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Best place for dinner, Petaluma?

LiseS Jan 14, 2008 12:50 PM

I've searched the posts, and nothing comes up as too recent...what are some faves for dinner in Petaluma? Good food with decent ambience (for a friend's birthday). THANKS!

  1. s
    Scott B. Aug 4, 2008 04:12 PM

    Most of the recommendations are decent, but here are some that were missed and are a great experience in the west side of downtown Petaluma.

    Sooze Wine Bar Cafe (truely a gem) & let Sooze recommend the wines. The food is fantastic, but the restaurant is small (cosy). Sooze is my favorite to go with friends. The owner is lots of fun and knows her wines.

    Volpe's - For a really old Italian Petaluma experience

    Chinatown for Chinese

    Central Market - Nice fine food

    Cucina Paradiso for upscale Italian

    Risibisi - Over priced and very inconsistant. I heard they now have a new chef so things may improve.

    Demseys, always fresh and big plates.

    3BO - Yummy

    Graffiti - Great setting, okay food

    Hiros is a lot of fun and the owner loves to spoil his customers.

    Finbar Devine's Irish Pub - Is a great pub, but the food has become very over priced. Go for a drink, but ... ouch.

    Cafe Zazzle - Boring!!!

    Sugo - Better since the moody cook (dad) gave the business to his kids and got out. I couldn't stand the way he treated his employees.

    Graziano - Great food, but hold on to your wallet.

    Have fun. I am a local that eats out 3 to 4 times per week.

    1. k
      Kim Cooper Mar 17, 2008 10:15 AM

      It's been several months, but when we dined at Central Market, we didn't have a reservation, and ended up waiting over 45 minutes (a couple sat and sat after their meal), but we found the food worth the wait. I hope it is still as good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Kim Cooper
        swag Mar 18, 2008 12:47 PM

        I second the vote on Central Market.

        1. re: swag
          Civil Bear Aug 5, 2008 10:14 AM

          I'll put in a third vote for Central Market.

      2. m
        maurak19 Jan 15, 2008 06:13 PM

        Dempsey's on Washington is excellent. Check out their website to see they current menu. I'm pretty sure they change their menu to reflect what's seasonal. It's a bit hidden as it faces the river there, so if you don't see it right away...look a bit harder.

        4 Replies
        1. re: maurak19
          rln Mar 7, 2008 02:03 PM

          Anyone have any updates/ reccommendations at Risibisi? I will be having dinner there tomorrow night and would appreciate any updates.

          Our friends frequent the place saying that some things are solid but there is always a dish that is off.


          1. re: rln
            lj2899 Mar 11, 2008 12:24 PM

            Sorry to not reply in time for your visit. Our experience is at par with what your friends have said. Some of their items are great...while others need work. An example, ordered a steak and half the items the menu listed that would accompany the dish (think roasted artichokes, tomatoes, etc) were missing when the plate arrived. A bit strange if you ask me. Even though the menu is less interesting, we go to Graziano's when we crave Italian food. At least we know it will always be good there.

            1. re: lj2899
              rln Mar 16, 2008 06:15 PM

              Thank you-- our experience was ok. The setting is nice, quaint. I think with what we get in SF and on the price point, it was mediocre but we weren't surprised since choices are more limited.

              I had the beet salad and parpadelle with short ribds. The pasta was good- sauce tasty but it could have used more sauce. On the dry side.

              My boyfriend had the artichoke appetizer which he said was not good at all. He liked the butternut squash ravioli. Service was friendly - could improve on awareness. Our waiter kept reaching over my back and literally pushing me into the table.

              We had the flourless chocolate cake which was really more like mousse or pudding

              We'll definitely check out Graziano's. We love Petamua.

              1. re: rln
                rworange Mar 16, 2008 10:31 PM


                154 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, CA 94952

        2. Scott M Jan 14, 2008 12:56 PM

          Can you provide more information on cuisine or price range?

          Here are some possibilities:

          Central Market
          Cucina Paradiso

          4 Replies
          1. re: Scott M
            LiseS Jan 14, 2008 04:16 PM

            Any cuisine, really, as long as the food is good. I really love all cuisines, the more authentic the better. Given that it's a friend's bday, I thought something a bit nicer decor-wise (though I care more about the food). Open as to price range. It's good to have options! Any favorite dishes at these places? Thanks.

            1. re: LiseS
              drmimi Jan 14, 2008 09:24 PM

              Gohan- lovely atmosphere but big prices for tiny portions
              Central Market-- yummy
              Sugo-- inexpensive and filling
              Namaste Cafe--- my favorite--also best bang for my buck - see chowdown report.
              I avoid Risibisi, Graffiti and Cucina Paradiso type places-- too California nouvelle and pretend chic for me...

              1. re: drmimi
                miss louella Jan 14, 2008 09:30 PM

                Big second on Namaste Cafe! I went there based on drmimi's report and it was FAB! (I haven't been to any of the others, so can't speak to them, but drmimi, pay no attention to that little flashing light on your sleeve--it's just my gps tracker following you around so I can eat where you're eating.)

                1. re: drmimi
                  lj2899 Mar 11, 2008 12:21 PM

                  Just wondering...have you been to Gohan recently? We felt in the beginning they were a little inconsistent, but have had great meals there for the last year or so. I'm wondering what you order there b/c my meals have always been huge...even their tuna entree is huge enough to take half home...

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