Santa Rosa’s Guy Fieri gets his noodle on at M.Y. China in San Francisco. Is Martin eyeing a move north? Photo courtesy of M.Y. China.
SPQR’s Matthew Accarrino. Photo courtesy of SPQR.
Chef Domenica Catelli and her brother run Catelli’s the Rex in Geyserville and will be serving one of my favorite restaurant week menus. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.
Rumor has it Martin Yan may be pondering a move north. After opening M.Y. China in San Francisco’s Westfield Centre last December to solid reviews, the buzz around Santa Rosa is that he’s looking for a second location in Wine Country. Fueling the fire: Hints on his Facebook page that something big is in the works and a picture of Santa Rosa’s own cheflebrity Guy Fieri pulling noodles at the restaurant yesterday. A collaboration in the works?
~SPQR~ chef Matthew Accarrino heads to Forestville for a one-night guest chef gig at the Michelin-starred ~FARMHOUSE INN~ on Thursday March 21st. Part of the restaurant’s Wine Dinner Series, he’ll whip up a collaborative multicourse dinner inspired by his book SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine. The menu includes stuffed quail with rhubarb, spring onion, black truffle, and Castelluccio lentil; rabbit lasagna and prosciutto cotto; as well as an hors d’oeuvres reception and book signing. There will also be wine pairings from the restaurant’s master sommelier, Geoff Kruth. To buy tickets ($175 each) and secure reservations, call 707-887-3300 or visit the Farmhouse Inn website. Farmhouse Inn is offering a 25 percent discount on accommodations for those attending the dinner. 7871 River Rd., Forestville, 707-887-3300.
Sonoma County Restaurant Week kicks off Monday March 18th with more than 100 restaurants from Petaluma to Geyserville serving up prix-fixe dinners for $19, $29, or $39. Most chefs have ramped up their games to attract new diners during this notoriously quiet winter season but it’s important to check the menu offerings to make sure you’re in for something worthwhile.
After poring over every menu, here are my top five picks:
Go haute at Dry Creek Kitchen, John Ash & Co.: Here’s your chance for the bling without the cha-ching. ~DRY CREEK KITCHEN~ features a wild mushroom velouté (a fancy word for soup), lardo-wrapped pork loin, and walnut mousse with candied bacon on its $39 menu. 317 Healdsburg Ave at Front St., Healdsburg, 707-431-0330.
~JOHN ASH & CO.~ has a 63-degree egg with bacon lardons, pomegranate-glazed beef cheeks, or king salmon; and a warm chocolate truffle cake or lemon mousse dome for dessert, $39. 4330 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa, 707-527-7687.
Foraged fare at Backyard: Forestville’s newest bistro, ~BACKYARD~, sources most of its food from West County, and the restaurant week menu features a wild foraged mushroom soup along with shepherd’s pie and one of the few gluten-free/vegan dishes on RW menus, a truly indulgent gnocchi with foraged mushrooms and hemp oil, $29. 6566 Front St., Forestville, 707-820-8445.
Off the beaten path: Although chef Domenica Catelli’s Rolodex is filled with A-list fans, her approachable Geyserville restaurant ~CATELLI’S THE REX~ doesn’t advertise with flash and pomp. Instead the food does the talking. For restaurant week, she’ll be featuring an organic kale and blood orange salad with locally harvested walnuts, handmade 10-layer lasagna with braised rabbit, and her legendary warm sourdough bread pudding for $39. 21047 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville, 707-857-3471.
If you’re coast-bound, ~ROCKER OYSTERFELLER’S~ in Valley Ford is a Southern-fried stop that’s serving up crispy okra with Tabasco ketchup, andouille sausage gumbo, 18-hour smoked beef brisket, and buttermilk fried chicken with Lagunitas ale gravy, $29. 14415 Highway 1, Valley Ford, 707-876-1983.
For a complete list of participating restaurants check out the Sonoma County Restaurant Week website.
Santa Rosa produce paladins ~TIERRA VEGETABLES~ and ~CHALK HILL COOKERY~ are collaborating on a six-course vegan meal at the Tierra Vegetables Farm on Saturday March 23rd at 6pm. Chef Matteo Silverman turns humble produce, heirloom beans, and cornmeal grown on the farm into you’ll-never-miss-the-meat dishes like thyme-scented cashew cheese ravioli, butternut squash chowder with fire-roasted chile, spring lettuces with hickory-smoked olives, red polenta with shiitake mushroom ragù, and chocolate almond brownies with Meyer lemon nectar. The cost is $65, some of which will benefit the White Barn project. Bring your own wine, beer, or other beverage. Reservations are required as seating is limited to about 50 people. Details online, 707-837-8366.