That's no surprise, considering the fact that chef-owner Nikolaus Kaubisch is an alumnus of La Folie, in San Francisco, and The Left Bank, in Marin County. Both restaurants are owned by Roland Passot, one of the Bay Area's most talented chefs.
What is surprising is that 60-year-old Kaubisch only began cooking professionally in 1996, after two years of cooking classes at the San Francisco Culinary Institute. The German-born chemist moved to the United States in 1985 to work in the pharmaceutical industry, but after a decade found little satisfaction in his corporate routine. His wife had a culinary background and inspired Kaubisch to experiment in his kitchen at home.
"Cooking gave me a wonderful separation from my professional life," said Kaubisch. Eventually, his hobby became his life. "Now separation is impossible. I love it too much."
Filou's sleek, simple interior is elegant without pretense and seats only 36. Kaubisch turns out hearty yet refined French fare, with subtle sauces that reflect the chef's expertise. The wine list is short, but offers an excellent selection from both Old and New World producers.
198 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
San Anselmo, CA 94960
Phone (415) 256-2436
Fax (415) 256-2423
Lunch, Monday to Friday; dinner, Tuesday to Saturday
To read more about San Francisco dining and Rolland Passot's restaurants:
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