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“a great spot for dinner, special events or just a night out”

Frantoio Ristorante
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Ranked #3 of 102 Restaurants in Mill Valley
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$15 - US$30
Cuisines: Italian, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Highway 101
Transit: Marin Bus Stop: Manzanita
Description: Local, Organic, Non-GMO Northern Italian cuisine
Reviewed 18 May 2014

fun, excellent selection, Italian traditional and inovative, beautiful wood high chalet style ceiling rooms, lovely decor, near Bay, easy freeway and local street access.

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3  Thank mikeT-LA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (241)
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154 - 158 of 241 reviews

Reviewed 5 May 2014

I wish I could award 3.5 stars - better than Average, not quite Very Good. I want so much to like this place, but it's a mixed bag. First, it's in a nice location - not far across the Golden Gate Bridge, easy to find in peaceful Mill Valley. The atmosphere is relaxed and pleasant, with subdued lighting, high ceilings, and a lot of space. (There's a picture on the website.) You'd expect a place like this to be noisy, but it's not; you can actually converse across the table even with a lot of people around.

The bar service is great, and they make you feel welcome and trusting, as they know what they are doing back there. I felt in good hands there, and that was really where the place put forth its best face, I thought.

The food was good but not great. I had the papardelle with rabbit and wild mushrooms. I really don't have much to say about it. The insalata tricolore was very good, however, and they do press their own olive oil, which is quite good. (You can have a close look at the press in the back.)

For dessert, I had the panna cotta, served attractively in a sunburst of thinly sliced strawberries, which was pleasing and refreshing but not eye-opening special.

The service was not pleasant - it was rushed and curt, and several of us remarked on this. (I usually keep my mouth shut and just observe, so it was notable that others said something.) Our server did not waste one word on us - he only said what he had to, to get the job done. At $50 a head in a party of five, I expect a more pleasant experience. I do not appreciate being made to feel like I am bothering the staff rather than paying them.

That said, the person who made the reservation based on a previous experience said that he had had much better service before and described how pleasant and helpful the server had been. So maybe it was a bad night, maybe our server was not feeling well that day or was in an unusually bad mood... whatever - that was my first experience at that restaurant, and since I was a tourist, I will not likely be back for a long time to give them a second chance.

Bottom line: I would definitely go back just for cocktails. I might be willing to have dinner there again, only because I trust the friend who chose the restaurant (who is a foodie and certified sommelier) - but it would not be my first choice, since the food was not good enough to overlook the unpleasant service.

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2  Thank martimbe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

Unprepossessing exterior, but really very pleasant inside. The server was very knowledgeable and gave us plenty of time. I enjoyed my meal in very pleasant surroundings. Very nice pasta dish. Would return.

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5  Thank swiftfrank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2014

A few years ago, this restaurant was known to have a nice decor, but average food. Now, the food is very much improved, and very tasty! We were all happy with our selections, varying from Pasta to Beef to Seafood. Everything was fresh and well seasoned. Our waiter gave us excellent service, and allowed us to linger and talk comfortably. He also suggested a very nice selection for our wine.

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4  Thank 5heartfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2014

Our friends who have a houseboat in Sausalito took us to this excellent Italian restaurant for a Friday night dinner. The restaurant is cavernous, but was not too noisy despite being busy. The pasta dishes were excellent and the service excellent. The wine prices seem a little high for a restaurant of this ambience, but the cheapest $32 Italian red was at least drinkable.

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3  Thank markjay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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