Shepos leaving, new bbq

bbq.gifShepos leaving Stark’s Steakhouse
Mark and Terri Stark are preparing for a bittersweet goodbye — longtime chef Tracey Shepos-Cenami announced to the couple that she’ll be leaving in August. “This wasn’t a short-term decision. There was months of thinking about this. They’re like my parents. But it’s been ten years and that’s a long time in the restaurant world,” said Tracey.

And though the rumor mill is swirling about what this may mean for the steakhouse, both Tracey and bossman Mark say the departure is amicable. “If I did my job right with Tracey, she should be doing her own thing. That’s always been the goal,” Mark told BiteClub. “The beauty of this is that its an opportunity for someone else.”

It’s the Pits
Just a quick hit on the Northbay’s newest bbq spot. Longtime caterer Chef Larry Vito, who’s been catering out of Sebastopol for 14 years and once headed a 5-star eatery in SF, is now offering authentic smoked ribs, chicken and pulled pork at his new porch restaurant. Get there quick before the crowds discover this hidden gem. 6811 Laguna Park Way, Sebastopol, 575-3277.

Whoopie! It’s Viola Pastry.
If you’re lucky, you’ve gotten a sneak preview of Jennifer McMurry’s pastries at Santa Rosa’s Wednesday farmer’s market — most notably her strawberry shortcake and chocolate whoopie pies. She’ll be opening full time in Montgomery Village sometime in September.


20 thoughts on “Shepos leaving, new bbq

  1. Jernewm is correct. The BBQ place in Gualala (Bones) is the best in “Almost Sonoma” County. They also have the best, if not only, bbq’d beef ribs around. A great stop with a great ocean view…Oh…Their side of beans is fantastic.

  2. Had lunch at It’s the Pits BBQ in Sebastopol. Excellent food, very nice location, helpful people. Pork, brisket and chicken all had very good, balanced flavors. Sides were done well. Portion size on the medium to small side. Off to a terrific start. Hope they stay in Sebastopol a long time.

  3. As a BBQ fan and lover of bar-b-qued brisket, I tried the new BBQ in Sebastopol. Taking into consideration that I got it as take out, I found the brisket to be tasty with a decent smoke flavor. It was trimmed pretty well (brisket can be fatty). However, it was dry and portion was not worth what they charged. I also found the potato salad to be so-so, but the cole slaw was just the way I like it. The corn bread was also very good.
    I hope I was there on a bad day. Next time I’ll eat it there and see if is better. It would be nice to have a good BBQ in the Santa Rosa/Sebastopol area that serves good brisket and maybe some good beef ribs (hard to find) that’s close to as good as I can cook at home. So far the closest I’ve found is in Gualala, but that’s a little far to go for dinner after work.

  4. Had lunch at ITs The Pits BBQ yesterday – I eat alot of bbq – while the smoked meats had great flavor, $ 7.95 for a sandwich with little meat on it is not fair to the buyer – the bun sucked (cheap hamburger bun) – why not some type of locally made roll? We didnt have enough with the small sandwiches, so ordered pork ribs with my friend; the ribs were tender, nice smoke ring, but salty finish on them – With a little tweaking this place could be good, just better quality control and increased portion size is required.

  5. Speaking of BBQ – there is a rumor that Blazing Saddles has shuttered their restaurant all of a sudden? Fact or Myth?

    I too hope she stays in the area.
    I wish her all the best in the future.

  7. Just had BBQ in Sebastopol tonight. While the food was good – the portions were tiny in size. I’m afraid it may be too much money for too little food.

  8. Just had the pulled pork in Sebastopol…..WOW super! Easily as good as I’ve had at Q competitions back east. And the homemade sauce is delish. I hope just enough folks go to keep ’em in business, and not so many I can’t get in, in the future. LOL

  9. The PB cookies at Voila are amazing! My new weds night treat addiction.
    I will miss Tracey! She is a wonderful chef, I can only hope she sticks around the county when she opens her own place. And Starks is so great, not just the food, but the ambiance and the staff, I am sure they will do fine. I look forward to seeing who they bring in and what new culinary wonders they will bring to the menu.

  10. How about some basic information about where Stark’s is located. You know, the “W’s”, who, what, WHERE, when?

  11. I eaten Vito’s catering before and was not impressed. Not to mention my friend had an allergic reaction to something in his food. When asked about the ingredients he acted as if we ere trying to steal a trade secret. I understand the need to protect yourself but he was just flat ridiculous about it and showed very little concern for my friends welfare. I will not be patronizing his establishment just based on the way he treated us.

  12. Had the BBQ at the Sebastopol farmer’s market this past weekend and it was awesome. Excellent quality and lots of food for the money. Glad that there is good BBQ available locally again.

  13. I hope that Stark’s will get its culinary act together soon. In three visits, I had food poisoning, an overcooked steak, and a forty minute wait for appetizers. The bartender is great and the Friday night jazz is a nice touch, but the kitchen needs work.

  14. Yeah!!! I can’t wait for Viola to open!! My mouth is already watering thinking about all the yummy food!

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