Written by Heather Irwin for BiteClubEats.
Two forks + one bite of polenta cake = friendship on the line.
Over a recent lunch nosh-fest my gal pal and I had nearly inhaled a plate of seared polenta with truffle porcini spread, mushrooms, arugula and tiny Peruvian sweet peppers ($14) at the new(ish) Franchettis Wood Fire Kitchen (1229 N. Dutton, Santa Rosa).
That’s actually not at all what happened, because I’m a class act and I let her have the last bite, while secretly snarfing the rest of the crab fettucini and braised Brussels sprouts with cream and lemon olive oil ($9.75). I may have also shoved some of the spicier-than-Channing-Tatum (k)chettis’ spicy chicken (flash fried with salsa verde and Calabrian chili paste, $10) into my bag.
Since parting ways with Rosso, Chef John Franchetti and his wife, Gesine, have been revamping their bistro menu with a lineup of small plates, salads and entrees that, frankly, are what we’ve always admired most about Franchetti’s cooking. Each day, a lineup of specials goes onto the chalkboard, so you never quite know what you’ll experience on any given day, though the fried chicken, arancini, wood-fired pizzas, roasted olives with burrata (which made me fall in love with Franchetti’s cooking way back in 2009), and breakfast skillets are in the regular rotation.
The bonus: Pastry chef Dominique Cortara rents space from the Franchettis, so her breakfast pastries and other sweets are always on the menu. Watch for her lemon cheesecake with blood orange curd ($5.75) that’s another friendship-ender.
So, just order two.
Franchettis Wood Fire Kitchen, 1229 N. Dutton, Santa Rosa, 526-1229.
Hours: Breakfast and lunch: Monday through Friday, 9am to 2:30pm
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday: 9am to 1:30pm
Dinner: Wednesday through Sunday, 5pm to 8:30pm (last seating)
Happy hour: 4:30pm to 6pm