Shuttered 707 Becoming Forchetta Bastoni

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Peyer in 2007

It’s been a tense couple of weeks as insiders waited to see who would take over the flagging PizzaVino707 space in Sebastopol. News of the restaurant’s demise had been circulating for weeks, and some serious heavy hitters in the local restaurant scene were rumored to be “very interested” in the space and had planned to expand to Sebastopol.

Once the restaurant closed and the dust settled, however, the keys were turned over to chef couple Steven Peyer and Jamilah Nixon. The Sebastopol toques will partner with close friend and former Chef’s Catalog CEO Patrick Wynhoff to create not one, but TWO new restaurant concepts in the sprawling space.

At the yet-unnamed restaurant the front bar and patio will be converted into a Southeast Asian-style noodle shop with banh mi sandwiches, noodle bowls with traditional broths, salads and daily specials such as fried chicken with rice and papaya salad or Asian chicken wings, said Nixon. “It will be very traditional, but focused on the local produce available at the time,” she added. Nixon is looking to her experience cooking in Thailand, along with closer-to-home stints at Lucy’s (where she met Peyer), Mosaic, at the Stark Restaurant group and Marinitas in Marin. “For years I’ve wanted to open a noodle shop,” she said.

In the larger dining room, Peyer (who moved to SoCo to open Peter Lowell’s) will focus on Italian soul food featuring the existing wood-fired oven and grills. The menu is still in the works but will include grilled and braised meats, pizzas, handmade pasta and “luscious, rustic, simple food,” Nixon said.

Wynhoff, who is one of a handful of investors, will tap into his experiences at design-forward companies like Williiams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn to create a brand and marketing plan for the restaurant.

So what swung the deal in the couple’s favor? Nixon, who grew up in Sonoma County, said that Stephen Singer (West County Grill/Pizzavino 707) was an early supporter of the couple’s vision. “I’ve worked in Sonoma County since I was 15. We are in touch with the community. We know everyone. That is an important thing we brought to the table,” she said.

The restaurant is slated for a November opening.

Author: biteclub

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

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  1. Ate on the asian street food side yesterday and I LOVED it! The place has a great vibe to it and I cannot wait to go back and try the Italian Soul Food side!

  2. Interesting… I think I went to school with her. This sounds intriguing…what happened?

  3. The race is now on.

    Gypsy Cafe – who was supposed to open sometime in the middle of August, but doesn’t seem interested in keeping to that timeline…

    …and the “noodle shop”, serving the fried chicken which is rumored to be on the menu of the Gypsy Cafe.

    Not sure how Peyer is going to compete with the other Italian institutions in the county. His antipasto plate is going to set people back at least $25, and a complete dinner? You’ll feed a family of five at Negri’s or the Union Hotel for the same money.

    I think simply chasing the same formula used by the departing Pizza Vino is simply going to be an exercise in burning through cash. Thankfully he’s blessed with having the cash to burn.

  4. Hooray for a noodle bar!!!!! Affordable eats in Sonoma County are rare ducks. Hope it’s good and can withstand the withering critiques of Sonoma County gourmands.

  5. I agree the employee does not make the employer. Don’t worry food lover this team will be fine but your favorite place may face serious competition or have a source for new creative food ideas! The new restaurant experience will allow three creative people to apply passion to their work without the resistance from politics of being second in command. My palette looks forward to the Asian flare with a touch of Sonoma counties finest organic meets and vegetables without a doubt prepared and served to perfection. I cant wait..

  6. Well, Foodlover, I don’t know these people and I think it’s pretty crappy to try to diss them in a public forum, but let me say this. some of the best business owners were positively horrible employees. I include myself in that category. I run a very successful business and I would never hire the old me as an employee. Petty comments like this should be taken with a grain of sea salt.

  7. Let’s hope we get a Boba Tea bar as part of the noodle bar setup!

  8. This troika is scary. Dig deeper into Steve & Jamilha’s past employs and you will find a history of serious issues that resulted in terminations. You can run but you can’t hide from the truth. I give this place 1 year before closing.

  9. Once again –this troika is scary. Dig deeper into Steve & Jamilha’s past employs and you will find a history of serious issues that resulted in terminations. You can run but you can’t hide from the truth.

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