Local Comfort at Restaurant P/30 (Sebastopol, Russian River Valley)
Sunday evening we rendezvous’d in downtown Sebastopol then headed west on the winding Bodega Highway to check out Restaurant P/30 for an early dinner. Open less than two months, P/30 is the newest occupant of the rural roadhouse that last housed Café Saint Rose. Even on Oscar night, the place was quite busy and we were lucky to snag the last two-top in the back dining room.
Richard had spent the day winetasting and I’d had a fast-paced weekend too. Glancing over the menu, he said, “This looks good. Lots of possibilities here, low-key and not complicated, right for how I feel now.”
Recent menu: “Not small plates. Not huge plates.”
I liked that the kitchen’s obsessed with local sourcing but doesn’t clutter up the menu with overwrought descriptions. The menu pricing tops out at $15. Our server encouraged us to share. Looking around us at the food on other tables, we figured out that we’d need to order more than one for each of us. I’d been interested in the Seafood stew, $15, but the serving size delivered to a neighbor seemed too small for the price.
First up to get our carbs on,
“KENNEBEC SEA SALT FRIES
bloody mary ketchup, spicy aioli, ranch 5.”
Good way to start to take the initial edge off, as no bread is offered here. Really good flavor, nice waxy and tender interior, but a bit softish and needing more crispness on the outside. The pinkish-hued ranch dressing was my favorite of the housemade dipping sauces. The aioli tasted like straight-ahead sriracha blended with mayo.
For a spot of green and veggies,
“GOAT CHEESE GNOCCHI
roasted beets, brown butter vinaigrette and warm peashoot salad 11.”
Bright and springy peashoots provided the fresh fillip we craved, deliciously dressed to highlight the delicate flavor of the lacy, raw greens. Even better, the pillowy gnocchi stained ruby from a toss with the chunks of sweet, roasted beets. A little crisp on the surface, maybe from a turn in a hot pan, the savory gnocchi melted in the mouth with grassy goat cheese goodness. Just brilliant.
Then, the much talked about
“FRIED GLEASON RANCH CHICKEN
brown butter waffle, strawberry jam 14.”
Forgot to request dark meat, but no matter, the half boneless breast of pastured chicken with the drummette attached was so moist and juicy, I was a happy camper. The herby, hard crust fell off, but was tasty nonetheless. Two-quarters of a lightly crisp waffle per serving, enriched with the nutty taste of brown butter, and easy to dip in the not-overly-sweet strawberry jam. At $14, this dish might be the best value on the menu.
And, more of the local Gleason Ranch chicken in
“BISCUIT TOPPED CHICKEN POT PIE
‘nuff said 12.”
I liked this even better than the better-known waffle prep. Baked in a ceramic gratin dish, the drop biscuit topping makes this a standout. Small spoonfuls of biscuit dough dotting the top baked up golden, craggy and crunchy. The softer underside of the biscuit topping soaked up the chicken juices for an added chicken ‘n’ dumpling effect, a delectable two-fer. Velvety chunks of white and dark boneless chicken meat, precise little cubes of carrots and potatoes with an intensely chicken cream gravy with a luxurious mouthfeel that managed to not taste like canned cream of chicken soup united the delicious base. Each ingredient spoke clearly with its own flavor and texture.
Chicken pot pie and Fried chicken, brown butter waffle and strawberry jam
The hidden bargain here may be the wine pricing. We enjoyed the 2007 Mueller RRV Rose', $7/glass or $19/bottle. This refreshing pink wine was priced at only $5 over retail. http://www.securewineshop.net/mueller/customer/product.php?productid=21&cat=13&page=1 .
Housemade lollipops, a green and a red one, were presented with the bill. http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...
With these four plates, we felt full and satisfied enough to skip dessert. Our tab with a bottle of wine, tax and tip came to $80 for the two of us. While the value equation here isn’t as “cheap” as the initial press seemed to broadcast, the food pricing is still quite reasonable for the quality and finessed execution. Restaurant P/30 is a welcome new find for West Sonoma County.
Bodega, CA, Bodega, CA
9890 Bodega Hwy, Sebastopol, CA 95472