WHERE TO GET THE BEST PANCAKES IN SONOMA COUNTY
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
FORMER TESLA EXECUTIVE LAUNCHES BESPOKE TEXTILE COMPANY IN SEBASTOPOL
On a 7.5 ton loom affectionately named Luna, a group of women at The Barlow are meticulously crafting some of the most beautiful wool blankets in the world. Designer Jessica Switzer Green, a former Tesla executive, launched JG Switzer with the goal of creating textiles so luxurious and finely made that they will last not only a lifetime, but can be handed down to the next generation.
The bespoke blankets and throws, each elegantly edged in lustrous silk charmeuse, are primarily woven from the soft, sustainably harvested wool of rare breeds of sheep. These heirloom breeds produce distinctively different fleece- the Wensleydale, for example, has long, fast-growing fleece that must be cut twice a year.
I’m really going for small flock animals at risk,” explains Green. “I’m choosing for the quality of the wool and the softness. And the color is really important, because I’m an oil painter, and I think of it as painting in wool”. Much of the company’s wool is sourced from nearby producers, including Sue Gustafson in Sebastopol, who keeps a small flock of rare Bluefaced Leicester sheep on her 8-acre farm. “The fiber grows in ringlets and it comes in white and in brown,” Gustafson says. “It’s a nice fiber to use for clothing and other projects because it’s not scratchy. You can wear it next to your skin”…
Read more | January 2021
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK IN SEBASTOPOL
The Farmer’s Wife. The sandwich initially may have been invented to make multitasking easier, but the cheesy melted sandwiches from the Farmer’s Wife definitely require both hands. Kendra Kolling, who’s also a regular at a couple of Bay Area farmers markets, loves stuffing a couple of cheeses, sustainable meat, jam, and eggs in her creations. “What I bring back from my farmers market represents the strength and bounty of our local foodshed”, says Kolling. She got into the sandwich business after she married an apple farmer and needed to boost their margins. Start slowly with the patty melt, which features grass fed beef, caramelized onions, cheddar, and secret sauce. Or go whole hog on the Belly & Jelly, a substantial mashup or honey lavender bacon, apricot preserves, wildflower honey, and melted cheddar.
Blue Ridge Kitchen. Some of the most delicious fried chicken in the Bay rea can be found here. Chef Matthew D’Ambrosi says it took him 287 batches to perfect the batter, whose deep golden hue is like a cross between tempura and a beer-battered fish fillet. The batter is crunchy, savory, and light with caramelized notes reminiscent of a perfect apple fritter. And the meat is tender and juicy, even without the spicy beurre blanc that comes on the side. The chef brings the same level of intensity to the rest of the menu, but especially his cioppino, hardwood smoked prime rib, shrimp and grits, and burger – all currently available for take out.
Two Dog Night Creamery. Ice cream that’s made fresh with liquid nitrogen has been around for a while. But the flavor volume is turned up to high when it comes to the gelato at Two Dog Night Creamery. In the summer, customers might be seduced by the signature Blackberry Pie (vanilla ice cream with sweet organic blackberries). But the shop’s regulars also dally with the Caramelized Apple Pie flavor, which is studded with warm spices, and have a steady thing with the Bananas Foster. They’ve also got vegan peanut butter ice cream, and you can get a couple of free toppings on your cone.
Read more | January 13, 2021
WHAT’S NEW IN SONOMA COUNTY IN 2021
Despite life in Wine Country looking a lot different in 2020, we have been pleased to see a small flurry of business openings. To say that 2020 was a challenge for Sonoma County businesses is an understatement, but if there’s something that is still true about Wine County this past year and ever year, it’s that it is just as enticing today as ever before.
Especially for food and wine lovers seeking a destination that offers world renowned cuisine and wines, beautiful scenery, a laid back vibe, and a wealth of socially distant- friendly outdoor spaces in which to enjoy it all in. Here are the top new places to eat, drink, and stay in Sonoma County this year.
Over in West Sonoma County, Sebastopol’s Blue Ridge Kitchen opened its doors last summer to plenty of eager foodies who’d been awaiting a scaled up, seated restaurant dining option in The Barlow…
Another fantastic new arrival at The Barlow over the past six months is Region Wine Bar, a unique Sonoma focused wine bar that features a collection of wine from 25 boutique and/or quintessential Sonoma County wine producers, equalling a total of 50 wines (or more) that guests can taste all in one place…
Read more | January 6, 2021
SONOMA COUNTY’S BEST RESTAURANT DISHES 2020
It’s almost cruel to talk about the incredible food I have eaten this year as we begin another pandemic lockdown. Many of these restaurants are closed or only offering takeout, which pales in comparison to the summertime luxury of being able to eat al fresco.
For that I’m sorry, but not that sorry. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s my most sincere wish that we’ll soon be able to enjoy the amazing food Sonoma County is known for. This look back at the best dishes I ate this year is also a homage to all the chefs who refused. to give up and pivoted over and over to meet the challenges heaped on them at every turn…
Blue Ridge Kitchen, Croque Madame: This showstopper is the Liberace of sandwiches. Its jeweled capelets of griddled brioche sit in a dainty puddle of golden saffron Bechemel. Up top is a jaunty chapeau of sunny-side-up eggs and sequins of caviar. Peering inside, you’ll find a symphony of fontina, county ham and even lobster. You can’t look away from that kind of fabulous…
Sushi Kosho, Japanese Eggplant with sweet miso glaze and walnuts and sushi made for a happy visit to one of my favorite chefs, despite the lockdown…
Acre Pizza, Detroit-style pizza: Caramelized crust, homemade sauce and loads of cheese make this thick-crust, gramma-style pizza too delicious to ignore…
Read more | December 2020
IS THERE SUCH THING AS A CALIFORNIA-STYLE WHISKEY? FINALLY, THE ANSWER IS YES
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
WINES TO REMEMBER IN A YEAR TO FORGET
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
9 SONOMA BUYS TO KEEP YOU WARM AND COZY THIS WINTER
It just got cooler outside, which means there’s an imperative to get cozier. And with activities moving outdoors and remaining so for much longer this season, it’s really important to bundle up. Here are a few finds that will keep you warmer and cozier or both whether we’re in the field, on a hike or curled up on the couch.
This cozy hoodie is a stylish defense against dropping temperatures. The fact that it’s cut and sewn in the USA and screen-printed in a Mendocino studio should give you extra warm fuzzies. $68 Barge North Company, The Barlow, 6780 McKinley St. Ste. 140, Sebastopol, 707-503-6018, bargenorthcompany.com
Read more | November 2020
7 SONOMA RESTAURANTS TO VISIT RIGHT NOW FOR OUTDOOR DINING AND TAKEOUT
Sebastopol’s Barlow center is having its close-up moment. After some stunning lows over the years- namely, the 2018 flood that left shops and restaurants literally underwater 0 the sprawling outdoor marketplace is suddenly a poster child for outdoor entertainment in the pandemic age.
Restaurants are bustling, as are taprooms, tasting rooms, and stores, as those in need of a little vitamin D with their craft brew gather, socially distanced, for a much-needed outing…
Read more | November 2020
TWO SEBASTOPOL RESTAURANTS SHARE FUN FALL MEAL IDEAS
The western edge of Sonoma County is at the forefront of farm-to-table eating, thanks to a cornucopia of organic farms and vineyards, mushroom and poultry growers, cheesemakers and fishermen who thrive along the fog-swept coast.
This fertile melting pot has helped nurture the food-and-beverage businesses at the bustling Barlow in Sebastopol, Despite the recent challenges of a pandemic, fires and floods, the industrial-chic complex has survived as a thriving community of food, wine, beer and spirit producers alongside an organic grocery store, juice bar, ice cream shop and restaurants, both casual and high-end…
Read more | November 10, 2020
7 COZY HOLIDAY GIFTS FROM THE BARLOW
The Barlow in Sebastopol offers a range of options for the savvy holiday shopper. Plus great food and drinks.
Inflatable ghosts and pumpkins have just been packed away, which, pre-pandemic, would signal it’s time to think turkey and gatherings. But since medical advice is to keep gatherings virtual or very small this year, now could be a good time to focus on early holiday shopping instead. By starting your holiday shopping early, you’ll have more time to ship gifts to family and friends and local businesses will appreciate an early kick-off to the holidays.
The Barlow in Sebastopol offers a range of options for the savvy holiday shopper. The former apple cannery now houses workshop and retail spaces where talented makers produce and sell their unique wares. Visitors to The Barlow can also enjoy drinks and bites from tasting rooms and restaurants. If you prefer to shop online, that can be done, too…
Read more | November 2020
THE ULTIMATE SONOMA COUNTY FOOD AND WINERY TRAVEL GUIDE
Region: Imagine being able to try 50+ wines from different wineries under one roof. You can do this at Region. In one room , you can do a self-guided tasting of 50 wines in the Wine Station machines, And in the other, you can do a traditional hand poured experience from the winemakers themselves…
W.M Cofield Cheesemakers: “Cheese. Wine. Friendships. The best improve with age.” We couldn’t agree more! William Cofield Cheesemakers brings proper British style cheeses to Sonoma County. And they are DELICIOUS!…
Dinner at Blue Ridge Kitchen: California dishes, reimagined and elevated. Instead of choosing the dishes ourselves, we asked Blue Ridge Kitchen to send us their favorites. We often gravitate towards dishes we are familiar with, but sometimes, the best dishes are ones we overlooked and didn’t order…
Read more | October 26, 2020
SEBASTOPOL CHEESEMAKER BRINGS BRITISH STYLE TO SONOMA COUNTY
Organic local milk with a dash of “proper” British style has yielded some delicious cheeses at The Barlow.
These delectable products, all from a small purveyor named Wm. (that’s a British abbreviation for “William”) Cofield Cheesemakers, are unlike any other cheese being made in the region – a rare and unusual treat that has titillated foodie fans both near and far.
The shop is a cut off the old block from cheesemaker Keith Aams, who makes all the cheeses himself on site in Sebastopol.
Read more | October 25, 2020
BLUE RIDGE KITCHEN
What’s the best season to open a restaurant? The upside of a summertime opening is that it’s typically prime tourist season, and there’s an influx of incoming visitors. The downside is many locals are vacationing, so it’s hard to cultivate a solid group of regulars. But 2020 has been far from usual, and Blue Ridge Kitchen seemed to appear overnight, opening this summer in the midst of a national pandemic when indoor dining was shut down. I happened by one Sunday afternoon as I was strolling through The Barlow to see its outdoor dining section humming with business, as if it had been there for years. So on a Wednesday evening in September, Alex and I ventured there to find out how they’re making the magic happen.
Read more | October 13, 2020
12 NEW THINGS TO DO IN NAPA AND SONOMA THIS FALL
New Wine Bars in Napa + Sonoma: Region
A new wine bar at The Barlow lets you sip all around Sonoma in one place. Region utilizes self-serve WineStations, which dispense wine at the push of a button. Simply link your Region tasting card to a credit card and enjoy pours of three sizes (and varying price points) at your leisure from 25 boutique local producers spanning 14 Sonoma appellations.
The Hottest New Restaurants in Napa + Sonoma: Blue Ridge Kitchen
Another new addition to Sebastopol’s The Barlow is Blue Ridge Kitchen (in what was formerly Zazu), serving California comfort food with a Southern drawl. Case in point: the croque madame with lobster. Sip a craft cocktail, like the Gravenstein Julip (bourbon, apple reduction lime juice, apple bitters, mint leaves), and order several small plates to share.
Read more | October 13, 2020
MEET KEITH ADAMS & WM COFIELD CHEESEMAKERS
“There’s no better milk that what you get in Sonoma County and it’s a beautiful place to live,” says Adams who may have moved back to California, but it was to make English style cheese. Making English style cheese in Northern California didn’t just make sense to Adams, but was warmly welcomed by his customers.
Read more | October 9, 2020
URBAN PLANNING: METAL MAKERS
Read more | September October 2020
THE DWELL 24: THE UP-AND-COMING DESIGNERS. WHO SHOULD BE ON YOUR RADAR RIGHT NOW
With beginnings as a wool blanket company, Jessica Switzer Green is expanding JG Switzer to offer a wider array of natural-fiber textiles, bedding, and home goods, including this new applique fabric designed in collaboration with Studio AHEAD for their Sheep Lounge Chair.
A former Tesla executive, Jessica Switzer Green launched Sonoma-based JG Switzer in 2018 as a wool blanket company, working with “hundreds of fleeces, many of them from small-flock breeds that are considered endangered,” she says. Now she has expanded to include a wider array of natural-fiber textiles, bedding, and home goods.
Read more | September 2020
LOVING: REGION + FERN BAR
Read more | September 2020
SEVEN ARTISTS CREATE NEW MURAL ART FOR THE BARLOW
They all have artwork featured in The Barlow’s new outdoor mural exhibit, “Greetings from The Barlow: A Postcard Tribute to Sonoma County, ” not on display and scheduled to continue indefinitely.
For the show, artists were asked [to] submit work that represents the county: “If you were to send a postcard from Sonoma, what would it look like? How would you render our beautiful county?” The result is a handful of large-scale paintings brightening The Barlow’s grey and white exteriors with color.
Read more | September 23, 2020
SONOMA LIST: FAVORITE DAY TRIPS
The Barlow in Sebastopol is less than an hour from Sonoma and my favorite kind of day trip with two equally good routes. Check out the vines changing colors along Highway 12 on the way there and stop by the farm stands and antique shops on Route 116 on the way back. Once at the Barlow, the outdoor “market district” boasts a handful of cool shops and a dozen food and drink options including tastings outdoor at Golden State Cider and Crooked Goat Brewery and wine on tap by the ounce at the new hot spot Region. Kendra Kolling’s Farmer’s Wife deliver a gooey artisan grilled cheese to your table outside any venue and you’re almost guaranteed to hear some live music. The overall vibe is distinctly young, hip, casual and carefree.
Read more | September 10, 2020
BLUE RIDGE KITCHEN IS ANOTHER TASTY REASON TO VISIT THE BOOMING BARLOW
Restaurants are bustling, as are tap rooms, tasting rooms and stores as Bay Area visitors, locals and anyone in need of a little vitamin D with their craft brew gather, socially distanced, for a much-needed outing.
The newest entrant is Blue Ridge Kitchen, a Southern(ish) restaurant that was designed to be a sort of something-for-everyone spot similar to Napa’s Rutherford Grill or the iconic Buckeye Roadhouse. With plenty of fast-casual and cocktail-cool dining concepts in the Barlow, Blue Ridge is the approachable anchor restaurant missing since the departure of Zazu Farm + Restaurant in 2018.
Not that fellow Barlow restaurants including Sushi Kosho, Farmer’s Wife, Barrio, Acre Pizza and Fern Bar don’t have their own brisk following. It’s just that Blue Ridge is where you take your mom for a two-mimosa brunch with fried chicken and waffles so good she’ll forgive you for the belly button ring in 1997.
Read more | August 2020
SEBASTOPOL’S SPIRIT WORKS WINS TOP HONORS
It takes grains, sugars, yeast and water to make whiskey and other alcohol spirits. But the most favored and rewarded spirits are equally prized for what surrounds the bottle and barrels as much as what the final fermentation inside the bottle offers. This is where a craftsman’s touch, artisan approach and pursuit for both the authentic and the original earn top shelf honors.
All this is true at Sebastopol’s Spirit Works Distillery, which just won “Distillery of the Year” from the American Distilling Institute. The small craft distillery, led by owners Ashby and Timo Marshall, was recognized for its series of premium spirits and also for its local community involvement, industry leadership and environmental practices.
“As a distillery deeply committed to quality and innovation in making and serving the best grain-to-glass spirits in the world, Spirit Works continues to raise the bar,” said Erik Owens, vice president of the American Distilling Institute (ADI).
Read more | July 23, 2020
SEBASTOPOL’S THE BARLOW ADDS A WINERY CO-OP AND NEW RESTAURANT
The wine bar, Region, is slated to open July 25th next to Golden State Cider. Offering 50 different wines from Sonoma County, Region works with specific winemakers from 14 of Sonoma County’s 19 appellations to make sure the wines represent the broad spectrum of the region – hence the name, says co-founder Kerry Thedorf. The wine bar will have two distinct spaces… [Read more]
As for the restaurant, Blue Ridge Kitchen will open on July 28. The new California-inspired spot is taking the place of Zazu Kitchen & Farm, which closed last year due to flooding. General Manager Eric Zahra describes the menu as “California comfort food with a southern drawl,” utilizing local farmers to create food with a southern slant.
The menu is still being finalized, but items include southern staples like fried green tomatoes, fried shrimp po’boys, mac and cheese, shrimp and grits, and fried chicken. There are also a few favorites from chef Matt D’Ambrosi tried, like smash burgers and ahi tuna tartare with black rice chips…
Read more | July 21, 2020
CALIFORNIA COMFORT FOOD WITH SOUTHERN DRAWL COMES TO FORMER ZAZU
Describing the menu as “California comfort food with a Southern draw,” General Manager Eric Zahra (Real Restaurants group, Piatti) heads up an all-star cast that includes Virginia native Jared Rogets (Guesthouse, Picco) as consulting chef and Matt D’Ambrosi (recently of Spoonbar, Harmon Guesthouse and Pizzando). The restaurant is undergoing a makeover, which includes a showpiece J&R live fire grill but maintains the open, airy vibe of the space.
Barlow founder Barney Aldridge is currently a minority partner in the project and said he brought together the team to create a friendly, seven-day-a-week, “heart of the community” destination like Marin’s iconic Buckeye Roadhouse or Napa’s Rutherford Grill.
Sonoma Magazine | July, 2020
OWNER OF SUSHI KOSHO GIVES TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR OWN SUSHI
You don’t have to be Jiro Ono, the sushi master in the 2011 documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” to turn out a maki roll with your own two hands.
You don’t even need to order raw fish from a fishmonger, such as the famous Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo.
But if you love to wrap and roll, sushi is bound to be delicious fun, even without all those hard-to-pronounce Japanese fish names. Simply slice up a few easy ingredients — vegetables like carrots and cukes, seafood like smoked salmon and cooked shrimp — and make a big pot of sushi rice. Then invite some friends over for a roll-your-own party, complete with bamboo mats, pickled ginger and sake…
Press Democrat | January 21, 2020
THE BARLOW FOR THE HOLIDAYS
As all of us know, the wine country of Napa and Sonoma, has been hard-hit by fires as well as floods over the past several years. One thing that is most helpful for the area, is to visit to help boost the economy and revive the shops, wineries, restaurants, and hotels there.
Read more Sacramento Street | December 3, 2019
The Barlow makes Cosmopolitan’s list of To Dos in Sonoma County, CA
Before you head on to your next wine tasting, stop at The Barlow, an outdoor market in downtown Sebastopol with a sandwich shop, taqueria, ice-cream parlor, and a few breweries (like many other wine-growing regions, the craft beer movement is exploding in Northern California). I had the best BLT of my life at…
Cosmopolitan | November 5, 2019
EXPLORING THE BARLOW IN SEBASTOPOL
I’ve been wanting to get down to The Barlow–an outdoor marketplace in Sebastopol with a great mix of local food, art, speciality stores, wine and beer–for sometime now and finally made a day of it with my mom and Willow recently. We were on our way to San Francisco and went by way of Sonoma from Sacramento, specifically so we could pop into Elsie Green‘s location at The Barlow….
Read more Cheetah Is The New Black | September 27, 2019
Dog Friendly Restaurants in Sebastopol, CA
Sebastopol’s Fern Bar features ultra-cool cocktails in trendy space
I had stopped to admire a woman’s Border Collie at the entrance of Fern Bar, and after agreeing that he was one of the most handsome dogs in the universe, she asked me if I’d ever eaten at the Sebastopol restaurant, bar and lounge.
I said I hadn’t — though I’d been meaning to venture into the chic hangout in the Barlow for small plates and cocktails since its winter opening. She mused that she’d thought of giving it a shot, but didn’t “speak the menu language.”
The Press Democrat | June 7, 2019
A VISIT TO THE BARLOW
SF Girl by Bay | June 6, 2019
DARING FARE AT FERN BAR IN SEBASTOPOL’S BARLOW
You don’t have to understand impressionism to admire a Monet painting. Consider every doctor’s office or freshman dorm room they grace with blurry beauty. The chaotic overlapping drips of a Jackson Pollock, however, require a little more context to appreciate. Both are beautiful, but one takes a little more effort to understand. Fern Bar, which opened in October 2018 in Sebastopol’s Barlow, is beautiful and is a spot that needs a little context.
Sonoma Magazine | May 3, 2019
AFTER THE FLOOD: BARRIO REOPENING AT THE BARLOW
Though the road to rebuilding will be longer for some, Rosa’s Barrio Fresca Cantinawill be the first restaurant to reopen on Monday, April 8.
Sonoma Magazine | April 5, 2019
ELSIE GREEN NAMED ONE OF 10 BEST VINTAGE & ANTIQUE SHOPS
The Shopkeepers | February 25, 2019
Bespoke Sebastopol Blankets Make the Bed
From a small factory tucked into The Barlow a group of women and one loom they affectionately named Luna, are meticulously crafting what they hope are “the most beautiful blankets in the world.”
Far more than mere bedding, these bespoke blankets and pillows are “ethically sourced” and finespun from the soft wool of select breeds of sheep, some rare and endangered and a few raised and shorn on farms not far away in west Sonoma County.
Jessica Switzer Green is a self-described blanket girl and wool “nerd,” who recently launched JG Switzer with the simple goal of creating slow bedding — woolen blankets so luxurious and finely made that they will last not only a lifetime, but are worth handing down to a next generation.
Meg McConahey| Press Democrat | February 22, 2019
Off The Menu: An Evening At Fern Bar
A movie set is truly a near-perfect description of this Sebastopol bar, as the aesthetic is strong and on brand, offering a transportive experience for restaurant-goers. From the music to the mood lighting and the living, breathing plants that blanket most surfaces, it’s easy to forget the world from where you came once you set foot in Fern Bar. Co-founder Sam Levy explained that from design to execution, the interior of Fern Bar was premeditated and intentional. The goal was to give Sebastopol something the town had never seen before.
Isabella Welch | Bob Cut Magazine | February 14, 2019
When Steph Curry Wins, Sales of Golden State Cider Spike
Golden State Cider’s success has a secret ingredient: the Golden State Warriors. While the only thing the drink and the basketball team have in common is their name, Golden State Cider has seen its fortunes rise with those of the reigning NBA champs, says the company’s chief executive officer, Chris Lacey. “When the Warriors are in the finals, a lot of people purchase GSC in stores, and many bars offer GSC specials as well,” he says. Lacey hasn’t met Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry, and doesn’t know if he drinks the cider, although the product is on the menu at International Smoke, the Bay Area restaurant co-owned by Curry’s wife, Ayesha. “We’re one degree of separation and a couple million dollars in sponsorship away from him,” says Lacey.
Kate Krader| Bloomberg | January 25, 2019
Splurging on sashimi: Barlow’s new Japanese restaurant worth it
Some people splurge on sports — Lakers tickets that average $170 to $2,500 per game. I put my sheckles into sashimi. Some people spend millions on a single painting, while I didn’t really think twice when I read that a Japanese fellow paid more than $3 million for a single fish the other week. It’s true: Kiyoshi Kimura, the self-titled “King of Tuna” and owner of the Sushi Zanmai restaurant chain in Japan, paid 333.6 million yen for a 612-pound bluefin tuna, translating to about $4,900 per pound.
Is it any surprise, then, that I’m thrilled to welcome Koshō to The Barlow in Sebastopol? It’s a tiny jewel box, small plates Japanese restaurant with a brief dinner menu and even smaller lunch menu, and it offers some of the best sushi and sashimi I’ve had in recent history.
Carey Sweet| Press Democrat | January 18, 2019
YOU CAN’T GO WRONG AT THE FARMER’S WIFE IN SEBASTOPOL
It’s not a stretch to say that Kendra Kolling (aka The Farmer’s Wife) makes one of the best sandwiches in the Bay Area. In fact, a San Francisco food writer called it exactly that. Years ago, Kolling won best sandwich at the Battle of the Brews’ ’Wich Hunt in Santa Rosa after blowing the competition out of the water — or at least off the plates with her melty, crusty, munchie, oozy delicious melts.
After 10 years of slinging her spectacular sammies at farmer’s markets and festivals throughout the region, Kolling has a brick-and-mortar space in Sebastopol. She’s pretty excited this outpost doesn’t have to be folded up at the end of the day. In fact she’s got a roof, a door and some swanky wallpaper, as well, in her matchbox-sized storefront at the Barlow.
Sonoma Magazine | December 21, 2018
SIP MICHELIN-APPROVED COCKTAILS AT NEW SEBASTOPOL RESTAURANT
Wine country has a new cocktail destination in Fern Bar, which opened yesterday in Sebastopol’s outdoor marketplace The Barlow.
While the restaurant features appealing small plates and atmosphere, the main attraction is likely the cocktails from Sam Levy, former bar manager at three Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood.
“I always want people to feel comfortable and have drinks that taste really good with housemade ingredients. What makes me the most comfortable when I go out is seeing things that I recognize, twists on classics, drinks with recognizable ingredients but done in a way that has a great balance, is really refreshing, a little more refined, and for me, a little more acidic,” Levy says.
Janelle Bitker| SF EATER | December 21, 2018
Seismic Brewing in Santa Rosa wins Wine, Beer + Spirits Industry Awards for 2018
Andy Hooper came to Seismic Brewing Company in late 2015, as the venture was just emerging. With a biochemistry degree from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and brewery training at University of California, Davis, he had managed the laboratory at Anderson Valley Brewing Company in Mendocino County for six years.
Seismic was started by Christopher Jackson, son of Barbara Banke and the late Jess Jackson of Jackson Family Wines, and Patrick Delves. The 13,000-square-foot brewery opened in a southwest Santa Rosa industrial area in May 2017. It produced 1,500 barrels the first year and is on track to make 3,200–3,500 this year, with more growth planned with a retail venue next year.
Jeff Quackenbush| North Bay Business Journal | December 5, 2018
10 OF THE BEST SUSHI SPOTS IN SONOMA COUNTY
Sonoma Magazine | October 31, 2018
SUSHI KOSHŌ BRINGS JAPAN TO THE BARLOW
Chef Jake Rand brings 20 years of experience to this new venture. He has traveled to many of the famous markets in Japan, gaining a vast knowledge of selecting top ingredients and the freshest fish.
The restaurant is named for a condiment commonly found in Japanese cuisine, yuzu koshō. Known for its spicy, acidic, and balanced nature, yuzu koshō appears throughout the menu in a variety of forms, including Meyer lemon, grapefruit, and Satsuma orange koshō.
| www.sonomacounty.com | October 19, 2018
KOSHO: JAPANESE COMFORT FOOD IN SEBASTOPOL, FROM SUSHI TO PANCAKES
The seemingly simple act of making sushi is anything but. In Japan, apprentices sometimes spend decades perfecting things as mundane as washing the short grain rice properly and knowing the right proportion of vinegar to add to the warm-but-not-too-hot rice. And that’s before chefs can even think about touching a knife to fish.
Heather Irwin | Sonoma Magazine | October 15, 2018
SAM LEVY TO LEAVE MEADOWOOD, OPEN FERN BAR IN SONOMA
“The Bar at The Restaurant at Meadowood provided an incredible opportunity to learn from some of the most creative people in the industry. We’ve won a lot of awards for hard work. It’s a life that we shared together,” Levy said. “There are things that I’ve gained and learned from that experience that will be with me for the rest of my life.”
However, it is time to move on. So, together with several old friends, Levy will soon launch his Fern Bar in Sonoma County. The bar maestro describes his new endeavor as 100 seat “bar focused restaurant.”
B.E. Mintz | Neat Pour | September 8, 2018
The “Works” sandwich from Sonoma County purveyor the Farmer’s Wife was our favorite Outside Lands offering from last year. The merguez sausage melt is just as satisfying, and slightly less messy. The hearty patty is griddled between two buttery slices of bread with sharp, melty cheese and a bright chimichurri sauce. If you’re only going to eat one sandwich this weekend, make it this one.
Esther Mobley | San Francisco Chronicle | August 11 2018
The new location, the first addition to the brand’s successful Concord store, offers what one might expect from a purveyor of French vintage finds, but Elsie Green takes everything a beautiful step further.
FAMILY GENERAL STORE COMING TO THE BARLOW
In April, Estrada closed Kitty Hawk Gallery and joined forces with her illustrator/artist husband Oliver Estrada to create their expanded retail vision: a general store selling clothing and wares of interest to the whole family.
Karen Kizer | Sonoma Magazine | June 2018
WHY YOU NEED TO VISIT CHARMING SONOMA WINE COUNTRY
Slow food, anyone?
Explore a seemingly endless variety of dining, drinking and shopping experiences at The Barlow, a culinary and arts center in nearby Sebastopol. For a true slow food experience, visit the award-winning Zazu Kitchen + Farm and enjoy farm-to-table at its finest. The owners grow much of the produce served and also feature their own line of charcuterie.
USA TODAY | July 17, 2018
TWELVE BEST PIES IN SONOMA COUNTY
Either way, we think celebrating pi (3.14 etc.) on 3/14 is a good enough reason to grab a piece of pie and ponder the mathematical universe. But really, is there ever a reason not to celebrate pie? In honor of Pi and Pie, we offer up a dozen of our favorite Sonoma County pie shops, and a few of our favorite slices therein. Click through the gallery above for details.
| Sonoma Magazine | March 2018
IN SEBASTOPOL, CALIFORNIA, RECYCLED JUNK SCULPTURES WITH A WINE COUNTRY BACKDROP
Washington Post| February 23, 2018
HOW TO SPEND THE PERFECT DAY EATING AND DRINKING IN SEBASTOPOL
Time Out| January 25, 2018
SLOE AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
Thankfully, there is now a U.S.-based producer of sloe gin, and they happen to be located in our Northern California backyard, in the town of Sebastopol…
ABV Magazine| January 21, 2018
A LESSON IN TRUE MEXICAN CUISINE AT SEBASTOPOL’S BARRIO FRESCA COCINA
By Heather Irwin, Sonoma Magazine | December 19, 2017
Sebastopol’s Spirit Works Distillery wins Distillery Supplier Award
By Gary Quakenbush, North Bay Business Journal| December 4, 2017
20 INCREDIBLE BAKERIES IN SONOMA COUNTY
By Diane Peterson, Sonoma Magazine| September 29, 2017
Cowboy Creamery – Old friends make good cheese
But here come the dudes! Old friends Keith Adams and Rob Hunter teamed up to open William Cofield Cheesemakers in Sebastopol last year. There’s something else that distinguishes the duo, besides their gender: the cheese.
“We’re British-inspired cheesemakers,” Adams says. “No one is doing anything like this here.”
By Stett Holbrook, Bohemian | September 13, 2017
Mole is The Tie That Binds
By Christina Mueller, Edible Marin & Wine Country | August 25, 2017
Made in Sonoma: Top 10 Iconic Foods and Where to Find Them
Maine is famous for its lobster, New Mexico for Hatch chiles and Iowa for corn.
But in the magical foodshed that is Sonoma County, we’re renowned for so many wondrous things, it’s tough to keep track.
Each season pulls its own delights from Mother Nature’s larder, from winter citrus to spring strawberries, summer tomatoes and fall figs. The bounty is so rich that many local restaurants tend their own farms, like the girl & the fig, Handline and Peter Lowell’s, Barndiva, zazu kitchen + farm and Single Thread…
| September 2017
New federal report offers historic view of Sonoma County’s economy, housing
Having survived the tech bubble bursting and the brutal Great Recession, the rural county is now seeing job growth increasingly coming from food production and hospitality… Keith Adams and Rob Hunter may have planted themselves right at the intersection of those two sectors. This summer they began releasing their first cloth-bound aged cheddar cheese from William Cofield Cheesemakers in Sebastopol…
| September 3, 2017
Even though there are many styles and tastes, when you’re traveling about the country it’s always smart to try the local pie. Chef Mark Hopper [Vignette Pizzeria] worked in fine dining (and alongside chef Thomas Keller) for nearly 30 years before returning to his favorite childhood food…
| September 2017
The Sonoma Difference: Staying True to Its Roots
Imagine a food incubator in which budding molecular gastronomists, bakers, and cheesemakers learn from each other while perfecting their wares. Now imagine they’re actually seasoned pros—and their workspaces are open to the public. That’s one way to envision the Barlow…
| August 2017
30 Best Sonoma & Napa Restaurants for Wine Lovers, Wine Spectator 2017 Winners
Bacon haven Zazu holds down its Award of Excellence for the 14th year in a row. Their carefully crafted list of 90 wines focuses primarily on surrounding winemaking regions and wines produced in Sebastopol.
| July 2017
Sebastopol’s The Nectary wins North Bay Maker Award
“When people make a living doing what they love, happiness and growth are inevitable. We are raising the consciousness of community residents and visitors by providing liquid sunshine nourishment that truly feeds mind, body and spirit.”
| July 2017
Briana Reyes of The Barlow wins Facilities Manager Award
“My main role is to support our team, The Barlow. To build relationships with our Makers in an effort to foster a sustainable Barlow community, build tenancy, and maintain the campus as a safe and enjoyable place to be.” -Briana Maughan Reyes…
| June 2017
All You Can Eat in Sebastopol: The Best Snacks, Meals, Sweets + Drinks
Often overlooked thanks to its proximity to better known nearby wine and foodie locales, the quaint little town of Sebastopol actually firmly holds its own as an epicurean treasure trove and emerging enclave for disillusioned hipsters who’ve recently fled the city. Sebastopol even has its own answer to San Francisco’s Ferry Building: The Barlow is a one-stop for the gastronomically inclined…
7×7 | June 2017
8 Epic California Road Trip Stops
Don’t overlook Napa’s sister county, a region rich in mom-and-pop establishments, artisanal wineries, towering Redwood trees, and charming small towns. … Drive to Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve for a hike and then spend an afternoon at The Barlow, an adaptive reuse of a large-scale apple cannery plant filled with craft breweries, distilleries, food producers, and art galleries (for dinner, we love Zazu, the beloved restaurant of celebrity chefs Duskie Estes and John Stewart)…
Conde Nast Traveler | May 2017
Runners chase their suds at inaugural Beer Mile Invitational in Sebastopol
Canned or bottled? Warm or chilled? Beer brand. Pour angle. Cap-removal technique. Post-race hurl.
There’s a lot more to running and drinking than the average person might suspect.
But these were no mere amateurs participating Saturday in the inaugural Beer Mile Invitational at The Barlow in Sebastopol…
The Press Democrat | April 2017
Inaugural IPA 10K & Beer Mile Comes to Sonoma County
| March 2017
Farm-to-Table Life: Zazu Kitchen + Farm
It was just another Sunday morning at the Stewart-Estes home in rural Forestville. John Stewart fed the pigs, rabbits, chickens and duck, as Duskie Estes made breakfast for the couple’s two daughters and the family dog, Chloe. … For the duo, who opened zazu 15 years ago, energy trounces easy. Even in Sonoma, land of handmade, farm-to-table food, this couple goes to the extreme. Best known for their artisanal ways with pig, their menus often read simply, such as bacon-wrapped dates drizzled in sweet saba, chitarra pasta draped in slow-simmered pork-cheek sugo, and golden roasted pork chop atop faro and fagioli beans…
| February 2017
Sebastopol Ped Line one step closer to reality
The City of Sebastopol received approval from CalTrans to move forward with four color-coded, self-guided walking tours. Known as Ped Lines, these walking tours create safe paths for pedestrians to take around the city, instead of driving. … The city required Caltrans approval, as the sidewalks and streetscapes along Highway 116 are owned by the state transportation agency. The Barlow development, which owns the sidewalks along McKinley Street, also gave Cittaslow permission for Ped Line markers to be placed on the sidewalks…
| February 2017
Get Your Goat: Sebastopol Brewery Rides IPA Wave
| February 2017
Vacation With Your Valentine: America’s Most Romantic Retreats
| January 2017
These 5 Ice Cream Spots in Wine Country Are Worth Braving the Cold
Mendocino’s Alsace Wine Festival
The Mercury News | January 2017
Spirit Works Distillery Announces Promotion of Lauren Patz to Head Distiller
| January 2017
A guide to Sonoma County Distilleries With Public Tasting Rooms
Press Democrat | December 2016
West County Wishlist: Six Women-Owned Shops Worth Your Dollar
Sonoma Magazine | December 2016
Local Holiday Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List
Sonoma Magazine | December 2016
50 Best Dishes in Sonoma County
Sonoma Magazine | December 2016
9 Under-the-Radar Chefs to Know in the SF Bay Area
Zagat | December 2016
Food & Wine: Ultimate Holiday Handbook – 53 Recipes You’ll Want to Share
72 Hours in Sonoma County: The Ideal Wine Country Intinerary
Sonoma Magazine | December 2016
Highway 116: 9 Essential Stops Along the Russian River
San Francisco Chronicle | October 2016
The 2016 Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink
Fortune | September 2016
Retro Fashion for Real Women at Mad Mod Shop
Sonoma Magazine | July 2016
The Best Sonoma County Wineries & Restaurants
By Lindsay | Food & Wine | January 2016
The Barlow Arrives- Sebastopol Wine, Food and Art Mecca
The official opening of the Barlow in Sebastopol was just about two years ago. We have visited The Barlow several times since, but not until last week could we simply state, “The Barlow has arrived!” This time the Barlow was a bevy of activity, with each of the artisan purveyors having enough customers and clients to keep them busy and thriving. There are still some empty storefronts, but those promise to be in operation soon. So what exactly is The Barlow? For those old timers, Sebastopol was once the area of many apple orchards…
By Joe Becerra | Wine Country Getaways | October 2015
12 Delicious New Experiences in Sonoma
By Kristine Hansen | Fodors.com | October 2015
Where to Eat & Shop at The Barlow in Sebastopol
By Elaine Glusac | NY Times | August 2015
This is The Barlow in Sebastopol, California. At twelve and a half acres it’s about the same size as many other shopping centers. But it’s different in several important ways… First, The Barlow is built on a brownfield site. The land was part of a century old warehouse district adjacent to a defunct railroad depot. Some of the existing structures were retrofitted while new buildings filled in other parts of the property…
By Granola Shotgun | Granola Shotgun Blog | August 2015
Barlow Developer Revises Plan for Sebastopol Hotel
The Barlow developer Barney Aldridge is moving forward with revised plans for a 90-room boutique hotel at his artisanal commercial center in Sebastopol, though it will be at least two years before the inn and spa could be ready to accommodate lodgers, he said. Forced back to the drawing board because of shortcomings in his previous plan for mitigating flood risks to ground-floor guest rooms…
By Mary Callahan | Press Democrat | August 2015
Sebastopol Boutique is Designer’s Chance to Cultivate Collection
By Flora Tsapovsky | San Francisco Chronicle | August 2015
72 Hours in Sonoma: Day III
By Asha Yoganandan | TheDailyMeal | May 2015
Weekending in Sebastopol
By Virginia Miller | Zagat | March 2015
Sebastopol’s Barlow: Five Ways to Eat, Drink, Play
In just 18 months, The Barlow, an upscale food and wine playground in the heart of Sebastopol, has become home to 38 artists, food purveyors, winemakers, distillers and brewers — and a destination for locals and tourists alike. A mix of renovated warehouses and new, farm-style steel barns — a nod to Sonoma County’s agrarian roots — is spread out over 12.5 acres, along with patios, a garden and edible landscaping. The campus is abuzz with activity seven days a week…
By Mary Orlin and Jay Brooks | San Jose Mercury News | February 2015
Best Romantic Getaways on a Budget Near The Bay Area
By Randy Yagi | CBS Local | February 2015
Trendy Food Halls Across the USA
USA Today | August 2014
Raising The Barlow
So the other day you were at this pizza barn on that old apple-factory land in Sebastopol, when— What’s that? You weren’t at the pizza barn? You didn’t know about the pizza barn? Okay, let’s back up a little. So there’s this new pizza place called Vignette Pizzeria, and it’s inside a barn in wine country, and it’s now open from a couple of Farmshop vets.
Urban Daddy | July 2014
New Sonoma County-Style Street Fair at The Barlow in Sebastopol
By Carey Sweet | www.sonomacounty.com | July 2014
San Francisco Best of the Bay: Things To Happen To Sebastopol
By Jenna Scatena | San Francisco Best of the Bay | July 2014
Inaugural Thursday Night Barlow Street Fair
By Kimberly Kaido-Alvarez | Sonoma West Times and News | June 2014
North Bay Scene Setters
4 New Shops Open at The Barlow
By Carey Sweet | www.sonomacounty.com | May 2014
73 Summer Weekend Getaways
The Barlow Center: Treats, Art, Eat
Sebastopol has always been hip, but with the addition of The Barlow Culinary and Arts Center, it’s now got a whole new groove. Downtown is a lot bigger. Just next door to the Rialto Cinemas on McKinley Street, there’s a place to share fine food and enjoy art and wine. In fact, there are at least 38 exclusive experiences to choose from...
By Sarah Amador | 101 Things to Do | 2014
Pig Love: In Pork We Trust featuring Zazu
When guests dining at ZaZu Kitchen + Farm in Sebastopol, California, take a bite of the signature dish called the Whole Pig, they immediately receive a burst of flavor which covers every part of the mouth. But to say the dish is delicious is an understatement. For beyond the meaty taste of pork, each bite represents the entire pig, including a mixture of meats…
By Christopher Sawyer | Clever Root | 2014
The Crowing Cap of 2013: The Barlow
By Carey Sweet | Pure Luxury | December 2013
Insider Guides: The Barlow Attraction
By Jenna Scatena | Sunset Magazine | May 2013
8 Bucket List Things To Do at The Barlow in California
While spending time in the neighboring town of Sebastopol, it was confirmed that sometimes you don’t need to travel far from home to find bucket list worthy adventures. Just fifteen minutes from my Northern California house there was a place that quenched my new experience thirst, The Barlow. This is not your typical shopping center, which is perfect because I am not a typical shopper. There has to be something unique to get me to stray from my convenient online spending habits.
By Annette White | Bucket.List.Journey. | December 2013
Sebastopol’s The Barlow A Smart Fit for Crossroads
By Carey Sweet | SF Gate | November 2013
Barlow Center Sebastopol Ramps Up for April 2013 Opening
Bite Club Eats | January 2013
Sebastopol OKs Hotel Zoning for The Barlow
The Sebastopol City Council voted unanimously to approve a zoning amendment that could clear the way for a 60-room hotel at The Barlow development on the eastern edge of downtown. An initial concept calls for a two-story, 34,000-square-foot “boutique” hotel on three acres of vacant space at the site of the former Barlow Company cannery, recently redeveloped into a regional hub for food and wine business for West County…
Dverel | North Bay Business Journal | July 2013
Wine Country Holiday Crawl: The Barlow in Sebastopol
If you’re looking for unique, artisanal and locally-made gifts this season to place under the tree, stuff stockings, or give a host or hostess, plan on heading to The Barlow in Sebastopol. In this community of makers, you’ll find a diverse range of art, décor, fashion and wine, plus plenty of cozy eateries to fuel your excursion…
By Annette Hamani | California Home+Design | December 2013
Wine Country Holiday Crawl: The Barlow in Sebastopol
To call The Barlow in Sebastopol a “business park” is to conjure up a beige landscape of prefab buildings. But since the businesses in this new development are all artisanal producers and restaurants–ten of which are now open to the public–the complex merits a proper eating expedition…
By Jonathan Kauffman | Tasting Table | August 2013
Barlow Project Turns Idle Sebastopol Plants into Artisan Food Center
By Robert Digitale | Press Democrat | June 2012
By Mary Callahan and Bret Wilkison | Press Democrat | June 2012
Reinventing The Barlow
By Juliette Porton | North Bay Biz | March 2012
Sebastopol Complex: Barlow Project Underway
Press Democrat | December 2011
By Cathy Buzzewitz | Press Democrat | December 2011
Hoping to Revitalize a Relic
By Nathan Halverson | Press Democrat | April 2011
Barlow Center Aims to Break Ground in Fall
By Heather Irwin | Press Democrat | July 2010
New Council Rejects Development of Apple Packing District
By Robert Digitale | Press Democrat | March 2009
New Council Rejects Development of Apple Packing District
By Robert Digitale | Press Democrat | June 2008