Not far from the winding trails of Mt. Tam,
restaurateur and interior designer Doug Washington (Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope), inspired by chef/proprietor Todd Shoberg’s Finnish/Norwegian roots, dreamed up a cottage of great charm when he created Molina. The inventive menu reads as if Shoberg rises at dawn to forage—or, at least, got first pick at the farmers’ market. Daily menus are brief and take advantage of the wood-burning oven, like a 20-minute half-chicken with asparagus panzanella and vinaigrette pan jus. Dishes are plated on local Heath Ceramics as well as Judy Jackson Stoneware. Bread? Courtesy of nearby Green Gulch Farm Zen Center. Wine curator Jason Ruppert’s list is focused on small winemakers to watch, like Arbe Garbe and Jolie Laide in the Russian River Valley. As fog swirls in from the coast, guests cuddle up with wooly throws over the backs of the banquettes. Decorative artist Freya Prowe, Washington’s wife, painted a series of black ink murals featuring creatures said to roam Marin County. Says Washington, “We wanted the interiors to feel warm and a bit humble, as if this was part of the history of Mill Valley.” 17 Madrona St., Mill Valley, 415-383-4200; molinarestaurant.com.