Restaurant Week Guide 2012 in Sonoma County

Feb. 27-March 4

Prepare your forks, get out your fat pants and warm up your taste buds: Sonoma County Restaurant Week is about to begin.

Now in its third year, the county-wide restaurant showcase (Feb. 27 through March 4) has found solid footing with more than 90 restaurants participating in a week of prix-fixe dinners from Cloverdale to Petaluma.

At a time of year when restaurants can feel the pinch of the mid-winter doldrums, it’s a welcome financial boost. And unlike in past years, the brunt of the three-course menus are in the $19 and $29 range — making it an affordable way to sample several restaurants throughout the seven day event. But even at $39, three course dinners are higher end spots like Zazu, John Ash & Co., Petite Syrah and Stark’s Steak & Seafood are priced for tasting.

With eager crowds catching on, restaurants can be busier-than-usual and reservations are suggested to ensure your spot.

Here’s a completish list (new restaurants are still being added) of restaurants participating, according to

Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park
Sazon Peruvian Cuisine, $29: A fusion of Spanish, South American and Japanese culinary influences make every dish sing with flavor, texture and color. Ceviche — seafood lightly “cooked” in citrus — is a standout here (don’t let a drop of the “Leche de Tigre” escape uneaten). Other items include wok-fried steak and rice, Peruvian style paella, and lucuma (a maple-flavored fruit) ice cream. 1129 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa.

Viola Pastry Boutique, $19: A favorite local bistro with tons of heart. Fried pickles or grilled asparagus, braised beef with mushrooms, chicken pot pie, whoopie pie with vanilla ice cream. 709 Village Court, Santa Rosa.

Stark’s Steak & Seafood, $39: Surf or turf, you can’t go wrong. Ribeye or petrale sole with roasted grapes, chocolate souffle cake with Knob Creek butter pecan ice cream. 521 Adams St., Santa Rosa.

Zazu restaurant and farm, $39: The king and queen of pork serve up Duroc pork cheeks, Caesar and a dessert of lemon posset and rosewater shortbread. 3535 Guerneville Rd., Santa Rosa.

Bruno’s on Fourth, $29: Classic American comfort food with a neighborhood bistro vibe. Clam chowder or bruschetta, wedge salad with bacon and homemade blue cheese dressing, Dungeness crab fettucine, chicken with lemon caper sauce or Bruno’s meatloaf (the meatloaf that even meatloaf-haters can’t resist) with mashed potatoes. 1226 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.

Jackson’s Bar and Oven, $19: Asparagus salad, pizza with walnut pesto ricotta and prosciutto, tiramisu.135 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. Nearby: Petite Syrah, $39: Caesar salad, braised short rib with Brussels sprouts, chocolate puddle cake, 205 Fifth St., Santa Rosa.

Want more? La Gare, $29; La Rosa Tequileria & Grille, $29; Monti’s Rotisserie & Bar, $29; Bistro 29, $29; Willi’s Wine Bar, $29; John Ash & Co, $39.

Also: Sea Thai Bistro, $29: 2323 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa; Nonni’s Ristorante Italiano, Riveiera Ristorante, $29, 75 Montgomery Dr., Santa Rosa; Ca’Bianca Restaurant, $29, 835 Second St., Santa Rosa.; Terrace Grille at the Flamingo Resort, $29, 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa; Cricklewood, $19 and $29 menu, 4618 Old Redwood Hwy, Santa Rosa; Union Hotel Restaurant at Mission Blvd, $19, 280 Mission Blvd., Santa Rosa; The Great American Grill at the Hilton Garden Inn, $29, 417 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa (coffee-crusted sirloin steak, chocolate nut torta) ; Checker’s Bistro, 523 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.

And even more: Iron Stone, $19 and $39, 308 Wilson St., Santa Rosa; Roberto’s Trattoria Lupo, $29; Caffe Portofino, $29, 535 4th St., Santa Rosa; The Brasserie Restaurant and Lounge, $29, (ginger snap cannoli, sauteed chicken with herb spaetzle, short rib pot pie), 170 Railroad St., Santa Rosa; Nectar Restaurant and Lounge, $29, 3555 Round Barn Blvd., Santa Rosa; El Coqui Puerto Rican Cuisine, $19,   Cattlemens, $29; La Vera Pizza, $19; Fresh by Lisa Hemenway, $19, $29, $29;  Legends Restaurant, $19, Sizzling Tandoor, $19, Doc Holliday’s Saloon, $19, Jack and Tony’s Restaurant and Whiskey Bar, $29; Rendez Vous Bistro, $29, Equus Restaurant and Loungebar, $29; Baccus Restaurant and Wine Bar, $29; 1 Doubletree Dr., Rohnert Park includes baked potato bisque, lamb osso buco, oak planked salmon, banana bread pudding.

Healdsburg, Forestville, Windsor
Corks at Russian River Vineyards, $39: One of the best views in Wine country, this Forestville-adjacent winery and restaurant has a top toque in the kitchen, but often falls under the radar. The luxe prix fixe includes creamy cauliflower soup with Himalayan truffles or smoked Alaskan Wild Salmon with horseradish creme fraiche; butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter, pan-seared Sea Bass with truffle risotto cake or crispy dug confit and chocolate bread pudding or lemon curd tart for dessert. 5700 Hwy 116 N, Forestville.

Barndiva, $39: Locally-sourced produce, industrial farm-chic design and a top-ranked chef (Ryan Fancher) make this Healsburg’s top spot for celeb sightings. RW menu includes Beet and endive salad with avocado, mache and chevre; lobster risotto with preserved lemons; duck leg confit or baked puff pastry with artichoke and coconut sorbet. 231 Center St., Healdsburg.

Relish Culinary Adventures, $29: More than a cooking school, Relish hosts area chefs and food producers for frequent dinners, including Chef Christopher Greenwald’s pop-up pig roast March 1-3 of Restaurant Week. Also on the menu, soup, wild arugula salad and citrus sortbet, 14 Matheson St., Healdsburg.

Charlie’s at Windsor Golf Club, $29: A beautiful view of the greens, large outdoor patio and ambitious menu make this a favorite offbeat Windsor eatery. Restaurant week menu ranges from duck sausage and cheese polenta to chicken crepes, pepper-crusted sirloin medallions, rock shrimp fettucini, fried chicken with roasted garlic-bacon mashed potatoes and house made chocolate croissant bread pudding. 1320 19th Hole Dr, Windsor.

Also: Zin Restaurant and Bar, $29, 344 Center St., Healdsburg; Kin, $29, 740 McClelland Dr., Windsor; Dry Creek Kitchen, $39, 317 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg; Spoonbar, $39, 219 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg; Bear Republic Brewing, $19, a beer-lover’s paradise serving up French onion soup, veggie pot pie or stuffed chicken breast and their famous chocolate mousse, 345 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg; Chinois Asian Bistro, $29, 186 Windsor River Rd., Windsor; UME Japanese Bistro, $29, 8700 Old Redwood Highway, Windsor.

Petaluma, Sebastopol and West County
Forchetta Bastoni: Two different options for a restaurant with a dual personality. Daily lunch at “Bastoni” include green papaya salad, Thai curry or sticky rice pudding, $19. Dinner Thursday through Monday, $39 includes Caesar, risotto or tagliatelle, tart limone. 6948 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol.

Peter Lowell’s, $29: If you want to taste the best of what Sonoma County has to offer, this is the spot. Winter Minestrone, broccoli salad with Bohemian Creamery Capriago, beef short ribs,wild foraged mushroom and vegetable pot pie; chocolate budino with caramel. 7385 Healdsburg Ave, Sebastopol.

Rocker Oysterfeller’s, $29: Seafood meets Southern Cooking at this Valley Ford stand-out. Trio of bbq oysters, gumbo of the day, flash-fried half Dungeness crab, fried chicken, powdered sugar beignets, sweet potato creme brulee, bourbon vanilla milkshake. 14415 Hwy 1, Valley Ford.

Also: Starlight Wine Bar & Restaurant, $29, 6761 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol; Sonoma Wine Shop & La Bodega, $29, 2295 Gravenstein Hwy. St., Sebastopol; French Garden, $39, 8050 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol; GTO’s Seafood House, $29, 234 S. Main St., Sebastopol; Henweigh Cafe, $19, 4550 Gravenstein Hwy N., Sebastopol; Hopmonk Tavern, $29, 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol; Cafe Claudio, $29, 9890 Bodega Hwy, Sebastopol.  Cattlemens, $29,  5012 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma; Riverside Bistro, $19, Dempsey’s Restaurant and Brewery, $19;  50 E. Washington St., Petaluma; Tolay, $39; 745 Baywood Dr., Petaluma; Tres Hombres Long Bar & Grill, $19, 151 Petaluma Blvd S., Petaluma; Bistro de Copains, $29, 3782 Bohemian Hwy, Occidental; Village Inn Restaurant, $19, Monte Rio, 20822 River Road, Monte Rio; Agriculture Bar & Kitchen at Dawn Ranch Lodge, $29, 16467 Hwy 116, Guerneville; Applewood Inn Restaurant, $39, 13555 Hwy 116, Guerneville; Duck Club at Bodega Bay Lodge, $39, 103 Coast Hwy One, Bodega Bay; Bay View Restaurant at Inn at the Tides, $29, 800 Hwy One, Bodega Bay.

Sonoma, Glen Ellen, Kenwood
Breakaway Cafe, $19: Best burger in Sonoma? Beltane Ranch dry-aged burger with fire-roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, fresh thyme, cambezola on a Basque Boulangerie Bun and hand-cut fries. Served with locally-sourced goat cheese salad, cherry streusel with coconut gelato. Fun, casual, classic and kid-friendly. 19101 Sonoma Hwy, Sonoma.

Kenwood Restaurant and Bar, $39: Chef Rick Vargas snaps things up with a Peruvian menu during restaurant week featuring local Bouillabaisse, tuna sashimi, beef carpaccio, seafood linguini, veal piccata, grilled beef with Cognac cream pepper sauce and pound cake with fresh berries. 9900 Highway 12, Kendwood.

Fig Cafe and Wine Bar, $19: The cozy Glen Ellen fig cafe is a sister to the girl and the fig  restaurant in nearby Sonoma — a perennial favorite for locals and tourists. You pretty much can’t go wrong with anything on exec chef Sondra Bernstein’s menu. This week she features a Caesar salad, fig and verjus braised pork shoulder with polenta and chocolate pot de creme. 13690 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen.

Also: Sonoma Meritage, $29, 165 W. Napa St., Sonoma; Mamma Tanino’s, $29, 500 W. Napa St., Sonoma; Girl and the Fig, $29, 110 West Spain St., Sonoma; Della Santina: $29, 133 E. Napa St., Sonoma; Estate, $29, 400 W. Spain St, Sonoma; Carneros Bistro and Wine Bar, $39,  1325 Broadway, Sonoma; Cafe 522, $29, 522 Broadway, Sonoma; Big 3 at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, $19, 96 Boyes Blvd., Boyes Hot Springs; Epicurean Connection, $19 122 W. Napa St., Sonoma; Hopmonk Tavern, $29, 691 Broadway, Sonoma; Cafe La Haye, $39, 140 E. Napa, Sonoma; Saddles Steakhouse at MacArthur Place, $29, 29 E. Macarthur St., Sonoma; Cafe Citti, $19, 9049 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood; Vineyards Inn, $29, 8445 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood.; Olive and Vine, $29, 14301 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen; Glen Ellen Inn Oyster Grill and Martini Bar (a favorite romantic hideaway), $29, 13670 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen.

North County
Rustic at Coppola Winery, $39: Incredible views, great food that Mr. Coppola himself has approved. Caesar salad, Chicken Mattone, NY STrip, Panna Cotta or Chocolate Mousse al Francis Francis. 300 Via Archimedes Way, Geyserville. Also: Catelli’s, $39, 21047 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville;  Piacere, $29, 504 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale.