Downtown Santa Rosa’s food scene has undergone an extensive makeover in the last year, with plenty of sparkle, rouge and lipstick in the additions of swell destination spots like Perch & Plow, Gerard’s Paella, Parish Cafe, Acre and Naked Pig. But wait, there’s a whole lot more in store and we’ve got the, er, scoop.
This week, Healdsburg pastry and ice cream wunderkinds, Ozvaldo Jimenez and Christian Sullberg (Noble Folk, Moustache Baked Goods) announced the opening of a new Noble Folk on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa. Pause for head explosion.
Known for their ridiculously delicious house-made ice creams (strawberry miso, Thai tea, raspberry lychee sorbet) and pies (peach bourbon with streusel, vanilla sweet corn custard with strawberry compote), along with sleek aesthetics and community-minded activism, the 30-somethings say they’ve long contemplated expanding, and when restaurateur Sonu Chandi offered up the former salon next to his upcoming Bollywood Bar & Clay Oven, they jumped.
“Imagine if Moustache and Noble Folk had a baby,” said Sullberg, standing outside the 539 Fourth Street location, which they’ve already started rehabbing. “That’s the idea, a little bit of both,” he explained, offering up the pies and ice creams they’ve become known for at Noble Folk along with some cake creations along the lines of Moustache.
The co-owners and Sonoma County natives say they’re glad to bring some additional family-friendly sweetness to downtown. We say, Santa Rosa just got its kitten heels and a sassy hair flip with Noble Folk as part of its food reboot.
Concurrently, the Chandi Hospitality Group (Beer Baron, Bibi’s Burger Bar, Stout Bros, Mountain Mike’s) is working on a Bollywood-themed Indian restaurant to take over the former County Bench (535 Fourth St.). Sonu Chandi said that they have hired Chef Niven Patel, a Florida-based proponent of farm-to-table Indian cuisine, to create the menu and seasonal cocktail guru Scott Beattie (Cyrus, Ramen Gaijin) to create Indian-inspired drinks. Having tried their “secret Indian menu” at Bibi’s, call me enthusiastic.
The opening menu includes dishes like ghost pepper cheddar naan, local vegetable pakora, gooseberry chutney, lamb samosas with mint chutney, pomegranate biryani, whole turmeric-marinated grouper, channa masala and pork belly vindaloo. The restaurant is also slated to open in November.