Space XXV: Chicken Skin BLT?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011


Chicken Skin BLT at Space XXV

Wandering into Space XXV, you can’t help but feel like you’re in someone’s living room. Scratch that: Someone with amazingly good taste and very expensive furniture’s living room. There are crystal chandeliers and faux fur throws on velvet chaise lounges for goodness sakes. Are we still in Santa Rosa? The lovechild of a designer showroom and a chef-driven cafe, this spanking new downtown lounge seems almost too good to be true, as does its refreshingly earnest chef, John Lyle.

Nestled into a narrow strip of space between the new La Rosa Tequileria and the local police outpost in Courthouse Square, owner Kendrick Rustad’s concept for XXV was for a relaxing, upscale lounge where folks could chill, read, sip and eat really good food. Mission accomplished.

Lyle (formerly a personal chef and Fresh by Lisa Hemenway alum) has taken the mantra of good food to the extreme, handpicking produce at his favorite local farms at 4:30am, getting Della Fattoria bread deliveries at 5:30am, then concocting salads and sandwiches to match the luxe decor (but at refreshingly reasonable prices…most everything is under $10).

On the menu is a whole leaf Caesar (using the original recipe from Caesar Cardin, $8.95); a seasonal roasted beet salad that turns root vegetables into jewels of sweet candy ($8.95); roast beef sandwich with black truffle aioli; ($8.95) a reuben with local kraut and Russian dressing ($10.50); Umami Grilled cheese with St. Georges cheese, bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms ($8) and, wait for it…a BLT on soft white bread with a snap of crispy chicken skin. If you get it, you get it. If you don’t, well, just move along.

“I just want the best food, and it’s all from here,” said Lyle, who literally gushes about his favorite local purveyors without a hint of irony or pomp. “What brought me to Sonoma County? St. George Cheese. Really,” he adds.

For dessert, Lyle does a trio of sorbets using Nancy Skall’s Middleton Farm strawberries and two types of melon. But expect the menu to change up with Lyle’s most recent farm finds — meaning what you loved one day may not be on the menu the next. Breakfast pastries, coffee plus beer and wine. Open until 10pm daily.

Space XXV, 25 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, 284-3120.

Author: biteclub

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

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  1. so what happened? Closed already? I went by last weekend and it was dark.

  2. Stopped by for lunch on a georgeous day, but had to eat inside to enjoy the absolutely beautiful ambience. The decor is stunning, with open space. Our waiter was so charming, we felt like we had been guests in his lovely home.
    Yes, my husband had to try the delicious chicken skin sandwich with bacon. I loved the Caesar, which has pristine Romaine lettuce beautifully dressed. My Reuben sandwich was also wonderful. It was quiet, so the chef John came out and sat down and visited with us.
    A true 5 star experence.

  3. it’s an all day menu.

  4. sounds delish, definitely want to try it. You mention a $10.00/under menu of salads & sandwiches – is the menu the same at dinner? You wrote that the place is open until 10pm.

  5. EVERY hour is a Happy Hour at Space XXV!! (Which means I have no idea) :)

  6. Maybe missed the info, but is there a happy hour?

  7. I’ve been twice and loved everything both times as did my companions! So cool; so comfortable, such great food, how could you not love it. John is Da Man and truly a sweetheart! This is my new favorite place to “just be”, let alone eat. Oh, and the wine list is nice too 😉

  8. Thank you so much John and Kendrick and to everyone else at Space XXV. I highly recommend a visit to anyone. The ambiance and decor is beautiful. Being a friend of John’s I got a small free sample of the roast beef with truffle aioli. It was out of this world. Something you can definitely get addicted too, but I had to have the reuben because I do love sauerkraut. It was delicious, and a generous portion too for the price. I’ll be putting out the word for you guys. Congratulations!

  9. thanks meg. you’re right. i’m a horrible abuser of “literally” versus “figuratively”

  10. Love you Heather, and hate to be the grammar police here, but “LITERALLY gushes?” Getting a seriously bad visual on that one.

  11. Sounds frikin delicious!

  12. You’re not kidding! I was there with a friend last week – fromage sandwich with sun-dried tomatos? It was SOOOO good!! The caesar salad had parmesan cookies – YES – parmesan cookies! You have to try them. John Lyle even came out and talked with us. What a nice man!

  13. Went tonight to check out John’s new place, hoped to get a try at the chicken skin BLT…even tho he was busy busy he DID make a sandwich just for me! It was SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD! Bacon was just cooked just right and thick, smoked and delicious! Chicken skin was seasoned to perfection! Tomatoes from a local farm were sooo tasty! Bread toasted lightly, just like I like it! (how did he know??) Ambiance was excellent and service was genuinely caring…refreshin!! Taking a friend tomorrow!! A must place for a casual but classy night out!!

  14. Mmmm… can’t wait to check it out!

  15. Yay John! So excited for you, and I can’t wait to try the food!

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