Popular Pizza Pop-Up Returns to Sebastopol

Plus: What to eat at this year's Gravenstein Apple Fair and Willi's Wine Bar turns 20.

Gravenstein Grill in Sebastopol is reviving its popular pizza concept, Pleasant Hill Pie, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday nights. During the 2020 pandemic lockdown, the restaurant sold takeout pizza and burgers. The latter was so successful it grew into the brick-and-mortar Sonoma Burger in 2021.

The pizza party happens on the Gravenstein Grill patio, with 12-inch pizzas, salads and drinks from the restaurant’s full bar (including happy hour discounts).

8050 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol, 707-634-6142, gravensteingrill.com

Pepperoni pizza from Pleasant Hill Pie in Sebastopol. (Pleasant Hill Pie)

Apple Fair food

The Gravenstein Apple Fair will return to Ragle Ranch Regional Park on Aug. 13 and 14 after a two-year hiatus, with creative fair food highlighting the iconic local apple.

On the menu are Farm Trails Apple Fritters, the Black Pig Bacon BLT, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches from The Farmer’s Wife and apples dipped in housemade goat-milk caramel from Rocker Oysterfellers.

A variety of apple ciders produced by Ethic Ciders in Sebastopol. (Beth Schlanker/The Press Democrat)
BLT from Black Piglet food truck. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)

Bayou on the Bay will go all out with Cajun sausage rolls with Gravenstein caramelized onions, smoked Gravenstein barbecue macaroni and cheese, curried Gravenstein jambalaya, beignets with Gravenstein apple compote, Gravenstein apple pie bread pudding and Gravenstein apple Southern sweet tea.

Let’s say we’re thrilled to the core. Hard apple cider will, of course, be a huge part of the event, with top-notch craft brewers including Tilted Shed, Ethic Cider, Golden State Cider and Eye Cyder offering sips and pairings in the VIP tent. Oliver’s Craft Cider Tent will pour 15 ciders made with with apples grown within 100 miles of the fair’s home at Ragle Ranch.

For more details and tickets, go to gravensteinapplefair.com.

Wine bar turns 20

If Sonoma County could be encapsulated into a restaurant, Willi’s Wine Bar would be it. Mark and Terri Stark’s first restaurant opened in 2002 near the Luther Burbank Center and quickly became a top destination for small plates — something rather daring at the time — along with great wines and a generally chill vibe. The restaurant was destroyed in the 2017 wildfires but rose again in 2019 in Santa Rosa’s Town and Country shopping center with many of the same menu favorites.

Willi’s Wine Bar: The original Stark’s restaurant that burned to the ground in the fires. Will be rebuilt, opening in late 2018.
The original Willi’s Wine Bar.
Guests at the new Willi’s Wine Bar in Santa Rosa, on opening day. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)

In August, the restaurant turns 20, and to celebrate, the Starks are asking fans to make and post a short video on Facebook or Instagram sharing a memory of the restaurant with the tags @williswinebar and #willis20th. Twenty winners will be randomly selected from the entries to attend a private anniversary party on Aug. 21. Contest ends Aug. 15; complete rules at starkrestaurants.com.