Fork Roadhouse: A few months ago, not long after the short-lived Stillwater Kitchen in Sebastopol closed, Sarah Piccolo of Fork Catering quietly leased the space, nestled in what you could almost call a hollow, on Highway 12 between Sebastopol and Freestone. The Fork catering truck is frequently parked adjacent to the restaurant, and a few times this month the parking lot has been full, with a “sold out” sign near the entrance. On December 20, for example there was a dinner and concert featuring Mike Beck.
On January 1, Fork Roadhouse hosts a Grand Opening celebration, with free mimosas for everyone who shows up in their jammies. As of this writing, we did not have hours; visit forkcatering.com or call 634-7575 as the date approaches.
Fork Catering, its truck a popular fixture at cycling and other events, does more than give lip service to the idea of using local foods. The farms and ranches they work with are identified and menu selections evolve as the seasonal harvest unfolds. Sample menus are posted at the Web site.
In the past several years, the space that is now Fork Roadhouse has gone through so many changes in ownership that it is hard to remember them all. In recent years, it has been Two Crows Roadhouse, Saint Rose, Claudio’s and Stillwater Kitchen. For a variety of reasons, none of these incarnations established a firm foothold, despite the appealing space. We’re hopeful Fork will find its home here, in a beautiful setting that is said to have been, many decades ago, a bordello.
Fork Roadhouse is located at 9890 Bodega Highway, west of Sebastopol.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The printed version and an earlier online version listed an incorrect phone number for Fork Catering. This article has been amended with the correct version.
New Year’s Eve at Bistro 29: If you hurry, you might be able to snag one of the remaining reservations for New Year’s Eve at Bistro 29, the sweet little French restaurant in downtown Santa Rosa.
The prix-fixe menu, $75 per person, begins with a glass of local sparkling wine and a warm gougere (French-style cheese puff) with Point Reyes Cheese Toma
The first course is an asparagus soup with poached egg and brioche croutons. For the second course, you’ll choose from a braised artichoke with Dungeness crab and potato, with watercress and fennel salad; wild mushroom and potato gnocchi grain with crispy sage or crispy duck confit with black lentils, tarragon-orange sauce and citrus salad. For a third course, your options are seared scallops with butter-poached monkfish, lobster-Cognac sauce and saffron risotto beignets; grilled quail with olive oil and lemon mashed potatoes, braised kale and a vinegar-port sauce or sous-vide filet of beef with cauliflower fondue, dry roasted mushrooms and a cabernet sauvignon-bone marrow sauce.
The festive meal wraps up with a trio of desserts, pavé au chocolate with candied chestnuts, Cassis sorbet with Créme de Cassis and whipped créme fraiche and caramel beignets.
An appealing aspect of Bistro 29, other than its authenticity, is that it feels like a snug little cocoon, a tiny island of France tucked at 620 Fifth St., away from noisy crowds and loud bars. It’s a treasure.
Beverages, other than the glass of sparkling wine, gratuity and tax and are not included in the $75.