An all-star chef returns to Marin

When you've been away for a long time, it sure is sweet to come home, whether you're an epic Greek hero who must return to his wife, or a precocious American bulldog who's tired of Sally Field being the one to do all the yapping. Or, chef Scott Howard...comin' home to Brick & Bottle.

After killing it for several years at his eponymous SF resto and more recently in Berkeley at FIVE, Howard's returning to Marin (his home and where he got famous), to open this 200-seat Cali comfort foodery with the help of two more Marinites, who somehow managed to build the resto while resisting the twin temptations of rearing privileged children and mountain biking. The resto's centerpiece's a massive open kitchen, which is overlooked by a rustic copper bar studded with industrial Edison fixtures, all surrounded by leather booths, salvaged wood chef tables, and big windows that open out onto an idyllic patio with a brick firepit, also NOT a great rename for HR's downsizing room. The simple, market fresh grub ranges from orzo mac n' cheese with foraged mushrooms, to fresh seafood a la plancha, to plump rotisserie chickens, to brick oven pizzas like the Fontina/caramelized onion-covered Duck Confit, which is fowl on pizza, but, you know, still tastes good.

Alcoholically speaking, there's specialty cocktails like Calvados/Chartreuse/Bendictine Widow's Kiss and the rye/vermouth/maraschino Brooklyn, plus a 70-bottle-deep wine list and 12 draft n' bottled beers, including Iron Springs Ken Lake Kolsch and Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA, but don't overindulge, or the only way you'll see Homeward Bound is via an expensive cab.