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.
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