The first time I tried Hilltop was about a year ago and I wasn’t impressed. The food was good, but nothing amazing. I wasn’t in a hurry to go back, but the opportunity presented itself when we found ourselves in Novato on a warm, sunny day.
The Shut-Up-and-Give-it-to-Me-Quick Version:
Food was great, service was even better and the views are unmatched in Novato.
The I-Like-to-be-Wrapped-Up-in-All-the-Details Version:
The original plan was to sit on the balcony, enjoy the views and order some drinks. The plan was highjacked when the waiter handed us a brunch menu. Although we weren’t that hungry, we couldn’t say no to brunch… who does that?
Our waiter was awesome, he was friendly, attentive and a nice guy. He gave us a quick history on Hilltop, which was informative and fun to learn. Our experience was also made better by a lady dining with her dad (honestly the second cutest dad I’ve met, don’t worry dad you’re still number one), we bonded because they, too, were from L.A., but moved to Novato a long time ago and were able to paint us a picture of what Novato was like some thirty years ago. Don’t you just love when you meet interesting people unexpectedly… I do!
The view from hill top is nice, you can see past Novato to Marin. The lady also told us that the sunset view from the inside dining area is gorgeous (we’ll have to come back in the evening).
What we ate (and drank):
- Farmer’s open face melt ($14)
- The snowball in hell ($9)
- Orange passionfruit mojito ($9)
My mojito was really good because it wasn’t sweet and was very refreshing. It is made with passionfruit rum, lemon juice, orange juice, and mint (I love that they didn’t skimp on the mint). The flavored rum and orange juice made it a tasty twist on a classic drink. Would definitely order again!
The open face melt was delicious! Since we weren’t that hungry we decided to share. To be honest, even if I was hungry, I felt that it was big enough to split. The melt is served on artisan sourdough bread topped with a basil aioli spread, tomato, avocado, bacon, provolone and an over easy egg. I really enjoyed it; the bread wasn’t too thick, the egg was cooked just right (I think the yolk makes everything better), and the bacon was nice and crunchy. I am not usually a fan of breakfast potatoes (more often than not they are just a filler and are mediocre at best), but these were well seasoned and cooked so that some edges were crispy, without making the potatoes dry.
The snowball in hell is a dessert that is served in a chocolate coated cup with devil’s food cake, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, toasted coconut and a side of hot chocolate sauce. I liked this, but for my taste it was a little too chocolate-y. I know that might sound like a sin to say but that is just my opinion. I know my boyfriend, who loves chocolate, thought it was perfect. I would’ve liked for them to have added more vanilla ice cream, or something to cut the sweetness. Besides that, it was very good, the toasted coconut added a great flavor and gave is a little crunch. If you love chocolate than this will be the snowball from heaven!
See you tomorrow with a review of an orgasmic SF lunch spot.