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Jun 15, 2010 01:36 AM

Mimosa + Benedict Brunch @ Boon Eat + Drink (Guerneville)

On Sunday I headed west to Guerneville to escape the heat of the day. The cool of Boon Eat + Drink’s shaded alcove was just the place to sit for a spell. My hefty redwood-topped table was set a brunch menu, a Bordeaux-style Schott Zwiesel wine glass, and napkin-wrapped utensils. In a flash, I had a carafe of ice water too.

Seated facing the sidewalk, I enjoyed watching beachgoers amble by outfitted with colorful and fanciful inflatable floatation devices. This was even more amusing once I had the day’s drink special in hand. The brunch bubbly cocktail, a mimosa, $7, blended organic orange juice and local Korbel brut.

On first sight of the Boon Benedict, $13, I almost asked my waiter to take it back to the kitchen for more hollandaise. I’m of the school that the eggs should be completely swathed in hollandaise sauce with more puddled on the plate. But I thought I’d better taste it first. And after that bite, I didn’t want to let go of this plate. Runny-yolked poached eggs, salty prosciutto, slivers of sweetly grassy asparagus, and tarragon hollandaise sauce on ciabatta: the balance of flavors and textures was spot on for me. The grilled bread offered up a toasty perfume, and managed to be airy, crunchy and chewy in turn. So much better than an indifferent English muffin. The very browned and well-seasoned home fries had a crunchy bite yielding to a tender interior.

I requested some of the housemade ketchup to try with the home fries. Quite savory with a notch less sweetness than commercial ketchup, the recipe includes tamarind and sun-dried tomatoes as well as a myriad of other ingredients. Yet, I would agree with my server that the potatoes were fine as is. I’d like to try the jammy ketchup on a hamburger some time.

My server also accommodated my request for a gratis sample of the potato chips that accompany sandwiches and burgers here. Housemade and seasoned with parmesan and herb salt, they were nice but a touch too blonde for me.

Noticing the turmeric-stained pickled vegetables alongside the panini at the next table, I asked if the pickles might be housemade. Yes, they are, and a sample for me to try was offered up as well. Very crisp and vinegary, the vegetables included cauliflower, zuchinni, green beans, and peppers.

On my way out, I took a peek at the new garden behind the restaurant. The radishes were already making an appearance on the menu. The many tomato and basil plants foreshadow a Caprese salad.

Boon Eat + Drink offers up friendly service, casual atmosphere and moderate prices, yet the cooking is more elevated with a studied attention to detail and local food sensibilities. In a town dominated by tourist traps, this little restaurant is mighty impressive.

16248 Main St, Guerneville, CA 95446

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  1. Melanie Wong wrote above: "Boon Eat + Drink offers up friendly service, casual atmosphere and moderate prices, yet the cooking is more elevated with a studied attention to detail and local food sensibilities. In a town dominated by tourist traps, this little restaurant is mighty impressive."

    This is *so* true. I was in the Guerneville area last year, and tried many boring and yet overpriced restaurants; I almost decided to go to the grocery store and make myself a sandwich in the hotel room. Finally found this true gem using my Yelp iPhone app. Amazing in so many ways. The wine selection is truly well thought out. I picked a stunning bottle of local Zin (visited the winery the next day in fact) for just a few dollars(!) over its retail price of $35. The place with modern decor is tiny, and so unless you get there early or late, there's a good chance you will have to wait.

    1 Reply
    1. re: vincentlo

      Given how excited Kathleen, our G-ville local, is about this place, it is a wonder for Guerneville. You know, I didn't even look at the wine list. Good to hear the prices are more than fair.

    2. I stopped by Boon Eat+Drink on Saturday for a light lunch. I decided on one of the "small plates": burrata with arugula, toasted bread and beet pesto. I asked my very friendly and helpful server if she thought it would be enough for a light lunch, and she suggested that if it wasn't, I could order something else. It turned out to be so delicious and satisfying that I just didn't want to eat anything else afterward (I was tempted to order another serving so I could keep eating the same thing!). The burrata was creamy and delicious of course. The arugla was fresh and dressed with (I think) just a light drizzle of good olive oil, with just enough on the plate to lightly swirl the excellent toasted bread in. The beet pesto was amazing, it was like the essence of beets glistening in a quenelle. I asked my server how they do it (I was wondering if there was some geletin in there to make it so light yet cohesive) and she said it was just beets, lemon zest and olive oil. There was a light sprinkling of sea salt over all, and the play of sweet, peppery, and salty; creamy, leafy, and crunchy was just perfect. I can't wait to go back with some friends for a bigger meal so that I can try more of this food. I can't believe we have this place right in Guerneville, and open for lunch!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Kathleen M

        That sounds so delicious too! I'm happy you have a place in town to get excited about now. The menu reads sort of plain, but there's more magic on the plate than in the descriptions.

        A favor, could you find out who bakes the bread served at Boon when you go back? I asked my server and he thought it might be Artisan but he wasn't sure. I'd like to buy that ciabatta.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          You know, after I left last time (I actaully went back on Monday because I couldn't stop thinking how good it was. I had the grilled chicken panino with pesto, arugula and mozzerella. It was served on an excellent ciabatta), I was annoyed with myself because I didn't think to ask where the bread is from. I'll definitely find out and let you know!

          1. re: Kathleen M

            That would be much appreciated. You and "augustiner" were both there on Saturday, but unlike him, you were lucky enough to get back on Monday!

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I just got back to Boon Eat+Drink last Saturday. To get to your question first, the bread is by Village Bakery. The burger is served on a Village Bakery "milk bun". I went with my husband this time. On the way in, we took a look at their garden, right behind the restaurant. Incredible! It's really flourishing. I had the special, mixed green salad with raddicio, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes fresh from the garden (they tasted so fresh, mild and crunchy with a pronounced radish flavor) topped with a local salmon cake. The salmon cake was excellent, almost nothing but salmon, with a light crispy outside. Hubby got the burger with pickled onions and aged white cheddar. It was ground coarsley, perfectly medium rare, and delicious. We thought the parmesean chips could have used a little salt, but were very good. The aioli was tastey, but neither the burger nor the chips really needed it. When we arrived at 11:45 there was only one other party there, but when we left around an hour later, the place was packed.

              Village Bakery
              1445 Town and Country Dr, Santa Rosa, CA

              1. re: Kathleen M

                Thanks a bunch for the bread info. Your lunch sounds so good. I'll be getting some ciabatta at Village Bakery.

                There's another bread baker, Casa LaBelle, out of Monte Rio's Village Inn that I'm hearing about. If you've tried it, please let us know (in a new topic).

                Village Bakery
                7225 Healdsburg Ave, Sebastopol, CA

                Casa LaBelle Breads
                Monte Rio, Monte Rio, CA

      2. i ate here this saturday and had a very different experience with the same dish. everything was as you described except for one very crucial difference: my eggs were over poached, and the yolks were the texture of a slightly undercooked hard boiled egg. i probably should have sent them back but everyone in the group was starving. if the eggs would have been properly poached i agree this would have been a wonderful breakfast.

        i tasted a bite of someone's burger, and thought it good, although it was cooked more than specified. someone said that they thought that someone must have just overlooked our dishes for two or three minutes in the kitchen. there was a special that day, an open faced egg sandwich with truffled fries, lightly dressed and wonderful. there was a consensus among the six of us present that it was the best dish on the table. we were planning on going back this morning before returning to the city just to eat that sandwich if it was still on special, but didn't have enough time.

        2 Replies
        1. re: augustiner

          Ah well, Boon isn't perfect. Yes, sounds like timing issues on both counts.

          Could you please say more about the truffle fries? I managed to try the chips and homefries, but stopped short of sampling the other fried potato thingie on the menu, the truffle fries. Now I regret it.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            i only sampled one fry, but from what i remember, the truffle oil was fairly mild, which i liked. some people really abuse that stuff. decent crunch to the fry. not super crispy but still a pretty decent fry.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Catching up on some dining out while in Sonoma County, Sunday evening we drove over to the pacific for a hike and some lovely views and on the way back stopped at Boon Eat & Drink for dinner.

            Overall, dinner was good not great but the restaurant shows promise.
            Boon is laid back casual and service is friendly and helpful. A starter of grilled calamari over arugula with fennel, white beans, olives dressed in a citrus vinaigrette was tasty and refreshing. I had the mixed greens salad with Point Reyes blue cheese, cherries, toasted pumpkin seeds with a tarragon vinaigrette. Good but was expecting a bit more flavor.

            Entrees were herb roasted chicken served over toasted farro with grilled radicchio with a citrus vinaigrette. This was very good and a large portion. This caused a bit of a problem as the plate it came on was undersized and it became difficult to cut and eat without making a mess. The special of braised pork shoulder over creamy polenta was good but the polenta was a bit pasty.
            For dessert we ordered the fudge brownie with sea salt, balsamic and vanilla ice cream. An interesting combination, unfortunately it came out with whipped cream which really wasn’t the right ingredient for the dessert. Would have been much better with the ice cream.
            A good dinner and we will be back to sample some other items