7 Sonoma Restaurants to Try Now

Click through the gallery above to see the top dishes for each restaurant.

Troubadour, Healdsburg

In 1762, it is unlikely that the Earl of Sandwich could have imagined anything like the soon-to-be-legendary Hokkaido milk bread and egg salad sandwich, now served as the daily special at the new bread and cheese restaurant. Healdsburg sandwiches, Troubadour. Made with inch-thick slices of fluffy Japanese-style bread, creamy egg salad and whole hard-boiled eggs, it’s a sandwich monster, so light you won’t realize you’ve swallowed it all until ‘until you’re only holding on to the crust. .

The bread is leavened with croissant fillings, then tossed with buttermilk and toasted milk powder for a sweet and indulgent sandwich, one that begs for bites that are more veggie than snackable.

These are the kind of magic bakers that Melissa Yanc and Sean McGaughey conjure up. The Single Thread alumni, who opened the bustling new Quail & Condor bakery last year, have set up their second Healdsburg business in the former Mustache Baked Goods, promising ‘chef-inspired, locally sourced sorcery’ in their “wiches”.

Sure, it’s ideal picnic and takeout, but there’s also indoor dining on long communal tables, with beer and wine by the glass. Premium chocolate chip cookies, pies, cakes and sourdough breads.

381 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg. 707-756-3972, troubadourhbg.com

BEST BETS

Egg salad sandwich, $12: A creamy classic, above, with hard-boiled eggs, egg salad and greens on soft Japanese-style milk bread.

Chicken liver mousse, $12: Top right, beautiful dumplings of homemade mousse and onion jam, with toasted sourdough. A steal of a deal.

Hot pastrami sandwich, $18: Made with Super Seed bread (wheat, chia, quinoa, flax porridge) and stacked with caraway seed kraut, Swiss cheese and pickled mustard seeds.

Roasted chicken sandwich, $16: Served on Yecora Rojo sourdough (a grain native to Southern California) and topped with shaved truffle, mayonnaise and cooking juices.

Troubadour sandwich in Healdsburg. (Emma K. Morris)

Pezcow, Windsor

Damian Zuniga has worked in restaurants since he was 15, many run by the Diaz family, owners of El Farolito and El Gallo Negro. Now 32, Zuniga is part of a new generation of immigrants who are stepping on the shoulders of those who came before them. “I want to be like them,” said Zuniga, who is from Guanajuato, Mexico, and also owns the two Lucha Sabina food trucks.

Pezcow, Zuniga’s new restaurant in Windsor, offers brilliantly executed dishes that utilize a wood-fired oven and the culinary skills of Zuniga’s brother, Luis Zuniga. The name Pezcow, Luis explained through a translator, means hill and sea. It plays on the flavors of local seafood and meat from local ranches, but with a Latin bent. The whimsical logo — a cow-mermaid blowing a conch — is a visual cue to what Zuniga calls surf-and-turf, or “cool take.”

There’s a lot to discover on the menu, from a ruby ​​red glass of campechana filled with octopus and shrimp ceviche in lime-orange tomato jus for pollo al horno con mole cooked over a wood fire and served with a homemade sauce negro mole I would face others (including the Diaz brothers—sorry, not sorry).

The well-appointed dining room is cozy, with long wooden tables, large hammered bronze light fixtures that cast a warm yellow glow, and an open kitchen with handmade Oaxacan tiles. Nearby are Castañeda’s grocery store and, across the parking lot, El Gallo Negro, for its excellent margaritas. Seafood is exceptional here, but don’t ignore the chicken mole and other land-based dishes.

8465 Old Redwood Road, Windsor. 707-393-8370.

Queso fundido, $12: This dish is best right out of the wood oven, with bubbling melted quesillo cheese and homemade chorizo. This is truly chorizo ​​to die for, made with freshly ground pork and a blend of hot adobo spices known only to Chef Luis.

Mariscos of Molcajete, $25: First – a molcajete (the volcanic stone bowl and the name of the dish inside) should never, and I mean never, be anything less than sizzling hot. That’s part of the magic of this shrimp stew, clams, scallops, octopus and crab legs, served with nopales and fried cheese. Best shared with a friend.

campechana, $18: A glass chalice fit for royalty holds piles of octopus and shrimp ceviche, swimming in citrus and tomato juices. Chilis add a savory, earthy quality, but little heat. Mandatory.

Shepherd’s Pizza, $18: Grilled on a spit al pastor is legit (and frankly, I’d be happy to eat it on its own). Here, it’s tossed on a wood-fired pizza crust and loaded with cheese, pineapple, onion and aguacate salsa. It’s a bit like Hawaiian pizza, but so much better.

Molcajete Mar y Terra with seafood and beef from Pezcow to Windsor. (John Burgess / The Democrat of the Press)
Momia camarones are prawns wrapped like a mummy in bacon from Pezcow in Windsor. (John Burgess / The Democrat of the Press)

Arrangements for table culture, Petaluma

One of last year’s most famous debuts no longer works in a borrowed kitchen.

Chefs Stephane Saint Louis and Steven Vargas have found a permanent fixture at the old Chili Joe’s, with many of the same favorite menu options, plus plenty of newcomers, including the seasonal tasting menu (highly recommended, $80 per person) .

The move to the new location is part of a larger plan to work closely with Asombrosa Farm, a 65-acre farm with a 7,000 square foot barn and culinary garden.

With a clean, minimalist interior, a short but enticing wine list, and a hyper-seasonal menu that will appeal to all and includes crusted trout, fried chicken, and beef croquettes, this small 10-table restaurant has found comforting cuisine with local ingredients and flourishes of French technique. It’s a perfect addition to Sonoma County’s culinary scene.

312, boul. Petaluma S., Petaluma, 707-559-5739, tcprovision.com

Sonoma Burger, Sevastopol

Thin, crispy, panko-crusted, bacon-fried onion rings won’t change your life. But if anything could change your life – in one bite – it would be precisely the onion rings of Sonoma Burger west of Sebastopol. This fast-casual eatery started as a pop-up at the Gravenstein Grill at the start of the pandemic and opened in a permanent location with an expanded menu a few months ago.

The menu now includes those fair rings, as well as smash burgers, “griddle hot dogs,” crispy chicken sandwiches, and a tempeh burger with grilled onions. Almost everything on the Sonoma Burger menu is homemade, from herb ranch dip to fermented pickles. The chef’s passion for local ingredients shines through: he gets his burgers and hot dogs from Sonoma Mountain Beef Co. and uses Moonlight Brewing’s Death & Taxes Dark Lager in the beer-cheese sauce (a mandatory addition to your ordered). There is a small outdoor seating area and takeout is available. You can order local wines and draft beer, as well as soft drinks, floats and milkshakes.

173 Pleasant Hill Ave. N., Sevastopol. sonomaburger.com

Smash burger from Sonoma Burger in Sevastopol. (Courtesy of Sonoma Burger)
Il Fuoco in Sonoma. (Courtesy picture)

Il Fuoco, Sonoma

Longtime local Rob Larman has transformed his Boyes Hot Springs barbecue spot into a bustling pizzeria that still oozes plenty of smoke and fire. A new Forno Bravo Italian pizza oven is at the heart of the kitchen, producing wood-fired pizzas, as well as roasted shishito peppers, balsamic-glazed Brussels sprouts, artichokes and tangy meatballs.

Thin-crust pies get a char kiss and a good bite to chew on, ranging from simple Margherita to pies with more exotic fillings, like roasted mushrooms with candied lemon or fresh clams. The signature WTF Burger is a meaty snack with Painted Hills Ground Beef, Cheddar, Grilled Pork Shoulder, Brisket, Maple Bacon and Fried Chipotle Pork Cake – with the Guy Fieri stamp of approval. Yeah, it follows.

18350 Sonoma Hwy, Sonoma. 707-522-7778, www.ilfuocosonoma.com

Wings of Mother Clucker, Cotati

A new wing and burger from the owner of Cotati’s Down to Earth Cafe.

After the pandemic wreaked havoc on his businesses, with food prices soaring and a lack of available staff, chef Chris Ball pivoted business concepts to add a delivery-only option. Not your usual soggy fries and wings situation. Ball pulls out all the stops in the offerings, which also include a creamy, dreamy macaroni and cheese with bacon. Based in Cotati, with service in Santa Rosa.

doordash.com to order

Wooden Petal, Santa Rosa

This pop-up pretzel business, which took Santa Rosa by storm after launching in 2020, has now evolved into a full-fledged bakery.

The menu includes daily bread specials, braided sesame pretzel bread and homemade dips that can be ordered online and picked up at the bakery. Orders should be placed the day before, as deals usually sell out quickly. We love the Kids Party Box with sweet, icy pretzels served “unicorn style” (i.e. with sprinkles on top), as well as the Salty & Sweet Box combo, which includes cinnamon sugar and sea salt pretzels.

404 Santa Rosa Avenue, www.woodpetal.com

Pretzels from Wooden Petal in Santa Rosa. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)

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