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French Garden in Sebastopol: anyone eaten there?

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Has anybody tried the French Garden in Sebastopol? I couldn't find any reviews of it here. The owners do all kinds of good things for the community, so I'm hoping that having good hearts will equal having good food.

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  1. Here's the Places entry, which includes threads that link or mention it.
    http://www.chow.com/places/6132

    P.S. They can also be found by putting "French Garden" in quotes and using the search this board feature.

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    French Garden
    8050 Bodega Avenue, Sebastopol, CA 95472

    1. Yes, I recently enjoyed a friend's birthday brunch at the French Garden. There were many reasonably priced selections to choose from - crepes, omelets, eggs benedict, etc. We all enjoyed our food, though weren't sharing tastes - so I can't comment on different dishes. I'm a sucker for a good hollandaise sauce, so not objective even on my own.

      The best part was the lovely rooms/setting. It's the sort of place you could bring an elderly mother AND send the youngsters out back to run around AND enjoy conversation (good acoustics). There was a full bar too.

      We did look at the dinner menu and I was surprised to see how traditional it was - meat + starch + veggie. I guess I thought Sebastopol = forward, possibly vegetarian offerings. Or at least emphasis on local, seasonal offerings. I might have missed something.

      1. Thanks. I forgot the quote marks, that was the problem.
        I've attended music and dance events there, but they could not be making any money on those. It looks like a nice place to go with my parents, so I'm happy to hear that people generally like the food. Stephanie, I know they grow their own veggies, so they must be seasonal and fresh, at least for the most part. When I was there to dance they were giving away lettuce because they had too much.

        Anyway, thanks, Stephanie and Melanie.

        1. We had a very pleasant time; my husband and I and my parents went to celebrate anniversaries that are a week apart. The room is pleasant and quiet, even with musicians playing in the bar. The glass doors really cut off the sound-- actually, I liked the music, so i rather wish I'd been able to hear it better--- but it's better too quiet than too loud; and we did go into the bar afterwards to listen for a while.

          The menu items are limited and pretty traditional, but well done and generously portioned. I had a salad with roasted beets, blue cheese and walnuts-- I was hoping the beets would have been roasted in pieces so they'd be more carmelized, they were good beets but tasted steamed. We had rack of lamb, rabbit, and beef Wellington, all very good, with different reduction sauces and different side vegetables and potatoes paired to each, not standardized. There was one vegetarian entree.

          They charge $15 corkage, but they waived the fee because we also bought one of their bottles-- but they still brought us different glasses to suit each wine.

          The place could have used a few more people in it-- it's quite big, with several rooms; and the bar seems really nice, with live acoustic music and a fireplace and couches as well as tables. Maybe it filled up later; I hope so, because I'd like the French Garden to succeed.

          1. Nice to hear it is good. I just stumbled across the website which I added to the Place record. The produce, honey and herbs are organic and from their own farm ... the farm part was mentioned, but not the organic part.

            Very pretty looking place with lots of crepes for brunch and a few occasionally requested dishes on the board for dinner like
            - Beef Wellington
            - "Coq au Vin" (Local Free-range chicken)
            - Croque Monsieur
            - wild boar (not on the current menu.

            Farm visits are available by appointment.

            Upcoming event ..

            Friday, December 21
            Celebrating Solstice

            You are cordially invited to join us in the Brasserie at 4 pm to honor the Winter Solstice by creating Survachki, traditional Bulgarian 'staffs' made of willow branches. Bring candles and evergreen boughs to begin this evening of music, dance, stories and singing by the fire in celebration of the longest night
            and the return of the light.

            Gotta check out the calendar on the website. There's live Flamenco in January.

            This place could be interesting.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rworange

              They said they had plans to expand a low priced menu of bistro and bar food-- I think that means eating in the bar area (during dinnertime) which is a pleasant room with a fireplace and couches, and sometimes acoustic music.

            2. Had dinner there for the first time last night. I was somewhat disappointed with what I ordered--the "Pan Seared Wild King Salmon" had actually been steamed beyond the point of what should be legal. The desserts were delicious--especially the plum tart.

              The produce was exceptional, and I was surprised to find that all of the produce they serve is indeed grown on their farm. I particularly liked the gooseberries in the "mixed berries in mint syrup with raspberry sorbet" dessert.

              I did find out the chef is brand new, and that they plan to close at the end of July for a week to rework the menu. I'll give them a try again next month.