I always feel like I need to announce Sonoma County Restaurant Week (March 10-16) with the same voice Oprah used to announce that her audience was flying to Australia. “And you get a three course dinner for $19! And you get a three course dinner for $29!,” BiteClub shouts over the screaming audience.
Talkshow dreams aside, it’s hard to believe this is the fifth year that Sonoma County celebrates its hardworking restaurateurs with a five-day celebration of all things delicious. With well over 100 restaurants spanning Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Healdsburg, Petaluma, the Coast and everything in-between, this is your chance to hit up some of those restaurants you’ve been dying to try, but just haven’t been to yet.
New this year: Two course lunch menus for $10, $15 or $20. Three course dinner menus remain at $19, $29 and $39.
I’ll have a full list online, as well as some of my favorite menus, but some of the newcomers you may want to check out include:
– Palooza Gastropub (8910 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood) featuring their wedge salad, beef cheeks or Chef Chris Hanson’s luxe vegetarian risotto made with Speakeasy lager, mushrooms and season veggies, and s’mores on a stick, $39.
– 38 Degrees North: Sonoma Mission Inn’s hot new restaurant serves up roasted beet salad, beef sliders and creme brûlée, $39.
– Belly Left Coast Kitchen (523 Fourth St., Santa Rosa): Love this downtown SR restaurant that’s got a killer pork belly with hoisin and Campfire Stout chocolate mousse, $29.
– Red’s Apple Roadhouse (4550 Gravenstein Hwy, Sebastopol): One of BiteClub’s favorite off-the-beaten-path newcomers is doing both lunch ($15, pulled pork sammie or portobello mushroom burger with handout fries and pie) and dinner ($19) featuring their famous fried chicken supper or beer-braised pork belly.
– Best Value, Partake by KJ (241 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg): Biteclub is pretty floored by the $29 and $39 dinner menus that include 4-plus courses of Chef Justin Wangler’s life-altering food with multiple wine pairings. Think oysters with white verjus, smoked loin of lamb, white chocolate panna cotta, beet tartare and Meyer lemon pudding. Now, keep in mind, each course is more of a few luxurious bites rather than a craggy mound of food. But we’d far rather eat well than prodigiously.
Now please excuse me while sop the drool off my keyboard.