May 25, 2012

May 25, 2012
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Bakery Café at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (courtesy of the CIA).

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Ravenous Cafe in Healdsburg (photo courtesy of Heather Irwin).

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A wall of taps at Sprenger’s in Santa Rosa (courtesy of Sprenger’s Tap Room).

By 707 correspondent, Heather Irwin.

Call it a reverse evolution or maybe just a return to its roots, but ~RAVENOUS CAFE~ has reopened in its original eight-table space next to the Raven Theater after shuttering the 420 Center Street bungalow it inhabited for nearly a decade. On the menu are dishes like roasted tomatoes with fresh balls of mozzarella, pesto, and pine nuts; crab cakes with cilantro aioli and roasted eggplant; fresh fish tacos; and mascarpone cheesecake with swirls of lemon curd. The famous Ravenous burger was off-menu at our visit, but appeared at a regular’s table by request. Results may vary, but it’s certainly worth asking for. Open Wed-Sat for lunch and dinner (11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-9:30pm), and Sun for brunch (10am-2:30pm) and dinner (5pm-9:30 pm). 117 North St. at Center St., Healdsburg, 707-431-1302.

Welcome to Beer Country: Pliny the Younger, a triple IPA made by Santa Rosa’s ~RUSSIAN RIVER BREWING~, was named Best Beer in the World by Beer Advocate last week. Cheers to that, but don’t get too excited to sip one anytime soon. The beer is allocated just once a year (usually in February) for two short weeks. After that, it’s gone. Also in Santa Rosa, the recently opened ~SPRENGER’S TAP ROOM~ has laid claim to the most beers on tap north of the Golden Gate (a whopping 40) with the majority hailing from the Bay Area. 446 B St. at 7th St., Santa Rosa.

~ARISTA WINERY~ hosts its fourth annual Pinot & Paella Party Saturday May 26th from noon-3pm with flamenco guitar, wagon wheel-sized pans of paella from paella guy Gerard Bebesky, and, of course, Arista’s top-notch pinot noirs. 7015 Westside Rd., Healdsburg.

Eat their homework: making fresh croissants, pain au chocolat, pretzel bread sandwiches, Vietnamese banh mi, muffalettas, and steaming bowls of cioppino is all in a day’s schoolwork for students of ~THE CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA AT GREYSTONE~. Working toward their degrees, the toques-to-be manage the new Bakery Café, open for breakfast and lunch. With all dishes less than $10, it’s a steal of a deal. Professors oversee their work, so you’ll never be saddled with anything less than straight-A work. Open Tue-Sat from 10am-5pm. 2555 Main St. near Deer Park Rd., St. Helena.

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