As great California Chardonnay continues to distance itself from the stereotypical style built around oak and butter, Julien How sepian, winemaker at Kosta Browne, creates a considerable distance between that cliché and this rich but intensely vibrant white. Savory, wet-stone minerality opens on the nose, intriguingly layered with exotic citrus, orchard blossoms, hints of tropical fruit and crème brûlée...
Whether you’re craving a gooey deep dish pizza or a slice of NY-style pie, we’ve got just the place for you. There are only three things needed to make a perfect pizza – crust, sauce and cheese. Sure, pepperoni, anchovies or pineapple may be required on your pizza, but the pure expression of a great pie needs no gilding.
West Sonoma County, dubbed ‘West County’ by locals is one of the most unique and picturesque areas of Sonoma County. Entailing the area west of Santa Rosa and to the coast, this area encompasses the small, charmingly eclectic city-towns of Sebastopol, Guerneville, and Occidental as well as a handful of other petite hamlets such as Graton, Forestville, and Monte Rio.
Rucked away into this uniquely idyllic corner of Sonoma County wine country, West Sonoma County has a completely different identity and feel. Visitors won’t find looming wine castles, glamorous chateaus, or tour buses full of bachelorettes here. Low key is the name of the game in thees parts, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a wealth of amazing wine and gastronomic experiences.
From casual farm-to-table eateries and popular outdoor gourmet marketplaces to high-end restaurants where dishes are prepared by renowned Chefs and served up in a California-Coastal casual ambiance and roadside artisan cheese shops West Sonoma County is a foodie paradise. And the wineries and wine tasting experiences here are equally as impressive and diverse while blissfully unpretentious.
April 8, 2021
Even years later, after eating thousands of tasty tacos from throughout California, I still don’t fully understand the subtleties of this ancient, beloved street food of Mexico. But I’ve made progress after devouring two seasons of Netflix’s series The Taco Chronicles, which schooled me in the culture and history of al pastor and lesser-known local taco fillers like suadero (fatty beef) and cabrito (goat), buche (pork stomach) and cabeza (head).
So whether you end up going on a Taco Chronicles adventure of your own, exploring out-of-the-way taquerias specializing in barbacoa, or you just want to challenge yourself to get out of a burrito rut, there’s a lifetime of tacos out there just waiting to be discovered. And you don’t even have to wait until #tacotuesday.
Carne Asada- Barrio, Sebastopol: Not all asadas are created equal, and in fact, most aren’t even worth your time. It takes a master to flavor and perfectly grill a muscular cut of beef into something mouthwatering. Usually marinated with chiles and lime, asada is typically cut from skirt or flank steak, then diced into cubes. So often carne asada is dry and tough, but we love the mix of spice and tenderness from both of these taco spots. 6760 McKinley Street #140, Sebastopol, trustmetaco.com
Read more | March, 2021
For this dish, Matt D’Ambrosi, chef of Blue Ridge Kitchen at The Barlow outdoor marketplace in Sebastopol, Calif., plates roasted steelhead trout with charred and creamed Brussels sprouts and kale, along with potatoes that have been boiled, chilled, smashed and then fried until crispy.
He also makes a gastrique with pomegranate juice and pink peppercorns cooked down with sugar and vinegar, He said the sweet-and-sour sauce complements the fish well and also goes nicely with the cream in the vegetables. he adds pomegranate seeds for acidity and crunch, and then finishes the dish with an Italian salsa verde made with capers, parsley, lemon, garlic, shallot, olive oil and a little Parmesan cheese.
“The salsa verde is great because it adds a fresh, herbaceous essence that complements both the gastrique and the cream sauce,” he said.
From classic fluffy ones served up with eggs and bacon to carrot cake and supersize versions, here are some of our favorite pancakes right now.
From ancient Romans to millennial brunchers, pancakes have long been a favorite breakfast-time tunny-warmer – and mimosa accomplice…
Best Newcomer- Blue Ridge Kitchen, Sebastopol: Carrot cake pancakes are made with carrot and apple souffle, cream cheese poppy-seed glaze, golden raisins, candied pecans, and smoked maple syrup…
Read more | January 2021
Spirit Works Four Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey ($50/750ml, 45% ABV; Spirit Works Distillery, Sebastopol): This distillery, owned by husband-and-wife team Timo and Ashby Marshall, former merchant marines who worked with environmental nonprofits, opened in the Barlow complex of Sebastopol in 2012. Whiskey was always a goal for he distillery, and upon opening, he Marshalls began laying down whiskey in 53-gallon barrels. This bourbon from Spirit Works’ head distiller Krystal Goulart was fist released in April 2020, as it took a few years to source the organic California-grown corn that is essential to bourbon. Aged four years in new American oak, this bourbon has the classic flavors of cherry, orange and herbal menthol typical in the style, buttressed with more grain flavor in the form of whole-gran toast with honey and light floral aromas…
Read more | December 18, 2020
Back in February, before 2020 took its dangerous turn, I flew to Northern California to, among other things, report an article on Pax Mahle Wines in Sebastopol, a winery that is home to six exceptional producers, all sharing space, working similarly in the cellar with no commercial yeast or other additives, but making very different wines…
Each of the labels – Martha Soumen Wines, Jolie-Laide, RAEN, Jaimee Motley Wines and Monte Rio Cellars – makes beautiful wines. But the one that stayed with me was a syrah from Pax Mahle Wines, made by the husband-and-wife team at the center of the group, Pax and Pam Mahle.
Read more | December 10, 2020