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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Busy Restaurant Week 2018

It was a busy restaurant week in Sonoma County. We had an opportunity to try some new places and indulge at some old ones.

I would say the most disappointing meal was at Walter Hansel. Their usual 3-course meal is $35 and for restaurant week, their 3-course dinner was $39. I thought they would throw in something a little special but they didn't. The first course salad was tiny and the dessert was laughable for a $39 meal. The steak was delicious as were the pomme frites but overall still a disappointment. I'll go back to have their duck gizzard salad, which is out of this world and their reasonably priced wine list but I won't be back for Restaurant Week.

Another price for quality disappointment was at Sazon. The empanada was tiny as was the entree serving size.

The best deal was at Monti's. The burrata was a huge portion and the sole was delicious. The only disappointment was the dessert.

A close second was Jackson's. I was pleasantly surprised by the large salad and the delicious osso bucco.

I'm glad I discovered Rocker Oysterfeller. Their corn muffin is to die for and I loved their brined fried chicken.

I'm also happy I ate at Rosso's, even though they baited and switched their menu. It was supposed to be a $19 menu but turned out to be a $29 menu. I noticed on their regular menu that they have bucatini and meatballs on Mondays so I'll have to go back to try that.

Monday, March 19, 2018


To end Restaurant Week, we had dinner on Sunday at Jackson's Bar & Oven. It's located at 135 4th Street in downtown Santa Rosa.

Corkage is $15 and we had a bottle of Carol Shelton Rocky Reserve Zinfandel.

The $29 3-course dinner only had 1 choice per course. The 1st course was Half Caesar Salad. This was a huge serving and I loved the anchovy dressing.

The entree was Veal Osso Bucco, Creamy Polenta, Mire Poix Jus, Gremolata. This was a huge portion and so good.

The dessert was Chocolate Tiramisu served in a bowl. This had a lot of mascarpone.

2018 03 11

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Sunday lunch was at Backyard, located at 6566 Front Street in Forestville.

We started with a Bucket o' Doughnuts--$6.50. This was served with apple-persimmon butter and cinnamon sugar. Each serving comes with 6 donuts. The donuts were fluffy and delicious.

One of the options for the $15 Restaurant Week lunch was Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich—dijonaise, kale & root vegetable slaw, brioche roll.

Another option was Tim’s Burger—pasture raised beef, aioli, pickled onions, brioche roll. This is what I come to Backyard to have. The burger is juicy and full of flavor. It came with 2 pickle spears and potato salad--nothing too remarkable.

Another option was Fried Chicken Chop Salad—buttermilk dressing, piquillo pepper, radish, pickled onion. My friend liked it.

One of the dessert options was Mini Budino with Salted Caramel, Sweet Cream and Chocolate Pearls. This was a great dessert. I love the rich Budino with the salted caramel.

Another dessert option was House Made Ice Cream—we chose the candy cap mushroom. It tasted like butter pecan. The slice of mushroom on top was very earthy. Other options included meyer lemon sorb popsicle, chocolate, lemon verbena & cherry shrub swirl

2018 03 11

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Saturday night dinner was at Barndiva, located at 231 Center Street in Healdsburg.

Corkage is $25/bottle. We had a bottle of Boatique Sauv Blanc Musque.

One of the options for the first course was Cauliflower Soup: Caramelized Florettes, Caper, Raisin Almond, Red Wine Reduction. This was delicious and very creamy. The raisin gave it a unique taste.

The other option for the first course was Yellowtail Hamachi Crudo: Sticky Jasmine Rice, Avocado, Citrus Pickled Chili, Tamari Soy. Another delicious dish but I liked the cauliflower soup better.

One of the options for the entree was Herb Basted Local Petrale Sole: Lobster Risotto, Pickled Fennel Creme Fraiche Nage. This was probably the best sole we had all week.

The dessert was Dark Chocolate Bavarian Dome : Almond Streusel, Ice Cream, Fleur de Sel. This was a fancy dessert, worthy of a $39 meal.

2018 03 10

Friday, March 16, 2018

Screaming Mimi's

After lunch, we stopped at Screaming Mimi's for ice cream. It's located at 6902 Sebastoopol Road. Some consider it one of the top 10 ice cream places in the US.

I ordered the Deep Dark Secret this time. It's an intensely flavored chocolate. Ice cream is sold by weight. This one cost $3.42. 

The Mimi Mud is the most popular and supposedly accounts for 1/3 of sales. With sales over $1 million/year, that's a lot of mud. It's coffee, chocolate chips, cookies and fudge.

2018 03 10

Thursday, March 15, 2018


We went to Lowell's Saturday at lunch. It's located at 7385 Healdsburg Ave. in Sebastopol.

One of the options for the first course was a cranberry scone. This was very moist.

The other option for the first course was Winter Minestrone, with daily bean, seasonal greens, tomato, soffrito and parmigiano. This was bland.

Brassica Hash, with two poached eggs, romanesco, cauliflower, cabbage, potato, red onion, parmigiano and toast. The Satsuma jam served with the toast was delicious.

Braised chicken, potato, braised greens and I asked for mine without the charred scallions. Not exactly what I was expecting with the menu description but the brick of shredded chicken was very tasty. We were trying to figure out what they used to bind the chicken but they used nothing. I think they fried it in the mold to keep the chicken together.

2018 03 10

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


We had planned to try The Shuckery in Petaluma on Friday but they decided not to do Restaurant Week so we went to Monti's instead. It's located at 714 Village Court, near the Montgomery Village.

This was a delicious white blend. Cline Cellar's Cashmere--$28. Buy one bottle and get free corkage on a 2nd bottle.

Citrus Marinated Baby Beets, Spiced Pecans, Hobb's Bacon, Chèvre Crema.

Burrata Cheese with Green Olive Tapenade, Fleur de Sel and Lemon. This was delicious and a huge portion.

Sole Almondine, French Green Beans, Fingerling Potatoes, Radish, Caper Brown Butter. The sole was great but I felt guilty eating it since it was swimming in butter.

Warm Chocolate Cake with Coffee Caramel, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Buttered Almonds. The cake had a strange grittiness, almost like unmelted sugar.

Warm Apple Spice Cake, Caramelized Apples, Hazelnut and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. This didn't have much flavor and I couldn't find a trace of apples.

2018 03 09