If you've never tried Basque food, this is the place to become addicted! It's a cross between French and Spanish, with assertive, vibrant flavors.
Chalet Basque has been a family favorite for decades. My husband and I try to visit whenever we are in San Rafael.
This trip we got an early (5:30) reservation and were the first ones there. By the time we left, the place was getting packed.
We sat on the patio.
Dinners come with a tureen of soup to share. Ours was potato leek (with a hint of artichoke?). Also a very fresh salad. My husband had lamb shanks with white beans. I had rock cod in lemon/garlic butter which came with a scoop or aromatic rice and steamed veggies. Portions are large and the food is beyond delicious. Try not to fill up on the garlic bread or you won't be able to finish your meal!
For $5 extra you can get pate and either ice cream or rice pudding included in your dinner.
My husband had house white wine for only $5 a glass!
The menu is not huge, but has plenty of choices.
Entrées include shrimp, fish of the day, chicken (several options), duck, pasta, steak, veal, lamb, or more exotic meats including beef tongue, sweetbreads and frogs legs.
Desserts include chocolate mousse, flan, ice cream, rice pudding. Also several specialty coffees and port.
The service is attentive and professional.
There is a bar with a TV where you can also eat. The SF Giants game was playing during our dinner.
Cozy place for an intimate dinner or great for families too.
Well prepared, flavorful food. Very pleasant outdoor seating. White table cloths-classy. Portion sizes reasonable. Good value. Attentive staff. Bread was very fresh and warm. Nice menu--not overly large and not skimpy either. Waiter did not seem too pleased with Groupon voucher use but we did leave a tip on the full amount.
I always liked this restaurant. Having dinner in the garden was very enjoyable. Good food and great service. I've been going to this restaurant since late 80's. Lovely!
We had a lovely meal and were once again fortunate to have Linda as our server. She always makes our visits especially enjoyable.
Old style rich food that is no longer valid.
Huge waste of money. Not an inexpensive place.
One of our favorite spots, excellent food and service.
We had the best experience at Chalet Basque. We felt as though we had actually been transported to Europe. There are so many food choices that we couldn't make up our minds. So so great and yummy.
Linda our waitress is fantastic. Has been serving here for more that 30+ years. Great customer service.
LOve the new owner of this French Specialty Restaurant!
The soup was good. The salad that came with the dinner was inedible. Just tasted like something had gone bad. I couldn't tell if it was the lettuce or the house dressing. I had the sole special which was pretty good but drowned in sauce so it seemed mushy. Overall, eat too much money for the quality of food.
One of my perennial favorites. Flavor and ambiance of country French Basque. Friendly, low key. Fun bar with booths for dining plus dining room and spacious outdoor patio. Some specialties like escargot, sweet breads, lamb shank, onion soup plus seafood and more. Great value, friendly, gracious service. local favorite.
Very pleasant surprise. Just enough different to add a bit of fun. Quality and value were both very good.
Food is excellent and filling. Waitress Linda is always outstanding. Like being in France on a sunny summer afternoon. What's not to like
Meeting a client in San Rafael with no local knowledge of restaurants suitable for a business lunch meeting, I was very pleasantly impressed with Chalet Basque ... although a bit pricy for lunch - the food was excellent (I had the Paella special) and the weather excellent for seating on the patio (both dining room and patio options were available and offered.) I suspect this is a well known local secret, but I recommend a visit for others who may find themselves in the area. My thanks to our server Marika who was very attentive yet left us to our discussions when appropriate.
We really enjoyed our dining experience. The service was excellent and the food was delicious. The potatoe leek soup was a pleasant surprise. We enjoyed it very much.
Mostly standard French restaurant fare; same fun server from start to finish- a rarity these days . Sensibly priced; no annoying music.
We agreed we couldn't remember enjoying a meal so much in a long time! I rarely eat beef, but I ordered the filet mignon and it was the best I've ever had (and I've been on the planet for a while)! Ask for a table by the window; it's much more pleasant. Our waiter was a bit curt for my taste, but the other wait staff were friendly and gracious.
The owners and staff must be very used to the continual praise they receive for this very wonderful find. I have been here three times in the past year. Each time has been a good time and good food. One guest, well traveled, noted that Chalet Basque's patio during lunch made him feel like he was back in Southern France. Well worth the short drive from San Francisco.
Attentive staff, good portions, and well prepared food make it a neighborhood gem fit for foodies.
Not impressed with this restaurant at all. Service was horrible. They charged $29.00 for thinly sliced New York steak. They served their soup in a stainless bowl, was placed in the middle for everyone to partake, so ghetto. I don't even do that at home.
Will not go back.
Delicious brunch menu for Mother's Day. We ate outside in their courtyard lined with flowers. The food and the service was perfect.
quantity, not quality. sou and salad good, but entree very mediocre.
Perfect lunch. Basque food hard to find----frogs legs and sweebreads. Not your fu-fu Marin place. Love it.
Great Basque restaurant- enjoyed split pea curry soup - beautiful texture and flavoring - curry well balanced - nice salad with blue cheese vinaigrette- main course was duck confit with orange sauce - good - slightly over cooked but tasty. Good wine list - found a 2011 Bordeaux superior for around 35$ .
Old Marin mediocrity, in a nice outdoor setting. I guest the Boomer population of Marin goes for this kind of food and can overlook the absolutely atrocious service, but if you aren't using a walker, this might not be the place for you.
Great value ...multi course basque meal...always consistent....quiet dining room...
Nice patio...also good for brunch!
Good food and we were happy to snap a last-minute reservation although we were seated about 1/2 hour later than the res because they were so busy following a show at the Marin Center. We were seated first in the back corner of the dining room which was very hot with little air circulation and we then requested an outside table which they accommodated as quickly as they could. Nice staff ...and while I wouldn't call it 'gourmet', the food is tasty and the meal combos offer plenty of food to satisfy even a big appetite. We will go again.
One of my favorite spots after a show at the Marin Center. Unfortunately, this evening, they were overbooked and understaffed. They apologized, but we did not get our meals for over 1 1/2 hours. Comped us a bottle of wine, but some of my friends were there for the first time on my recommendation. No more "show" nights for me. They really need more staff in the dining room and the kitchen.
Great dinner Sunday, loved seeing Roger. Out door dining at its best
Was very happy with the food (excellent), the service (excellent), facility, atmosphere.
We loved finding again, the Chalet Basque. We sat outside on a lovely warm evening, enjoyed a glass of wine with our meal, and then walked home. How lovely - I'd recommend this gem to anyone.
Where can you get 3 star 5 course classic French food in charming old world relaxed ambiance for $23 on Sunday? Chalet Basque!! Veal beef. duck, roasted chicken,FROGS LEGS, BEEF TRIPE, CALF LIVER can't easily be found. Delicious 3 hours melted away..
A great neighborhood restaurant. Not a large menu but great portions and good food. Linda is the all time waitress. She has been there for many years and we always hope she will be taking care of our table. She adds a spark to an already pleasant evening.
Food a little pricey. It was good but not phenomenal as prices might suggest. Great selection of food and beveages representing the region of Nortern Basque Country. The resturant was busy with special event. So service was understandingly slow. It was also loud.
I had filet mignon. It was very tender. However not cooked as I requested. The salad just lettece and a tomato wedge was tastless.. The soup was very good. Soup and salad included with meal. I will definitely try again.
Great Basque food at affordable prices. It's like eating at your grandparents except you don't have to do the dishes.
Loved the fact that they had lamb for Easter. The water cress soup was delicious.
We have been to Chalet Basque three times now, and each time has been a pleasure. We consider it a favorite destination as we live in the Esst Bay.
Enjoyable family friendly restaurant. We went for Easter Brunch, a special menu. They do not normally have a Sunday Brunch, so don't know if what we had is on the regular menu. It was a good offering of basque recipes, french dishes, healthy offerings, and kid familiar options. There were great blends of flavors in the sauces. In general, it was like home cooking with special touches for a holiday meal. The staff were friendly. It was like being with family.
For being open for brunch just twice a year - Easter and Mother's Day - our omelettes were very tasty. Attentive service and reasonable (for Easter) prices.