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Bodega/Sebastopol chow?

zenduck Jun 18, 2007 01:56 PM

We're off to Bodega Bay for the weekend for the first time in years. Other than the obligatory stop at Dinucci's (so-so food but an amazing collection of Elvis decanters in the bar) we're wide open for ideas on where to eat in the area. Any suggestions?

  1. s
    Sisiutl Jun 18, 2007 03:02 PM

    The Seaweed Cafe is outstanding. Call to be sure of their hours, and allow plenty of time since they are a "slow food" place.


    6 Replies
    1. re: Sisiutl
      miss louella Jun 18, 2007 04:33 PM

      Wholeheartedly second the Seaweed recommendation--if I only had two meals in Bodega Bay, I'd eat at the Seaweed twice.

      If you venture out to Sebastopol, you can get a lovely shot of hot chocolate at La Dolce V--on the main street through town. The Sunday farmer's market was described to me as "a hippy craft fair (extra "e" optional) and it was accurate enough to make me laugh out loud, but there ARE food exceptions. Don't miss the fresh goat cheese from Bodega Cheese (if this is available at local markets, I'd love for someone to tell me where), if you're hungry, get the tamales (or the huevos rancheros, or really any special they've got going on) at the tamale stand. Or heck, GO there hungry simply so you can get whatever looks/smells good at the tamale stand--it's that good. (Iirc, mkt's open from 10-1.) And if you get there early you just might be able to snag some exceptional fruit for a picnic.


      If you're approaching BBay from the south, through Petaluma (instead of the east, through Sebastopol), think hard about stopping at Spring Hill dairy to sample their many cheeses. They're friendly, the cheese is great, and you can get insanely good twice-clarified butter. Oh, and they're on Spring Hill road--you'll know they're open if you see a sign saying "Cheese tasting". Fan of the spud? Stop at Oh Tommy Boys for a great selection of potatoes you probably won't find elsewhere and for terrific stories. (OTBs is on Carroll Street--if you're headed north to BBay, it's a right turn just after the windmill place that advertises bbq oysters.)

      1. re: miss louella
        Enorah Jun 20, 2007 09:43 AM

        I give a hearty second to the tamale stand at the farmer's market

        Also, if you are traveling through Petaluma, The Water Street Bistro has excellent and affordable French food for breakfast and lunch only (dinner one night a month). We often made the forty-five minute drive down to Petaluma from Guerneville just to eat there. Stephanie is the owner and does a lot, if not most, of the cooking. She was there every time we were. The coq au vin - amazing, the roasted beet and dungeness crab salad with citrus, well, so good you have to kill yourself (Big Night, I know Italian food movie, but the line is still applicable). Many more beautiful and flavorful salads and sandwiches, and Oh The Soups and the quiche!

        I miss it.

        1. re: Enorah
          Melanie Wong Jun 20, 2007 10:36 AM

          Thank you, I've been wondering about the monthly dinners. I hear they fill up fast, advance res mandatory.

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            Enorah Jun 20, 2007 11:24 AM

            I have heard the dinner was amazing. We never made it to one.

            $75/per person - 5 to 7 course dinner with wine pairings.

        2. re: miss louella
          Eat_Nopal Oct 2, 2007 05:08 PM

          Walking by La Dolce V today... I was enticed by the local rag's proclamation of "Best Hot Chocolate in the World"... so I ventured in & ordered a shot of each type:

          > French Hot Chocolate.... disappointing... its certainly not Swiss Miss but fairly comparable to Abuelita or Ibarra... definitely not in the upper eschelon of Hot Chocolates I've had.

          > Spiced Hot Chocoloate.... this was basically the French Hot Chocolate with the addition of vanilla, orange rind & maybe nutmeg.... this I liked the flavor combination was very interesting & much improved over the boring alternative.

          In either case... its a bit on the thin side and lacks a deep chocolate flavor.

          Shots are $1.50... a cup is $3. The place has comfortable chairs & some good looking gelatos.

          1. re: Eat_Nopal
            kare_raisu Oct 2, 2007 05:14 PM

            Dude...forget La Dolce V...when the best hot chocolate in the North Bay (if not entire bay area) is Chez EN. ;)

      2. Emily Hope Jun 18, 2007 05:51 PM

        Here's a thread from last year about a weekend I spent out that way, including info on Seaweed Cafe and other options in the area: www.chowhound.com/topics/312049

        1. Lori SF Jun 18, 2007 06:29 PM

          If you want good simple dock style, outside during the day - fresh seafood go to
          Spud Point Crab Company-1860 Westshore Road, Bodega Bay
          I would go to West County Grill in Sebastopol or Underwood Grill in Graton.

          1. fyoulady Jun 20, 2007 07:50 AM

            I suggest Lucy's in downtown Sebastopol. They dont have a website but you can find lots of reviews online. For lunch stop at Lucas Warf. There is the main restaurant and also the deli on the right with wonderful fresh fish. Other restaurants I like in Sebastopol include Pasta Bella, Bistro V and Alice's. Unfortuntately I haven't been to West County Grill yet! In Occidental you have Union Hotel and Negri's, both are very good Italian.

            4 Replies
            1. re: fyoulady
              canard Jun 20, 2007 09:57 AM

              Lucy's has closed. The building now houese West County Grill, which is good (if not a bit loud for my taste). I've become quite fond of the French Garden (located in the former Marty's Top of the Hill). I used to love K&L, but I think their quality has dropped since they got their Michelin star. If you're in Occidental, you might consider Bistro Des Copains.

              After reading these posts, I'm anxious to try Seaweed.

              1. re: canard
                Melanie Wong Jun 20, 2007 10:37 AM

                Please tell us more about the French Garden. I'd posted an inquiry a while ago, but no one has ever posted about it.

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  canard Jun 21, 2007 11:01 AM

                  Goodness, I'm afraid this post may come up twice. I love French Garden. It went from Marty's to an Italian place (folks who did the remodel). It's a very nice spot. The owners sold their software business, started an organic farm, and opened a French place in Berkeley. They moved the operation and chef to the current venue, and it's quite nice. Think lots a fresh produce sides. You won't leave hungry from this place, and you'll dine in a nice setting.

                2. re: canard
                  davina Jun 21, 2007 04:54 PM

                  I heartily endorse the Seaweed Cafe suggestions. I'm sad to hear that K&L might have gone downhill; when I lived in Sebastopol a few years ago it was outstanding. Another favorite from back then: Underwood, in Graton. Simple bistro menu, great cocktails, great outdoor space (with a bocce ball court).


                  Underwood Bar & Bistro
                  9113 Graton Rd, Graton, CA 95444

              2. m
                Madge Jun 20, 2007 09:13 AM

                I think the Seaweed Cafe is outstanding. It is slow, but damn tasty. Almost every visit I have had one of the partners as my server and she is great, tableside.
                As for Sebastopol, West County grill is getting lots of notice but haven't yet been myself. Have tried K&L Bistro a couple of times. Portions are quite large and food is very good, wine list is interesting, scaled to local bistro size.
                But Seaweed, ahhh...

                3 Replies
                1. re: Madge
                  Lori SF Jun 20, 2007 10:34 AM

                  Also, wanted to try Bistro des Copains in Occidental heard good things-

                  1. re: Lori SF
                    Kathleen M Jun 20, 2007 11:12 AM

                    I had my birthday dinner at Bistro des Copains last month. We started with two each of the three types of oysters they offered that night. They were incredibly fresh. I have been thinking of going back just to have oysters and champagne. My husband really liked the mignonette. I prefer oysters with just lemon, but took a taste and thought it was good but maybe just a touch too much vinegar. My main was a duck breast which was almost perfect. It was a beautiful medium rare, but maybe just a little too much fat and not enough crisp to the skin for my taste, although I'd definately order it again. I really liked the ambiance of the place - very friendly and cozy. We found the service excellent. Not too formal (appropriate for a bistro), informed and efficient. I'm definitely planning to go back.

                    1. re: Kathleen M
                      Lori SF Jun 20, 2007 11:16 AM

                      Kathleen nice review, we shall check it out..I go up there often so good to know.

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