Restaurateurs are a plucky lot. Often unfazed by even the worst circumstances, they forge ahead to feed us through flood, fire and pandemic. But opening (and reopening) right now? That’s for the truly brave, and we’re here to salute their fearless fortitude.
Corner Project Ales and Eats
Opened in May, this family-run brewpub in Geyserville has one brother brewing and the other manning the kitchen. More than just fried pub grub, Chef Tom Adamian’s menu includes lots of comforting dishes like meatball sandwiches, grilled veggie sandos, gem salad and tomato salad. Locally sourced, the menu changes up weekly, but I’m hoping to get one of their sometimes-on-the-menu Geyserville cheesesteaks, chocolate beer brownie and house-fermented pickle plates. Open Thursday through Sunday.
21079 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville, cornerprojectales.com
Asian food featuring mostly chicken dishes. I’m fascinated by this approachable newcomer to the Marlow shopping center in Santa Rosa. Daily pickup and delivery of simple, but hearty, dishes like chicken curry puffs, tangy tamarind chicken rice bowls, curry rice bowls, poached chicken and rice and grilled chicken and rice. Most entrees are $12.95. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
1791 Marlow Road, Santa Rosa, chickennature.com
Valley Bar and Bottle
These folks got the serious short end of the stick, planning to open at the former Harvest Moon location in Sonoma just as the pandemic hit. At this bottle shop and restaurant, they’re currently offering a limited menu that includes tinned seafood and chips, half chicken with potatoes, trout with tomatoes and aioli, beet caponata and more.
487 First St., West, Sonoma, valleybarandbottle.com
Gypsy Cafe Reopens
It’s been a long haul for this homey spot in Sebastopol that’s been hit by the double whammy of COVID-19 and a Caltrans project that blocked much of the sidewalk area for months. They’ll be back in action on Aug. 5 for takeout with their signature chicken and waffles, chilaquiles, heirloom BLT and burgers along with family dinners.
162 N Main St., Sebastopol, gypsy-cafe.com
German meets Italian at this fun eatery offering a small outdoor space, along with takeout and delivery. Best bets include housemade burrata with roasted summer fruits, summer BLT with Flugger’s bacon on ciabatta bread and wood-fired pizzas like their killer rosemary mushroom pie.
1229 North Dutton, Santa Rosa, franchettis.com