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Pick of the Week: Beso Bistro & Bar

Pick of the Week: Beso Bistro & Bar

If you’re looking for a local restaurant that blends globally inspired flavors with California cuisine flair, head over to Beso Bistro & Wine Bar (formerly the Hamilton Cafe) at Hamilton Field. Celebrating its one year anniversary this December, Chef/owner Leo Correa and his wife Erika have put Beso on the map with their diverse menu which spotlights local, organic ingredients and Leo’s native Peruvian influence.

With its renovated decor and modern, upscale feel, this eatery offers patrons weekly seasonal specials, mocktails, beer on tap, and a well-stocked wine list. Service is friendly and attentive without being intrusive. A heated outdoor dining patio, gluten-free menu options, and “dog-friendly” policy complete Beso’s ambience.

But Chef Leo’s food is the real draw here—especially the seafood. As a twenty-six year veteran at Sausalito’s iconic Horizons restaurant, Correa comes to Novato well prepared to impress.

Standout dishes include starters like Panko-Crusted Dungeness Crab Cakes with citrus butter, orange-jicama slaw, & chipotle aioli and Roasted Gilroy Garlic with creamy cambozola and house-made tomato raisin chutney on sourdough crostini. The lunch menu features a tasty selection of sandwiches, burgers, salads, and hearty entrees like the Beso Bouillabaisse–a classic seafood stew filled with fresh scallops, prawns, fish, mussels, and clams in a saffron-pernod broth.

For dinner, don’t miss the chef’s signature dish – a Peruvian inspired stir fry called Lomo Saltado with strips of skirt steak, onions, and tomatoes that are doused with soy sauce and tossed with french fries. Speaking of fries, be sure to try Beso’s “truffled” version of this classic side dish. As a finale, save room for one of their decadent, house-made dessert specialties like tiramisu, seasonal pie or rich, creamy panna cotta.

Beso Bistro & Wine Bar (415-883-6700) is located at 502 South Palm Drive at Hamilton Parkway in Novato. Hours are 11:30am-2:30pm (lunch) and 5:30pm-9:00pm (dinner) Tuesday through Sunday (closed Monday). Price range: $9 to $22. Reservations accepted for parties of four or more. All major credit cards accepted. For more information, visit www.besobistro.com