Bistro 29 | Santa Rosa

Bistro 29 Santa Rosa
On those days when goofy gastronomic acrobatics just aren’t in the cards, I want food that is soul-satisfyingly good. I go to restaurants where I can count on the kitchen for a meal that feeds every part of me. Bistro 29 is one of those places.

Former Lolo’s chef Brian Anderson is at the helm of this cozy Santa Rosa bistro that specializes in food from the Brittany region of France. So, while you’ll likely recognize much of the bistro-y French fare, there’s an earthy warmth to the cuisine that reflects this coastal Northwestern nob of France.

Bistro 29 Santa Rosa

French onion soup at Bistro 29

Buckwheat crepes are a signature dish but the kitchen has proven adept at bistro classics as well. This is classic beret-and-Gauloise fare: steak frites, steamed mussels, crepes and a crunchy, decadent Croque Madame that’s as comforting as a quilted blanket on a cold night. Think of it as the gold-standard of grilled cheese sandwiches — a thick slice of bread covered with ham, Gruyere, and a fried egg. Gild the lily with a side of crispy frites and mayonnaise (never ketchup!). The Monsieur is capped with Mornay sauce.

Don’t miss Brian’s Soupe des Johnnies, an onion cider soup with bits of crispy buckwheat crepes and melted Gruyere ($6 cup). It’s loaded with onions and the cider gives a sweet tang.

A great by-the glass wine list and weekly prix fixe specials make it a spot to return again and again.

bistro 29: 620 Fifth Street, Santa Rosa, 707 546-2929

Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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18 Comments

  1. I’m so glad to read that
    Chef Brian is getting such great press and comments.
    Can’t wait to return and have another great meal.

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    • Dinner last night struck out on the main course. Listed as petrale sole with lobster, it was served without lobster but with three mussels, only ate one and that was with difficulty. If the waiter had explained before the meal that there was no lobster avaailable I would have made another choice. But the starter and desert were top notch. Disappointed there is no longer a fixed price dinner menu.

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  2. FInally made it to the bistro during sonoma county rest week – FABULOUS – the food takes me back to Paris, well executed with a sonoma county touch. I was please to learn in this article that Lolo chef Brian is (still?) at the helm. I’ve missed Lolo’s for years as well. Killer mussels in a pernod reduction. Can’t wait to try the crepes

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  3. LOVE to eat out in Sonoma County! It’s hard to beat Bistro 29 with it’s darling little bar and really nice owners and waitstaff; but I’m equally enthusiastic about Syrah (different ambience, but wonderful!). Any of the restaurants on your list are bound to be outstanding—it’s just the nature of the county!

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  4. I heard about this Bistro on KZST, so thought I’d try it for lunch. It was fabulous. I had the onion soup and crepe of the day. I told the waitress it was the best crepe I’ve had since traveling to France. The service was great, glass of wine a bargain, and food worth a repeat visit.

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  5. My mother and I ate her before the symphony last week and we both left VERY happy! Best meal I’ve had in a long time and they made sure we got out the door on time as well. We had excellent service. We both tried to onion cider soup (delicious) and had the top sirloin lamb which was prepared to perfection. Dessert was delicious as well and served with very good french press coffee. This is my new favorite restaurant!

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  6. Our evening Tuesday French class was cancelled, so we chose Bistro 29 for dinner. What a winner. Everything was excellent. The Soup des Johnnies was perhaps the best we have ever had. I ordered the 3 course $29 special which included a Prawn Provencial, with 7 jumbo perfectly cooked shrimp. The quality of the service, wine, and cusine combined to make this a most enjoyable evening.

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  7. Two of us had lunch at Bistro 29 last Thursday – what a delight. This was my second meal there and definately will not be my last. The crepes were stellar and the service “spot on”. For an intimate, fine dining experience I would highly recommend this little Bistro.

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  8. A friend and I had lunch there yesterday. A great meal! I had been to Applewood so I was expecting good food, but what was served was beyond my high expectations. I had the Crepe lunch special, which included a simple green salad, a savory (duck confit and gruyere) buckwheat crepe, and a dessert crepe (chocolate with chopped toasted almonds). Each course was a 10. Sparkling fresh greens with a perfect vinaigrette. A big portion of the confit duck crepe, rich but not heavy, accompanied by frisee vinaigrette to balance the duck. The dessert, pure heaven. (My friend tells me the coffee was good too.) I’ll be back as often as my wallet allows — the 3-course special was $19, which for me is an expensive lunch, but well worth it. The 3-course “businessman’s lunch” special at K&L Bistro (another great lunch) is usually around $23, and is dependably excellent, but this to me is even better value and equally great cooking.

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  9. Dinner with my wife and daughter, 10/17. Excellent service and all around good food. Mussels were terrific, and all main courses – fish and chicken – were very well done. Portions generous. Very fair prices for the quality of the food and service. We will return

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  10. By that I mean overly precious dishes that require a significant investment of brain power. Sous vide pork medallions with a huckleberry and cabernet reduction topped with fried leeks on a bed of organic, free-range root vegetables served on the back of a camel raised on nothing but cat’s milk. I mean, that’s just off the top of my head.
    :)

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  11. Peter– “goofy gastronomic acrobatics” probably means haute cuisine (foie gras) as opposed to comfort food (onion soup)… or, taken to the extreme, things like soup made out of foam or served as a cube, or hot sundaes made with liquid nitrogen.

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  12. Oh boy ! I had a wonderful meal there last week and went in with no expectations. WOW…the food was prepared to perfection (filet) with a fantasic sauce accompaning the peice of perfection. Simply good food and wonderful staff. I’ll ceratinly be back many times.

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  13. “Goofy gastronomic acrobatics” means fatuous writing. It is the foodie equivalent of the wine critic’s observation that a wine has “notes of cement dust and cranberry brick.”

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  14. “goofy gastronomic acrobatics”
    ???? What does this mean? Can I get an example or two with the definition?

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  15. We had a wonderful dinner there last week. Staff was terrific. Chef Brian does incredible things in the kitchen. We will absolutely return for more.

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  16. Bistro 29 is such a great addition to our dining scene. Run by lovely people who make tasty food. Your entry made us dine there last night and everything was yummy. Love the wine list too. It reminds me of the wonderful meals that we had at the same location when it was Matisse and Michel Hirschberg was cooking. And that is quite a compliment.

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  17. Great new spot – enjoyed a delicious dinner there a few months back and am looking forward to a lunch.

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