The Buzz About The Caprice
The Caprice restaurant perches over the water just on the edge of Paradise Drive to to the left of Tiburon’s main business street. After its remodel over the last couple of years, I was eager to see the new look. It’s lovely, with soft beige walls and chairs with dark wood accents, white tablecloths, black napkins and oblong white plates. Terrazzo floors lead past the bar to carpets in the table area. Everything is designed to create a warm, welcoming dining experience.
A friend who had recently been to the Caprice instructed me to ask for table 24 for its great views. So when I reserved my table, I asked if I could secure this particular table. It couldn’t be guaranteed, I was told, and guests often have the table numbers wrong. But, when we were being led to our table tucked into the far right corner, we were quietly told that the actual number is 25. Each of the three of us had simply fabulous, panoramic views of the bay from Angel Island to past the Golden Gate. That said, every table is privy to some incredible views.
We settled in to make our choices and check out the wine list, which concentrates on reds ($49 to $5,099), featuring mostly the heavy hitters from Napa and Sonoma counties. There are a few whites more moderately priced ($49 to $129). We selected a Groth sauvignon blanc ($49) that we thought would go well with our menu selections.
Fresh Acme Epi bread and sweet butter ($2) were ordered for the table.
Spicy steamed mussels ($19) are listed as a starter, while the tuna carpaccio ($18) and no cream asparagus soup ($10) are under appetizers. I don’t understand the difference, but perhaps since my dining guests were Londoners it was an unconscious nod to them since starters is what you see listed on English menus as appetizers.
Although the PEI mussels are flavored with both ‘nduja, a spreadable, spicy salami from Calabria, and Calabrian chilies, they were not spicy at all. Thy were accompanied with a couple of long croutons to soak up the tasty mussel sauce.
Vegetable-thickened no cream of asparagus soup, perfect for the lactose intolerant among us, allowed the full flavor of the asparagus to shine. The soup is garnished with crouton cubes and herbs.
Paper-thin slices of ahi tuna carpaccio covered the oblong plate, glistening with arbequina extra-virgin olive oil and studded with jewels of chives and brunoises of red peppers and green jalapeños. Such a pretty plate and equally as delicious.
When we placed our order for the remaining items, our excellent server picked up on that we were sharing everything, tapas-style, and brought each item to the table after deftly clearing and replacing the plates and utensils.
Meanwhile, the sun was passing beyond the Golden Gate while the lights of San Francisco were twinkling to life across the bay.
The crab pancakes ($28) are on the lunch/brunch menu but available any time, as is everything on the menu. Three traditional puffy pancakes with crabmeat in the batter and more crab on top are napped with chive butter. Well done and tasty, but I had expected something a bit more savory.
The three seared sea scallops ($32) were plump and juicy, topped with traditional basil pesto with pine nuts. If we had been ordering in a different manner, either the haricot vert ($9) or the roasted vegetables ($9) would have been good sides to the scallops.
Our final course was the gnocchi ($29). A more-than-ample portion arrived with a highly-cheesy sauce flecked with spinach. Bits of crab are among the gnocchi, but lost in the richness of the sauce. The gnocchi could easily be a shared dish and in our case, was.
The menu offers many opportunities to indulge in one of the outstanding red wines on their list. Colorado lamb chops ($49), kurobuta tomahawk pork chop ($49) or bone-in filet mignon ($69) would pair nicely with one of the reds.
Our lovely evening came to a close with a slice of Auntie Em’s lemon tort ($10, as are all desserts), a homey, lightly lemony dessert of shortbread crust topped with lemon custard in turn topped with pine nuts, almonds and powdered sugar
It will be interesting to watch the Caprice as it fully develops under its new owners and staff.
Ann Walker is a freelance food writer. Email her with suggestions, comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tiburon’s sizzling restaurant scene also includes new ownership for The Caprice, a fine dining restaurant that has been in Tiburon for almost 60 years. Located a short romantic bayfront stroll from downtown, The Caprice is partially cantilevered out from rock outcroppings thereby providing memorable views of Angel Island, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. “Our niche is contemporary craft food,” says current owner Jerry Dal Bozzo, a respected San Francisco restaurateur famous for the venerable Stinking Rose on Columbus, The Franciscan in Fisherman’s Wharf and Sausalito’s Salito’s. After Dal Bozzo and his wife Jennifer purchased The Caprice in 2017, they set off on a lengthy renovation and expansion that gives every table a spectacular view. The Caprice re-opened in early 2022 and will be open for dinner 365 days a year; lunches Fridays thru Sundays starting at noon. Popular menu items include Abalone Dore, Branzino and Kurobuta Tomahawk Pork Chops.
Astonishing bridge-to-bridge views from every seat are just part of the charm of this newly reopened restaurant. Abalone doré is a must-order and, while crab is in season, the crab omelet with white cheddar and spinach is the meal you did not know you needed in your life. thecaprice.com
After a three-year remodel, the restaurant and bar with epic views at the far end of Shoreline Park from downtown Tiburon reopened on November 1. Owners Jerry and Jennifer Dal Bozzo and Dante Serafini preserved the charm and character of the restaurant while expanding the ability for views from every seat. The revamped menu of well-crafted comfort food includes land (bone-in filet mignon, French onion omelet) and sea (gnocchi with crab, abalone dore) options, classic cocktails and a wine list featuring mostly American, Italian and French bottlings.
2000 Paradise Drive, Tiburon; 415.435.3400
Restauranteurs Dante Serafini and Jerry Dal Bozzo with his wife, Jennifer, have wrapped up their nearly three-year extensive renovation and full remodel of Tiburon’s Caprice, a classic, fine-dining spot built in 1965. Reservations are available for the Nov. 1 opening.
Jennifer Dal Bozzo led the design effort that optimally takes full advantage of the restaurant’s waterside location, further expanding views of Angel Island, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge by opening areas of wall and replacing a floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace with a lower and sleeker travertine stone design.
The dining room is slightly larger with extra space borrowed from the kitchen. And although the downstairs bar is no more, the one upstairs has been extended to accommodate nine stools.
The Caprice in Tiburon offers stunning views of Angel Island, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. “The design is mid-century coastal as the architecture lends itself to that,” says Jennifer Dal Bozzo of the sophisticated setting. “It’s meant to be a very intimate dining experience.”
Soothing beige tones, polished wood finishes and crisp white tablecloths draw attention to the panoramic backdrop.
Although the Caprice holds on to its special occasion status with prices to match, she says the intention is to keep the “well-crafted comfort food” menu familiar for the restaurant’s long-term loyal followers.
Jerry Dal Bozzo collaborated with executive chef J.C. Becerra and chef Federico Carrillo, both of whom he’s worked with on menus over the course of his expansive restaurant career.
Seafood dishes like tuna carpaccio with chives, jalapeño, olive oil and ponzu; crab salad with wonton crisps; soy pancetta-wrapped scallops; and abalone with fresh lemon butter are balanced with the heartier kurobuta tomahawk pork chop; Colorado lamb chops; and bone-in filet mignon. A selection of sides is sold separately.
The restaurant restoration veteran and visionary team of Serafini and Dal Bozzo is best known for San Francisco’s the Stinking Rose that they opened in their native neighborhood of North Beach in 1991, adding a Beverly Hills location five years later. The restaurant served its popular kitschy theme and garlic-fueled menu for close to three decades before closing in March of last year along with the Old Clam House (as in 160 years old) that they reopened in 2001 in Bayview.
The team also co-owns Salito’s Crab House & Prime Rib in Sausalito; the Dead Fish Restaurant Crab House and Prime Rib in Crockett; and Calzone’s, the Franciscan Crab Restaurant, Frankie’s Pier 43 and Osso Steakhouse in San Francisco.
This time around, the Dal Bozzos, who are Ross residents, wanted a worthwhile project closer to home, plans of his pending retirement aside.
“My husband was familiar with the Caprice from way back when and always thought it was an extremely unique location,” Dal Bozzo says. “The moment it became available, it piqued his interest.”
Beginning Nov. 1, the Caprice is open from 5 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays through Sundays at 2000 Paradise Drive in Tiburon. Find the full menu and make reservations at thecaprice.com or call 415-435-3400.
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The Caprice restaurant will reopen Nov. 1 under new ownership after undergoing a major three-year remodel.
The 65-year-old special-occasion favorite, located at 2000 Paradise Drive adjacent to Elephant Rock fishing pier, will be open 5-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays-Sundays and is taking reservations at thecaprice.com and through Resy. The menu will feature “craft food,” California cuisine inspired by owner Jerry Dal Bozzo’s Northern Italian roots.
The Bay Area restaurateur and his wife, Jennifer, purchased The Caprice in 2017 and closed it down early the following year to reconfigure and refresh the interior and make some minor changes to the exterior to comply with fire and health codes.
The Dal Bozzos said their renovation sought to preserve the “bones” of the restaurant interior, which they call “mid-century coastal,” because they know so many people have nostalgic feelings about the place.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the restaurant’s expansive views of Angel Island, the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. New mirrors on the interior walls mean those magnificent views are seen from every seat.
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