From American cuisine with French accents to a Mediterranean bistro – Marin Independent Journal


The owners of Fast Food Français (F3) Susannah and Olivier Souvestre needed a change. Last week, after closing their Sausalito restaurant for a month to renovate the interior and menu, they reopened as Zalta, a Mediterranean bistro.

Les Souvestres have been in the restaurant business of Le Marin for some time, opening Le Garage in Sausalito in 2008 with partner Bruno Denis (they then sold their share). The Appart Resto in San Anselmo, now closed, followed in 2010, then F3 in 2013.

At Zalta, Chef Souvestre, of French origin, presents a menu totally different from American cuisine with a French touch that he has been doing for 11 years at F3.

“We felt like we needed a refresh and new energy,” says Susannah Souvestre, who cited the pandemic as a motivator to embark on something new. “Mediterranean cuisine is what we cook at home, and it helps that there are very few restaurants in Marin.”

The menu includes appetizers such as bites of ahi tuna on Greek kataifi with olive tapenade; lamb chops with hot green pepper sauce; and a plate of mezze made with Moroccan pickled vegetables, dolma, olives, feta cheese and a set of Middle Eastern dips with pita.

The hand-pressed dough made from wheat, rice and soy flour serves as the base for Pinsa Romana, an airy oval-shaped pizza with toppings like lamb merguez, pepperoncini, feta, pine nuts and green garlic tahini sauce; porchetta, crème fraîche, fontina; and roasted tomatoes and pepper shakshuka crowned with an egg.

You can still get a burger, but this one has layers of tzatziki, pickled onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, and green zhug between a panoramic focaccia bun. Four Mediterranean-style protein dishes complete the menu.

While the interior structure remains the same, it has been reinvented with fresh paint, braided grass lighting, aqua blue mosaic tiles, and Moroccan accents.

A wall of shelves behind the bar is illuminated with backlighting and displays a vibrant collection of cocktail mixes. Naturally, it includes a selection from the owner’s new, Novato-based distillery, Alamere Spirits, winner of a few recent spirits competition prizes.

Try it in house Pomegroni with pomegranate, Lillet, Alamere London Dry gin and Angostura bitters, or Zalta G&T with Alamere makrut lime and lemongrass gin, Mediterranean tonic, juniper berries and fresh mint. Alamere Spirits can also be found at Nugget Markets in Novato, Andy’s Local Market in San Rafael, Woodlands Market in Tiburon, Vintage Wines and Spirits in Mill Valley, Drivers Market in Sausalito, and Bungalow 44 local restaurants. , Picco and the Trident.

A new wine list features lesser-known grape varieties from Greece, Lebanon, Portugal, France and Italy, as well as California.

Zalta is open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays; 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Fridays; from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday; and 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays and is closed Mondays and Tuesdays at 39 Caledonia Street. For more information or to book, visit

Tonic tincture

St Hildie’s Spiked Tint Tonics hit local market shelves just in time for the holiday season. The herbal canned cocktails are made in Mill Valley by a trio of founders dedicated to wellness – Meghan DeRoma, Alexi Cashen and Mill Valley CEO and resident Christine Peck.

Women entrepreneurs are committed to finding their way into the male-dominated beverage industry by creating what they call a “ready-to-drink functional cocktail designed for the wellness-conscious drinker.”

Courtesy of St Hildie’s Spiked Tincture Tonics

St Hildie’s spiked dye tonics, made in Mill Valley, have appeared throughout Marin.

These sparkling drinks are light on alcohol and calories and have a touch of sparkling, real fruit juices and herbal adaptogenic and nootropic tinctures that help support the mind, body and spirit. These come in three exclusive flavors: ginger guava, elderberry hibiscus and lemon turmeric.

“It was important for us to create a drink that allows us to enjoy the pleasures of soaking up while maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” they share via a spokesperson.

St. Hildie’s can be found in Marin’s markets and restaurants including Junction, Farmshop, Mill Valley Market, Driver’s Market, Andy’s Market, and Jolly King Liquors, as well as other California retailers. Learn more at

Culinary camps

Scott Davis aka the Culinary Dude is giving parents a double win over the next few weeks of school vacations – three to five day options to get a break from the day and an opportunity for kids to learn a plethora of dishes to expand the family recipe directory.

Three interactive and individualized culinary camps lasting several days are planned from November 22 to 24, from December 20 to 24 and from December 27 to 31 in Tiburon, from $ 300 to $ 495.

Photo by Scott Davis

Scott Davis, aka the Culinary Dude, teaches kids how to cook in upcoming camps.

Davis’s mission is to empower students aged 6 to 14 to find their inner chef by teaching culinary skills, cooking etiquette and table manners. Campers follow up to six recipes a day and prepare menus made from fresh ingredients. All camps include a lunch prepared by the children with a main course and a side dish, a vegetable or fruit dish and a dessert.

Some of the highlights of Thanksgiving week camp include creamy baked corn, bean and greens gratin, roasted cauliflower with smoked paprika, sweet potato and cranberry salad, cakes of crab and seafood and a fried turkey ($ 300).

In the first of the December camps, children prepare and enjoy traditional Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa dishes, including turkey and Creole seafood; Galette with potatoes; soda bread; eggplant parmesan; chicken shawarma; simmered shoulder of lamb; chicken with Doro Wat spices; green cabbage; creamed spinach; honey glazed ham; Parker House buns; snickerdoodle brownies; sweet lokshen kugel; and bananas promote crispness. ($ 495)

The last camp of the year focuses on Christmas favorites from around the world. Kids will head south of the border to sample pickled Mexican vegetables, chicken pozole, salsa fresca, Mexican hot chocolate, and chocolate cookies. They will visit the islands on day two for Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sliders with Tropical Coleslaw; chocolate haupia pie; and anti-spam fries. Vegan, Canadian and international days follow with foods that match the theme. All camps follow strict national and local COVID security protocols and are conducted in a nut-free environment.

Camps are held from 10 am to 2 pm at St. Hilary School at 765 Hilary Drive in Tiburon. Early deposit and late pickup are available at an additional cost. Check out details, daily menus and registration information at or call 415-242-4192. Registration is limited to 16 campers.

Leanne Battelle is a freelance food writer and food columnist. Please email her at [email protected] with news and recommendations and follow her on Instagram @therealdealmarin for more on local cuisine and updates on the launch of The Real Restaurant Guide Deal Marin.

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