Benissimo Ristorante and Bar
PACIFIC SUN : December 1995
(WORD OF MOUTH - One of the most pleasurable surprises of the year was my discovery of Benissimo Ristorante at 18 Tamalpais Drive in Corte Madera,.......one visit will make you realize that this is the best Italian restaurant in Marin, and one of the best in Bay Area.)
Charles Martell-Mill Valley
Marin Scope: (A charming, reliable neighborhood Italian trattoria)
I really like eating here. Intimate feel, full bar, and good food. Love that the owner is also the host.
We come here often. The food is delicious and the service attentive. Plus we love the tiramisu!
The early bird special for $27.00 provided a lot of food, but we would have been happier had we opted for a smaller, better quality meal.
Everything here is beyond Excellent!
We have found a jewel in Marin.
Four of us had a really nice Saturday night dining experience. Nice ambiance highlighted by ceiling soundproofing. We could actually hear ourselves talk without screaming. Minestrone soup was excellent, Caesar salads fine, pasta and risotto entrees excellent as was the tiramisu desert. Only disappointment was the most expensive dish Chipino-all seafood. Ingredients over cooked. Service was fine.
We are repeat visitors to Benissimo. The food is excellent, the service excellent as well. We consider the pricing to be a great value. The setting is quiet (usually) and comfortable. Just another enjoyable and delicious evening.
Just came back from Italy and this place was as good as most Italian places we went to in country!
Wonderful. Excellent service and food. Love going there.
Always have a nice time here.
The food was excellent but the service was absent and when the restaurant was practically empty.
Benissimo is one of our local go to restaurants. Pleasant, unpretentious, good food, nice atmosphere, fairly priced wine, a great neighborhood kind of place.
Benissimo is a neighborhood gem. The food is good, the service attentive and friendly and the prices are reasonable. It has become our "go-to" favorite place.
Our first time to this local eatery. We asked if it would be okay if we pushed our reservation 30 minutes later so that we could go to the wine bar up the street and received a smiling response of, "Sure, no problem!" We took more like an hour and yet, they were still all smiles and accommodating when we returned. (I knew at that time that we would be the last table there.) Our waiter was kind and gentle even though he had to return three times to get our order. The food was surprisingly good with high-quality ingredients. The prices were just right for a neighborhood place in Marin. Perhaps the front of the restaurant could be more inviting. We will be back again!
We made a last minute reservation at Benissimo and they had a table so off we went. We were able to sit at a table slightly out of the main dining room so we could hear each other easily. We both had a pasta dish and a salad and they were delicious. We come here on a regular basis and have enjoyed it over the years. We usually have the tiramisu for dessert because it is also delivious.
hidden gem of marin, great drinks, friendly local service, family owned, they always have a table available right away
Been there 30 years, I’ve gone for 10 years. Never a bad meal!
good as always, owner almost always on the premises, nice folks
We love the neighborhood ambience of Benissimo. The owner, Mario, is a delight and meets everyone at the door. We were celebrating our friends new marriage, and asked for a private booth. No problem! The place is always packed when we go, but the guests and the staff are so friendly its sort of like Cheers.
Excellent cocktails! We stayed for many hours, but they were gracious and did not rush out. We'll be back many more times!
Warm Welcome, knowledgeable & attentive server, delicious courses. Lovely as usual!
Food was very good and prices were reasonable. Portions were ample. Only problem noted was the smell upon entering the restaurant. There is an unpleasant odor (sort of like very old Parmesan cheese). It's very off-putting when you walk in. It was also a little annoying to be greeted by a person chewing gum.
I would go back for the food but I hope they air the room out to get rid of the odor.
Always enjoy sitting at the bar where the service is spot-on and the drinks are generously poured!
We love Benissimo’s. Friendly, professional and we’ve never been disappointed with the quality of the food and service.
This place couldn’t be better. We just happened upon it while traveling through the area.
We were delighted to find that it had been at the same place with the same owner for over thirty years. That’s pretty rare.
The place was filled with local patrons who had probably dined there for years.
The owner was present overlooking the bar and the restaurant even though the waiter was couldn’t have been more attentive and full of old world charm.
Oh ya, the food was impeccable.
Roast pork stuffed with mushrooms and Italian sausage.
Home made ravioli.
Menu was hard to decide on because it all sounded so great.
Has gone downhill since our last visit a couple years ago.
Food just average...
Ambiance needs alot of help.
Too many other good restaurants around to choose from sorry...
My first visit to Benissimo on the recommendation of my boss. I will definitely return! Everything from ambiance to friendly service to great tasting food will draw me back to Bemissimo.
Food was quite good
Sadly, I would not. I love the happy hour but when my husband and I went for dinner the food was really pretty bad. I was very surprised. I had what they called sea bass but it tasted awful and the gravy was more like meat gravy and was supposed to be capers and butter, burnt perhaps? The minestrone tasted like it was out of a can and the caesar salad was very average to poor.
I'm very sorry to report this. I have seen other reviews that say the menu is old an tired, but perhaps the cooks are???
This place needs a make over for sure!
I have visited Benissimo many times. It is a nice friendly neighborhood restaurant. Unfortunately the menu is old and tired. It has not changed in years. On this occasion not only did our dishes look unappetizing, but my dish was only just warm, and some vegetables were cold. I'm writing this with regret, because I like the place and the people, but they need a serious update .
Whenever my wife and I come here for dinner we always hope that Alessandro will be our waiter. We were very lucky that he was working the night that we came in for dinner, March 15th. He was very gracious and helpful.
Very nice service and tasty food
Great restaurant for a romantic dinner or a good catch-up with friends. Service is always expedient and delightful. Alessandro is the best! Try their early bird special, it's the best deal in town!
Went here with my husband and cousin. She had been there previously, we had not. We went for an early dinner at 4:45. We were the only ones, besides one other lady in attendance. It was so nice and quiet, we could hear ourselves talk, for a change!
Upon being seated, our wonderful waiter was there immediately. He explained several dishes and we ordered. FYI, they have an early bird special that we did not know about before going. It’s from 4-6pm and next time, we will choose off that menu. It’s a GREAT deal-salad, pasta & main course for $27!
My husband had the tortellini w/prosciutto in a light Alfredo type sauce. We split a wonderful salad w/pears & Gorgonzola cheese & mixed greens with a light dressing. I had the short ribs in Marsala w/broccoli, green beans & Brussel sprouts. No bones and SO tasty and tender! My cousin had the same as I did, but ate a whole salad by herself! They also have wonderful warm focaccia with dipping oil. Every morsel was enjoyed by us all. After dinner, we shared a small gelato sundae and decaf lattes. Our waiter was more than attentive, but not a pest. He is an asset to the restaurant. Having come so early, by the time we lefty they began filling up and the noise level increase, naturally, but not where you had to shout at one another, as you do in many places it seems lately. It was a very enjoyable experience and we would go again gladly. Our only suggestion.....get some biscotti to go with their gelato and lattes! Food and wait staff did not disappoint!
Benissimo is one of our go to places. The staff is always welcoming and service is friendly. We are never disappointed in our selections. although our favorites are the chicken parm and gnocchi. Corkage is a value and the wine list is reasonably priced.
Not much more to say except that this is a great place.
We had a loving evening at Benissimo. The food was great as was the atmosphere and the service. We recently moved to Marin and this restaurant will definitely be one of our go-to places!
I really like this place. The food seems to be very consistent. It's not the type of place to be in and out of. You take your time. When they're busy, you'll need to be patient. I've had short ribs and salmon there before and both are excellent.
I was disappointed this time. The short ribs were mediocre and the pasta was ok but needed flavor. We had to wait a long time before we saw our server. We had to wait an inordinate amount of time for our food and check as well. They were busy but not THAT busy. We will try again because we’ve loved this restaurant and the charming owner for years.
all okay everytime all the time, owner is always present, wait staff all long-timers
Quality Italian food from a long-standing family-owned business. Our server has been there over 15 years. It's that kind of place. Everything is excellent, great wine selection, a small and cozy spot perfect for date night or family celebrations.
We usually love Benissimo but their Valentine's Day Pris Fixe menu was unexpected and sub-par to their normal standard. We booked on Open Table and did not see the special menu. We were not the only patrons to be surprised by it. We were looking forward to some good pasta and were very disappointed to be served what felt like buffet food. We most likely will go to Benissimo again but not on a holiday.