September 28, 2012

September 28, 2012
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A box of handpicked vegetables at Bloomfield Farms in Petaluma. Courtesy of Heather Irwin.

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Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. Courtesy of Heather Irwin.

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Ladera Vineyards, looking spooky in 1982. Courtesy of Ladera Vineyards.

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Chef Josh Silvers and Pam Wilson at Three Squares Café in Santa Rosa. Courtesy of Heather Irwin.

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Matzo brei at Three Squares Café in Santa Rosa. Courtesy of Heather Irwin.

By 707 correspondent Heather Irwin. Sign up for the BiteClub Newsletter.

“Mommy, I picked lettuce!” is the kind of gleeful exclamation you’ll hear over and over in the fields of ~BLOOMFIELD FARMS~. Each Sunday through October, the family-operated organic farm will open its barn doors and set folks loose on several acres of salad greens, kale, squash, lettuce, potatoes, zucchinis, and other veggies. Staff will be on hand to point you to the right rows, give tips on how to most effectively dig for potatoes, and guide you to what’s at the peak of the season. Plan to get your boots dusty and your hands dirty, because this is farmwork after all. Each box is $25 to fill. Open 10am to 3pm, 12550 Valley Ford Rd., Petaluma.

Top Chef Masters competitor and James Beard Award-winner Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Frasca is the featured chef this Sunday September 30th at ~COPAIN WINES~. The Supper Club Series at the acclaimed Russian River winery will feature a one-of-a-kind rustic feast showcasing the Friulian-inspired cuisine and salumi Mackinnon-Patterson is known for at his Boulder, Colorado restaurant. Tickets for the Frasca Supper Club are $175 for mailing list members; $225 for non-members. On December 14th, the winery welcomes James Beard Award-winner and Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef honoree David Chang of Momofuku for the final 2012 Supper Club. More details and tickets by calling 707-836-8822 x105.

It’s a spooky trip to Howell Mountain’s ~LADERA VINEYARDS~ for its annual Twilight Ghost Tours this October. The program includes a lantern-led tour of the former “ghost” winery and a tour of the gravity-flow winery. The tour ends with a tasting of Ladera’s limited-production wines paired with an assortment of cheese and chocolates. The tours are by appointment only, lasting approximately 90 minutes. Tickets are $75 per person for groups of up to four people. For reservations contact Ladera Vineyards at 707-965-2445.

On the first morning of breakfast service for ~THREE SQUARES CAFÉ~ in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square, chef-owner Josh Silvers wandered from table to table greeting other chefs. Like much of the local dining community, the anticipation among other restaurateurs was palpable: What would become of the iconic space? It turns out to be exactly what many of us hoped it would be—a return to the comfortable, warm, homey cooking that is Silvers’s hallmark.

“It’s food that comes from here,” says Silvers, pointing to his heart, “not here,” he adds, pointing to his head. “You don’t have to sit and think about it,” he says of Petite Syrah, a short-lived version of the restaurant that featured small plates of haute cuisine. “It just wasn’t me.” Instead, the new three-meals-a-day menu (hence the name) features dishes including a breakfast sticky bun; Hangtown fry with fried oysters and bacon; corned beef hash with poached eggs; and matzo brei with potato pancakes, sour cream, and housemade applesauce. Those with a sweet tooth will love the deep-fried French toast with real maple syrup and the pumpkin griddle cakes with homemade sausage.

Dinner includes a daily “square meal,” such as spaghetti and meatballs on Wednesday, fried chicken on Thursday, and prime rib on Sunday ($19.95-$27.95 for the prime rib). The price includes soup, salad, and housemade ice cream. But you may want to check out the dessert menu anyway, because Josh’s butterscotch pudding is something special. And there’s almost nothing better than getting a slice of birthday cake (with a candle) when it’s not your birthday. The cake is made in-house with Josh’s one requirement of the baker: “Bake whatever makes you smile.”

Shoulder to shoulder with his kitchen staff (including breakfast cook Pam Wilson, his first sous at Syrah), Silvers seems happier than ever cooking more approachable food. It’s the kind of Wednesday-morning, Friday-night, Sunday-afternoon food that just makes you go, “Mmmmm, that’s just what I wanted.” Open Tuesday through Sunday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Closed Monday. 205 Fifth St. at Davis, Santa Rosa, 707-545-4300.