[Santa Rosa] Santa Rosa This Weekend

Hey, all…I am heading up to Santa Rosa for work this weekend. I have Single Thread booked for Saturday night. Looking for a place to have dinner on Friday night when I arrive. A few placed I have on my radar:

Santa Rosa
Bird and the Bottle
Flower+Bone
John Ash and Co.

Healdsburg
Chalkboard

I’m a teetotaler, so wine list/cocktail programs are of little consequence to me. Just delicious food served up right.

Thanks in advance… I also posted this on FTC, but I think there’s a lot more bay area action going on in these parts

Hi, I also answered this on Chowhound but am leaving it here too in hopes of generating some discussion.

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Sorry, hit reply too soon.

I live in Santa Rosa

My favorites are
Spinster Sisters
http://thespinstersisters.com/

and

Bistro 29
http://www.bistro29.com/

Hope that helps.

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I think it depends on whether you want contrast vs Single Thread, or complementary.

Spinster Sisters is a very well-executed, sophisticated-but-casual neighborhood bistro, in the true sense of the word. It is creative CA/global cuisine, very veggie forward and light in feel compared to, say, Valette/Healdsburg.

Valette is very good as well but the food and focus are more tavern-like, the food heartier and heavier although still well-crafted.

We found service at Spinster much better than Valette. YMMV.

Bird & Bottle would be most comparable to Valette: heartier food, generous portions. It’s good, but Valette is a half-level higher. Service at all Stark Grp restaurants (B&B is their newest) is a strong point.

Not familiar with Flower + Bone. Would not recommend John Ash: beautiful restaurant, mediocre overrated food. We were really shocked at how bad the food was. By far one of the worst restaurants we’ve been to in Sonoma Cty.

We really loved Bistro 29 when we first discovered it, and had two really excellent dinners. But the last two have been increasingly disappointing. Only the roast chicken was good, out of four entrees at our last meal there. It’s off our rotation list, but maybe jackiecat has been there more recently (our last meal there was May 2015) so things might have changed.

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Thanks for the repost. I purposefully posted here as well at FTC and CH, mostly to see from where the most robust responses might arise. On FTC, us Angelinos are rather engaged, but the SFBA discussions are not quite as active.

Thank you for the generous feedback!

Are you flying into Sonoma County Airport? I am curious if restaurants between your destination airport and your hotel, or along the drive, will give you more options (or headache).

I’m flying into OAK, renting a car, and driving up. Hopefully, I won’t get settled into the hotel too late!

SHED in Healsburg is very good also for casual but very foodie oriented dinner. In Santa Rosa itself not so much choice - I’ve heard mixed reviews of Flower + Bone though I have enjoyed breakfasts at their Naked Pig - maybe try that if you’re around for breakfast. Spinster Sisters is always good and reliable. Bird & Bottle I’ve had some great dishes and some ok. It’s more geared towards small plates.

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Just got back from Spinster Sisters. The aroma coming from the kitchen the minute I walked in was a very good sign. Sat at the bar. Very fun service. Ham hock terrine was a nice way to start, with pickled ramps and dressed arugula as accompanments. But these gnudi though. One of the best dishes I’ve had this heat. Perfectly formed, but the sauce! Great balance of tang, fat, and vegetal in every bite. Completely satisfying. Chocolate espresso pot de creme was maybe a bit heavy handed, but was a nice “not-too-sweet” to end the meal. Heavy, but I ate every bite. Thank you all for the recommendation. Very good call.

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Glad you enjoyed it! Thx for the report back, too.

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Just had “pre-dinner” at Ramen Gaijin in Sebastopol. Super cute place with a lot of open space. Had a few skewers to tide me over:


Pork belly was the clear winner: nice amount of crisp on the edges while the rendered fat melted upon contact with my tongue. I could have had a plate of just that and been happy as a clam. Other dishes coming out around me looked tasty. Fairly large queue to get in right at 5:30pm. I’d go back for the noodles if I don’t already have plans.

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