If you want a rare and wonderful dining experience, Manka's is one of the most special places in the entire bay area.
The 1917 hunting lodge's overlooking Tomales bay is just an hour from San Francisco, yet worlds away. The décor is warm, romantic and elegantly rustic. The food, from chef Daniel DeLong, is nothing short of spectacular. Everything is amazingly fresh and local.
The gourmet multi-course prix fix menu can be pricey, but there's always a one-course ""parlor plate"" for well under $20 which is, as my friend says ""like a home-cooked meal if Alice Waters was your mom."" You can sit by the fire or in the cozy yet stunning dining room.
Louie, the big dog, is a wonderful, clean, polite animal everyone LOVES.
Manka's is like going back in time for a few hours, not just a meal, but a vacation in time.
Pros: Amazing fresh food, Romantic ambiance, charming staff
Cons: can be pricey