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Mar 7, 2009 10:45 PM

GG's Earth and Surf-Santa Rosa

Four of us had a first dinner at GG's tonight. It opened a few weeks ago at 630 Third Street, in the former home of Worth Our Weight.

The room has been nicely re-done with some type of faux wood floor, warm colored walls, two banquettes that seat four, and tables a comfortable distance apart from each other. There is a full bar with seating at the bar (no tables) tucked into the alcove that used to house the Sunday buffet and a room divider separating the dining area from the kitchen. The only downside to the room, as always, are the large windows looking out right onto Third Street which could make you feel like you're the goldfish if you were seated in front of one and people were walking by.

GG is committed to being gentle to the environment. The website details how this is implemented. The restaurant prides itself on local sourcing and an excellent representation of vegetarian (the Earth) selections on the menu. The Surf were several fish and shellfish starters and entrees. There are no meats or fowl on the menu as these are too resource intensive to be environmentally friendly.

We started with cocktails; tangerine mojito, traditional mojito, seasonal daiquiri (I think it was some type of citrus), and magarita. All were delicious and did their job. I am always irritated when a bar skimps on alcohol in a mixed drink. Certainly not the case here. I had the traditional mojito, which was perfect. The margarita was not rimmed with salt. Not sure if that was an oversight or just the way they do it there. I'm sorry, I don't remember the cost of the drinks.

While we were waiting for our drinks, we were given a pretty bowl filled with slices of good sour dough bread and butter. This became critical for when we got all the good sauces that came with the food.

Three of us had the special starter, slices of seared yellowtail with shaved fennel, pickled onion slices, and something else that the mojito has erased from my memory. It was lovely to look at and to eat. Three thin square slices of fish topped with the fennel, onions, and a sprigs of an herb, perhaps marjoram? thyme? Couldn't tell as it was hard to get the taste after some pickled onion. The fish was extremely fresh, firm, and tasty. I loved the fennel and pickled onions together. I think it was $7. The fourth diner had the Spinach and Warm Lentil Salad with Feta and Citrus Dressing ($6) from the menu, which was beautiful to look at and described as wonderful.

We all ordered the exact same thing for our entree. I hate when this happens, but no one would cave since we all LOVE striped bass. It's on the dinner menu as Stripped (sp) Bass-Sauteed with Olive Ravioli, Citrus Butter, and Artichoke ($13). Again, the fish was fresh, firm, and tasted wonderful. It was perfectly cooked. Just a bit of crunch at the edges of the skin with buttery and moist flesh underneath. The olive ravioli were good, but not as generously stuffed as I would have liked, nor as delicate in the texture of the pasta, especially at the seams. The citrus butter was perfect. Not at all heavy, just a bit more weight than a broth. One word of warning here. Although delicious, this entree was on the small side, with perhaps three small ravioli, three small (thumb-sized) slices of artichoke, and two very small pieces of fish. I doubt there was more than 3-3.5 ounces of fish per plate, and I've been weighting fish for years as a seasoned member of Weight Watchers. At $13 it is NOT underpriced, but I would have preferred to pay more for a more traditionally sized entree. Could just be me. Next time I will approach my selections with more of a "small plates" thought in mind.

Husband and I had to leave for our movie before dessert so we'll have to catch up with our friends for the report on that.

The service was friendly and unobtrusive. Our server made one error, substituting a regular daiquiri for my regular mojito. The bar comped me for my drink, apologizing for my wait. Totally unexpected and totally appreciated.

GG's is a welcome addition to the downtown offerings. We'll definitely go back and explore more of the thoughtful, enticing menu, which is also available on the website.

GG's Earth and Surf
630 Third Street
Santa Rosa, CA
(707) 528-1445

"Winter Hours" as per the website with extended hours coming in "The Spring"
Sunday Brunch: 10 AM to 3 PM
Lunch: M, W-F 11:30 AM to 3 PM
Dinner: 5:30 to 10 PM nightly except Tuesday
Closed Tuesdays

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  1. I'm new to this "Link to a place" feature. Here goes....

    GG's Earth & Surf
    630 3rd Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

    1. I stopped by GG after barrel tasting this Saturday and found it to be great, and a spectacular value. The portions weren't large, but we were warned by our server. To me it had the quality of other Napa/Sonoma California cuisine restaurants, but much less expensive pricing. Bottled wines seemed to be especially well priced, although I ordered the cucumber martini. Between three of us we ordered the Yellowtail appetizer, a walnut pate with delicious crisped bread, and the crab salad. All were perfectly done, though to me the citrus didn't go that well with the crab salad, I just ate it as a separate side. Te entrees were all excellent. I got the bass described above and found every element to be perfectly done. One of my friends got the cod which was great, but the potato croquettes were amazingly the star of that plate. A special of agnoletti with goat's cheese and sorrel was also perfectly executed and delicious. And I'm not normally a desert fan, but the nice busgirl's recommendations of the sundae and goat's cheese cheesecake were great.

      1. This is really a terrific report. Nicely done.

        The menu looks really swell. It is on the top of my to-try places when I'm in the area. Given the menu with dishes such as Mushroom and Walnut Pate w/Balsamic Vinegar and Tender Pea Vines ... it makes me giggle to see clam chowder in a sourdough bowl on the menu. It may be the only place that I'm actually tempted to order this.

        Thanks for using the Place link in the best way, IMO. I just don't get why people often only use it as a gps ... after one word recs ... go to xxx ... and even go to the trouble of doing additional posts ... oops here's the link. And yet, so few people use it where it would be helpful ... as linking to a report. That would make it so much easier for people to find reviews when looking at the threads linked to places.

        Anyway, great report.