Fresh Meat

Ferry over to Larkspur for this dinner

The only shopping taking place at Larkspur's Farmshop is for potential spouses.

Owner Jeffrey Cerciello's original Farmshop in Santa Monica includes a market, but his airy, wood-accented Marin Country Mart spin-off offers cocktails and dining alone.

Cerciello, a French Laundry veteran, brought on another Keller guy, Mark Hopper, to head the kitchen. They're cooking California cuisine in a familiar vein, but with verve and precision.

The standout element in each dish is never the one you expect. It could be the nutty fried sunchokes scattered across a butter lettuce salad, for instance ($13), or the deeply caramelized beets underneath a pair of pan-roasted halibut fillets ($27).

Roast chicken dishes are so often designed for the grandmas. But Farmshop's Jidori chicken ($27), stacked over bacon-laced farro, is far too robust to be a throwaway, especially with a smoked-almond salsa verde crunch-bombing its way into random bites.

The dish you have to try–and the best thing we've eaten all month–is an appetizer of plancha-blackened artichokes with grilled apricots, radishes, green olives and burrata ($15). The creamy, the crisp-leaved, the sweet and the biting all resound in a harmonious clamor.

Just the thing with which to impress a date.