Grab a fork and put on your fat pants because it’s restaurant opening season in Sonoma County. Or at least, it seems that way as more and more eateries swing open their doors this fall to eager eaters. Here are four we can’t wait to try…
Crocodile French Cuisine: Husband and wife team Michael Dotson and Moira Beveridge have opened a new French bistro in Theatre Square at the former Bistro 100. The couple own Martin’s West Gastro Pub in Redwood City, but recently relocated to Sonoma County with their young daughter. The focus is on authentic French cuisine influenced by local ingredients from nearby farms and ranches. They’ll also have a curated wine list with both French and small production regional California wines. On the menu: Carmelized onion tartine, steak frites, duck confit, lamb tongue with coco beans, charcuterie and a plum clafoutis with lemon verbena Chantilly cream. Open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday from 11:30a.m. to 10p.m., 140 Second Street., Suite 100, Petaluma, 981-8159, crocodilepetaluma.com.
Trading Post Market and Bakery: This long-anticipated Cloverdale restaurant is yet another feather in the cap of this emerging dining north county destination. Though the small bakery has been open more than a year, the main dining room officially opened Friday with a hearty Sonoma County-inspired menu that includes a house-ground burger on their own brioche, fried chicken thighs, Liberty Farms duck confit over seaweed, Blue Leg Farms roasted chicken, and porchetta. We love the “daily toast”, which on the soft opening menu was smoked avocado with grilled beef tongue and fermented chili relish. At the helm is Erik Johnson, former J Vineyards chef and Dry Creek Kitchen alum. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 6p.m. 102 S. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale, 894-6483, thepostcloverdale.com.
Whole Pie: We’ve been cheering for farm market baker and Zazu server Trishia Davis as she’s documented the build of her dream pie shop over the last year. Now open, Whole Pie features lunch or dinner in a crust, with sweet and savory slices and hand pies (along with whole pies, of course) including the “Sweet Tooth” made with butterscotch pudding and a dash of curry; “Holy Moly” with chicken mole in a cocoa crust; “Mister Crunchy” with prosciutto and Emmentaler cheese in a Dijon bechamel or “Beer Belly” with beer-braised short ribs, onions and aged English cheddar. Beer, cider and wine along with coffee and craft soda. Open from 11a.m. to 7p.m. Wednesday through Monday, closed Tuesday. 2792 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, 843-4365, thewholepieshop.com.
Slam Burger: Opening in November, Slam Burger in Petaluma. The organic, locally-sourced, non-GMO burger spot will feature nearly a dozen burger options including beef, lamb, bison, turkey, chicken, ahi, and multiple vegetarian patties. The family-focused fast-casual restaurant will also include beer, wine, hot dogs, salads and milkshakes. 5 Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma, theslamburger.com.
Still on the horizon: Healdsburg’s Single Thread Farms (no official opening date), 2 Tread Brewing in Santa Rosa.