News of a new Puerto Rican eatery in Santa Rosa has had the unexpected result of bringing together a proud but, as one BiteClub commenter stated “hidden” community of people with roots on the island.

About-to-be-opened El Coqui owners (the paper is down and final inspections are happening) recently said,

We too have been pleasantly surpised at how many Puerto Rican have been coming out of the woodworks!! Many have come by to knock on the door and wish us luck or even bring us a sample of their own favorite dish. Saturday we were there working late and almost felt like we were having an open house with the people who stopped to wish us luck!!

While they’re putting the final touches on the Mendocino Ave. spot, check out the menu Tina and Jackie dropped in my inbox. (PDF1/PDF2) Yum.

Or follow the whole thread: http://www.sonomamag.com/biteclub/2009/03/el-coqui.html

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StarChefs.com has named some of our favorite Napa and Sonoma Chefs as their 2009 Rising Stars. Among them, Eric Korsh and Ginevra Iverson of Restaurant Eloise; Chris Kostow of Meadowood; Nick Ritchie of Bottega; Matt Spector of JoLe; Jesse Mallgren of Madrona Manor; John Toulze of Estate and girl and the fig; John Stewart and Duskie Estes of Zazu/Bovolo for sustainability; and Geoff Kruth as sommelier for the Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant. See the full list.

A celebration and ceremony takes place from 7-9:30pm June 17 at Charles Krug Winery. Culinary students are invited to a discussion with the chefs on Tuesday and an afterparty for industry folks will be on Wednesday night at Bottega.

Get all the details: http://www.starchefs.com/chefs/rising_stars/2009/napa_sonoma/index.shtml

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Recently opened GG’s Earth and Surf may be expanding…
From owner Suzan Fleissner

I am working towards opening the side area of my restaurant.  It faces the west side, across from Ale Works.  We will be incorporating outdoor seating to allow our guests to enjoy the beautiful California weather.   I intend to have available a healthy offering of grab-n-go type food and smoothies, while maintaining GG’s high standards for local organic goods and creative recipes.   We will also have adult beverages for those who want to hang out.  We do this knowing downtown could use an easy way to get a meal to take back to the office, home and  a unique, casual spot to dine-in.   My bartenders are putting together a fabulous cocktail menu for the patio, so happy hour will be…happy.   

The live music we recently had in the restaurant sounded so good we have decided on live music every Friday night starting in June. “

She’s currently looking for testimonials from people who love the restaurant for her SBA loan. If you’re a fan, email her directly: ibeesuz@comcast.net
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