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Cork Popped at Lincoln Park, Gluten Free Baking Comes to San Anselmo and a Sneak Peak of the Fairfax Diner

Food is the word in our latest summary of Ross Valley business news.

 

Lincoln Park Officially Opens Its Doors

We’ve endured the wait, but finally, the two newest wine bars in downtown San Anselmo are open for business. In this installment of The Scoop we profile Lincoln Park. In our next feature, we'll focus on La Loggia, which had its grand opening party on Aug. 31.

 

“A true neighborhood establishment.”

This is how Heidi Darling describes Lincoln Park, the newest venture of Chef Steve Simmons. And the wine bar and restaurant definitely seems neighborly, with a slew of featured local wines, including Kendric and Hauk, and late-night hours (they’re open until midnight Thurs-Sat).

The bar also offers a unique menu that showcases products from the surrounding area. The menu changes seasonally, but a few dishes that have recently found their way to eager tables include a pear tomato coulis, a slab of toasted focaccia overflowing with burrata and Chef Steve Simmons ‘Seasonal Bread Bowl,’ which features the day’s best produce.

Darling described Lincoln Park as “a blend of London Pub and American Farmhouse, with a décor that features earthy teal walls, bare bulb lighting, reclaimed farm wood furnishings and photos of the neighboring streets.” She hopes Lincoln Park will serve as a great place to mingle, placing an emphasis on the late hours and cozy atmosphere, she said.

If you haven’t been already, Lincoln Park is at 198 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. They are open Sunday through Wednesday, from 4:30 to 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, from 4:30 to midnight. The kitchen remains open until closing every night. Lincoln Park's phone number is (415) 453-9898.

FlourCraft Set to Offer Gluten Free Goodies This Fall

When Heather Hardcastle first became gluten free a decade ago, things were far more difficult.

“It was practically the dark ages of gluten-free foods,” she said.

With few resources and products available, Hardcastle was forced to teach herself how to make everything using gluten-free flours. Utilizing her skills as a California Institute of America training as a pastry chef, she founded FlourCraft in late 2009, and the company produces a gluten-free granola available at several nearby supermarkets and has a stand at the Thursday Farmers’ Market at the Civic Center in San Rafael.

But Hardcastle’s dream will finally be realized this fall, when the 10-year Marin resident opens FlourCraft Bakery opens in San Anselmo.

 “I see a real need for high-quality artisan baking foods that are also gluten free,” Hardcastle said. “The overall awareness of gluten free has certainly increased over the past few years, which has brought many new products into the marketplace. However, there is still a true lack of fresh baked products out there.”

To those unfamiliar with the term, gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains like rye, barley and spelt. Gluten free products use alternate flours that do not contain gluten like rice, almond, millet, quinoa, corn and more. At FlourCraft, Hardcastle’s primary base flour will be organic brown rice, which she finds to have “a pleasant texture and neutral flavor.”

“Gluten free baked goods can and should taste just as good as those made with wheat,” she said. “I want to show people this really is possible.”

To further her interest in educating the community on the value of gluten free, Hardcastle is also hoping to offer a series of gluten free baking classes next spring.

While FlourCraft Bakery continues its construction phase, interested readers can find FlourCraft gluten free granola at retailers like Good Earth, Woodlands and Whole Foods. You can also learn more at www.flourcraftbakery.com or by visiting the FlourCraft booth at the Marin Civic Center Farmers Market every Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

An Exclusive First Look at the New Fairfax Diner

The Scoop thanks architect Morgan Hall for offering us the chance to publish the first rendering of the new Fairfax Diner (attached at the right). . We can’t wait to have a vegan brunch in the new patio seating!

 

Have you seen any For Sale signs or a new business moving in? We want to know! Send your tips to zruskin@gmail.com and we'll follow-up on them in a future installment of The Scoop.

 

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