Gnocchi with peas and carrot foam

BiteClub got an exclusive sneak preview of a few dishes that will likely make the final cut as Petite Syrah begins shaking its chrysalis in preparation for it’s rebirth.

And while I’m going to save my big thoughts about the evolution and reinvention of Santa Rosa’s Syrah until the final menu emerges and the kitchen crew (Josh Silvers, Chef/owner; Jamil Peden, Chef de Cuisine; Seth Harvey, Exec Sous Chef) settle in, here’s the initial vibe…

Rather than simply scaled down versions of Josh’s upscale bistro fare, or being an imitation of pal Mark Stark & co’s wine bar small plates, Silvers, Peden and Harvey are working on more composed, chef-driven, seasonal cuisine menu at everyday price-points ($5 – $18). Silvers describes it as an evolution of his tasting menu to better reflect how people really eat — smaller portions and a variety of flavors.

Final dishes and prices are still in flux, but Young Escarole salad with Roaring 40s blue cheese and hazelnuts (around $8), Roasted and Shaved asparagus with sunflower sprouts and breadcrumbs (around $9), Crispy Quail with preserved grapefruit and “quail spice, (around $13) or Potato Gnocchi with fresh peas, carrots and carrot foam (around $11) seem almost ready for prime time.  Other plates under consideration are chilled oysters, crostini, pork belly with lentils, steak tartare with truffle aioli, panna cotta with strawberry and roasted squid, among others.

So why the change? “People would say, “Oh Syrah is so perfect,” to me all the time,” said Silvers. But when asked when they’d been in last, often the answer was for a particular celebration or special event months before. “I don’t want to be just a celebration restaurant,” he said of his 12-year-old Railroad Square bistro. The success of his more casual dining venture, Jackson’s Bar & Oven, also helped drive the inspiration for a renewed take on Syrah.

In addition to the menu change, the restaurant will also undergo a number of decor changes. Stay tuned….