Chef Adolfo Veronese in the kitchen of the forthcoming Aventine in Glen Ellen. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.
The remodeled interior of Aventine in Glen Ellen. The restaurant will open in early June. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.
Meatball and polenta at the preview of Aventine in Glen Ellen. This is the third location for the owners. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.
Noble Folk Ice Cream & Pie Bar opened in Healdsburg. Photo courtesy of Noble Folk.
Sonoma County Meat Co. is one of the only USDA- and state-licensed cut-and-wrap butchers in the Bay Area. The shop opens this weekend in Santa Rosa. Photo courtesy of Sonoma County Meat Co.
There’s plenty to cheer about as the sleepy Glen Ellen emerges as one of Sonoma County’s culinary destinations. In addition to the popular Glen Ellen Star, Olive and Vine, Fig Cafe, and Glen Ellen Inn, Hollywood’s popular ~AVENTINE~ (run by three Alioto brothers) is preparing for an early June opening. We got a sneak preview of the food, dining room, and incredible new outdoor seating at the former Grist Mill and Jack London residence.
The press dinner included black truffle popcorn, ahi tuna tartare and Spanish octopus, Superior Farms lamb chops with candied kumquats, and our favorite dish: the Aventino—a large veal, pork, and beef meatball stuffed with mozzarella cheese and served on a bed of polenta with golden raisins and pesto sauce. I’m drooling just thinking about chef Adolfo Veronese’s signature dish.
The boys of Healdsburg’s insanely popular Moustache Baked Goods are about to have another hit on their flour- and sugar-covered hands. Twentysomethings Ozzie Jimenez and Christian Sullberg opened ~NOBLE FOLK ICE CREAM & PIE BAR~ last week with curious flavor combinations like black sesame and coconut, cardamom, blackberry rosemary, and Japanese purple yam ice cream, along with pies such as strawberry ginger, blueberry plum thyme, walnut maple, and apple caramel. Noble Folk puts a twist on the traditional by using unusual ingredients like farro, bolero, and buckwheat flour from nearby Front Porch Farm. They even offer a “single-origin pie” that is crafted entirely from the Alexander Valley farmstead’s leaf lard, fruit, and locally milled flours. Expect to pay about $5.50 for a slice and $3.50 for a scoop. This isn’t Baskin-Robbins, after all. Open daily 12pm-9pm. 116 Matheson St., Healdsburg, 707-529-2162.
With all the recent bad news about local meat processing, it’s heartening to know that a new generation of local butchers and processors are coming up through the ranks. ~SONOMA COUNTY MEAT CO.~, which opens tomorrow, on Saturday May 31st, is a small USDA- and state-approved processor, butcher shop, and meat CSA run by meat and culinary rock stars Rian Rinn and Jenine Alexander. Unlike most commercial butcher shops, the couple can take in beef, chicken, rabbit, goat, lamb, pork, and game for processing as well as cut-and-wrap (breaking down USDA-approved animals slaughtered at places like Marin Sun Farms) and package it for sale at their store or for farmers’ markets and commercial sales. Suffice it to say, it’s a pretty big deal. They will also offer a meat CSA. Details online. 35 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa.
Heading to BottleRock Napa Valley this weekend? We know that jamming to the Cure can work up a hearty appetite. Fortunately there are plenty of snarf-worthy eats throughout the event grounds representing a cross section of Bay Area restaurants and food trucks. From Sonoma County and the coast: Nick’s Cove, Gerard’s Paella, Ultra Crepes, Three Twins Ice Cream, and Sprenger’s Tap Room. From Napa (and elsewhere): Angele, Morimoto Napa, La Condesa, The Thomas, Tarla Grill, Napkins, Villa Corona, Smoke Open Fire Cooking, Eiko’s, Jax White Mule Diner, Q Restaurant, Il Posto, Fume Bistro, Bui Bistro, Ca’Momi, Oakville Grocery, Ristorante Allegria, Kara’s Cupcakes, Bacon Bacon, Curry Up Now…okay, my fingers are tired. Just check out the gotta-get-there lineup online.
Last week, ~PIZZANDO AT HOTEL HEALDSBURG~ resumed its late-night “Snack Shack” hours on Saturdays from 10:30pm-12:30am. On chef Louis Maldonado’s menu: beef quesadillas with guacamole, radishes, pickled carrots, and jalapeño; pepperoni pizza; and fried fish tacos with marinated slaw and salsa fresca. Bar manager Tara Heffernon serves up gin and tonic, tall boy beer specials, and a rotating house cocktail. Saturdays through Labor Day. 301 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 707-922-5233.
Kozy Kar North? While most of us were watching the former John and Zeke’s Bar in Healdsburg for some signs of life from new owner Sam Young (Scout was supposed to open in March), he quietly opened ~KOZY KAR BAR~ in Santa Rosa. Now, that was a surprise. If you haven’t been to the sibling Kozy Kar Bar in SF, you’re in for a, well, new experience. It’s a ’70s and early ’80s-themed nightclub, complete with waterbeds, shag rugs, bad lighting, pinball machines, 8-tracks, and Penthouse pinup “wallpaper” from that freewheeling, all-natural era. 707 Scout hasn’t been inside the new North Bay Kozy Kar, but folks who have say it’s got more than a few adults-only features (we’ll leave it to your imagination). The SF version has been both cheered and chided for its tastelessness. We’ll see what Santa Rosa thinks. 404 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.
~FIVE DOT RANCH COOKHOUSE~ will open at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa this June, making it one of a dozen food stalls and restaurants in the ever-expanding space. Five Dot Ranch has long tempted casual marketgoers with its sustainable cuts of beef, and they are planning to add a restaurant, on-site smokehouse, and to-go menu. Coming soon: breakfast rib sandwiches on a pecan waffle, corned beef hash, Reuben sandwiches with housemade pastrami or corned beef, tri-tip sandwiches with tomato salsa, a “you pick it, we grill it” steak with bone marrow butter, burgers, barbecue…and the list goes on. They will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. 644 First Street, Napa, 707-224-5550.