But could French food be low key and fun in Marin?
F3 has answered the question in the affirmative. “Some people speak in one language and dream in another,” says Susannah Souvestre, who lives with her husband Olivier and their two children near the MIll Valley Golf Course. “At F3, we do too, but in the kitchen where we create American favorites, dreamt as French ones.”
Since opening on Valentine’s Day in 2013, F3 has been a go-to spot in Sausalito. And more and more, it’s become a to-go spot as well, with the restaurant’s delivery mopeds and Toyota Priuses scattering around southern Marin – and increasingly around the streets of Mill Valley.
“We’re getting more and more attention from our friends and neighbors in Mill Valley,” Souvestre says.
Souvestre grew up in Massachusetts and met her chef husband Olivier there while working at a restaurant called Spigalina there. The couple moved to Olivier’s native France to open a restaurant there, but things didn’t go as planned – hence the nervous enthusiasm of a restaurateur.
“We couldn’t get a loan from the bank and couldn’t get very far without one,” Souvestre says with a laugh.
The couple “randomly” moved to the Bay Area 12 years ago, with Olivier working at Chez Papa in San Francisco for a while before they and Denis decided to open their own restaurant together. They eventually sold L’Appart and opened Le Garage, focusing on simply prepared French standards within a casual environment.
“We tried to make it really fun and laid back and have our servers be casual, wearing mechanics shirts and make it laid back,” Susannah Souvestre says.
Regulars at F3 know the menu: great burgers and sandwiches, spare ribs, steak frites, pomes dauphine, an array of creative side dishes and a full bar with tasty beer and wine lists.
“We’re thrilled that more and more of our friends and neighbors in Mill Valley are discovering us,” Souvestre says.