longtime chef at Chez Panisse, manages to change that menu almost daily. Tomales Bay oysters are doused with absinthe and baked just until the texture of a delicate custard; King trumpet mushrooms and sheep’s milk ricotta come grilled in a fig leaf to absorb the smoky notes while teasing the palate with the first taste of autumn. A whole petrale sole is lightly perfumed with anise hyssop, an herb so delicate that even the staunchest licorice-haters would not object. Cocktails are a highlight here, as the bartenders deftly shake cruets of housemade bitters into unfussy tipples with blunt names like Gin Drink that offer bright, clear flavors. Local? Sustainable? With Moore’s resumé, you don’t need to ask.

menu musts*

Tomales Bay oysters
King trumpet mushrooms
Grilled rabbit loin
Pig’s foot terrine with corn and farro
Whole petrale sole with new potatoes and cucumber-herb salad
* Menu changes daily
view full menu here

sweet seats

The bar tables in the front are a great place to sip, nibble, and watch the world go by, but sit toward the back if you want a better view of—and warmth and aroma from—the fireplace in the open kitchen.

chew on this

Perhaps your knowledge of bitters is limited to “Angostura,” but they can be made from a wide array of ingredients. The bar at Camino concocts a collection of its own, made from artichoke, orange, cherry, peach, hibiscus, and star anise, as well housemade takes on Angostura and Peychaud’s, the two most popular commercial bitters.


dinner: Wed.–Mon. 5:30 PM to 10 PM
brunch: Sat.–Sun. 10 AM–2 PM

price range

$8 (butter lettuce) to $27 (petrale sole)