The long-awaited plant-focused restaurant from Shuckery owner Jazmine Lalicker has debuted on the Petaluma waterfront. Luma Bar and Eatery officially opened Sunday, Dec. 18.
Filled with soft organic colors, modern furnishings and a spectacular new bar, the 3,600-square-foot space, including a heated patio overlooking the river, is unrecognizable from its former incarnation as Dempsey’s bar.
Sustainability is a pillar of the new restaurant. The primarily meatless menu of sustainably sourced dishes is overseen by chef and (maybe a little ironically) butcher Travis Day, who launched Thistle Meats in Petaluma.
Cocktails have a similar eco-aware mission. Alfie Turnshek heads a well-thought-out bar program with a refreshingly large selection of low- or no-alcohol concoctions with fresh herbs, super juices and syrups. Cocktails ($16) use citrus as an accent rather than a focus due to the high environmental impact of transporting out-of-season fruit, Lalicker said.
Instead, drinks like the Changeling include aquavit, gin with a pineapple-vanilla infusion, Icelandic yogurt, lemon and fennel liqueur that’s remarkably refreshing yet creamy and warming. A new favorite is the Hard Aport with bourbon, rye, port wine, espresso and orange oil.
The main menu is broken into sections with snacks ($8 to $10), appetizers ($14 to $20), mains ($20 to $28) and sweets ($12). Protein, including Liberty Duck rillette ($10) and Stemple Creek Brisket ($12), are sides you can add to main courses or eat separately.
Lalicker and Day have taken a forward-thinking approach to sourcing and presentation, using thin 4-ounce cuts of Stemple Creek’s carbon-neutral beef or duck wings to make the rillette rather than the more common duck breast.
“We’re working to move cuts of meat that typically wouldn’t sell, so they’re not going to waste. Everyone buys duck breast, but not the wings,” Lalicker said. The wings are slow-cooked in fat and seasonings, shredded and mixed with fat in jars or ramekins. The result is a dense spread of rich meat.
There are already several fan favorites on the menu, including the Braised Greens and Beans ($24) with charred cabbage, Swiss chard and beans in a savory broth or the pillowy gnocchi ($20) with roasted sunchokes and mushrooms.
“We want people to understand that we are here to listen to them. We want to make this a place you want to go. I think Petaluma is ready for this,” Lalicker said.
The restaurant is open 5 to 10 p.m. daily. Reservations are suggested. 50 E. Washington St., Petaluma, 707-772-5037, lumaeatery.com