Hand rolls at SEA Thai Bistro Noodle Bar in Santa Rosa. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.
Dungeness crab puffs at SEA Thai Bistro Noodle Bar in Santa Rosa. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.
Pot stickers with pork belly and jicama at SEA Thai Bistro Noodle Bar in Santa Rosa. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.
SEA Thai Noodle Bar Opens: We’ve been finding ourselves spending more and more time at the revamped Coddingtown Mall, eating our way through all the new restaurants making their way to the North Bay. Our favorite, however, has to be local chef Tony Ounpamornchai’s newest venture, ~SEA THAI BISTRO NOODLE BAR~. Opening just last week, it’s the third SEA Thai restaurant (there are also locations at Montgomery Village and Corte Madera), but by far the best. The “Southeast Asian comfort food” menu is built around large bowls of noodle soups, curries, rice bowls, small bites, and salads.
A master of fusing Southeast Asian flavors with Wine Country ingredients, Ounpamornchai has created a more casual menu and dining experience; the simple wood tables are a convenient platform for slurping and sharing.
The menu is still evolving, but the best bets are the Drunken Man Noodles (flat noodles with chicken, Thai chiles, Chinese broccoli, and a healthy splash of Johnny Walker); a sumptuous lamb curry with sugar snap peas in creamy coconut milk; a rice bowl with pan-roasted Liberty Farms duck, pickled ginger, yu choy, and sweet soy sauce; pot stickers with jicama and pork belly; and Dungeness crab puffs with spicy bacon aioli and plum sauce.
There’s lots to love on the dessert menu, such as crème caramel with sweet cherries, and there’s an extensive wine list too. Mon-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat 11am-8pm, and Sun 11am-6pm. At the Coddingtown Mall, 2323 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa (north main entrance near BJ’s Brewhouse), 707-528-8333.
Hey, Betty: Is Guerneville getting more fun by the moment or what? The recently revamped Russian River Resort (R3) is now home to ~BETTY SPAGHETTI~, a casual bistro with a patio. Owned by chef Greg Barnes and his partner, Darrel Hutchison, the Cal-Ital menu includes such noshes as batter-dipped green beans with ranch dressing ($9), polenta cakes ($8), burrata with arugula ($9), Tuscan kale salad ($10), sausage pizza ($15), spaghetti and meatballs, natch ($19), orecchiette with goat cheese ($16), steamed mussels ($18), and a rib-eye steak ($29). Poolside, they serve up burgers, hot dogs, carnitas tacos, sweet tea, and fries for bathing beauties and sun gods. 16390 Fourth St., Guerneville, 707-869-8399.
Cider Showdown: In case you haven’t heard, craft cider is the new craft beer, and California’s North Coast is at the heart of the movement. No one knows that better than Sonoma County’s own Ellen Cavalli of ~TILTED SHED CIDERWORKS~, a family-run cidery making use of lost apple varieties from West County. She’ll host a bicoastal tasting of small-batch ciders at SHED Healdsburg on Sunday August 3rd at 3-5pm. The workshop includes a tasting of six ciders (including Tilted Shed and Devoto Orchards Cider) paired with cheeses from Gypsy Cheese Co. and Weirauch Farm & Creamery. 25 North St. at Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 707-431-7433. Tickets are $50 and available online; 21 and over.
Kids, Dogs and Cheese: What pairs best with Yorkville Highlands wines? On Saturday August 2nd, the annual ~YORKVILLE HIGHLANDS WINE FESTIVAL~ welcomes the whole family (including Fido) for a day of grape stomping, barrel rolling, barbecue, and more than 60 Yorkville Highlands and Mendocino Ridge wines. The festival is hosted by Meyer Family Cellars, near Boonville in Mendocino County. Proceeds help to support the local fire department. Tickets available online; $50, $30 for designated drivers and kids 13-18, children 12 and under free.