Spinster Sisters in Santa Rosa
Lured by reviews in both the Bohemian and Press Democrat newspapers, a friend and I lunched here recently.
We chose several small dishes to share:
fresh garbanzo beans
Kennebunk fries with sage and rosemary served with aioli
raw kale salad with croutons, blue cheese, cherry tomatoes and bacon
flat bread with carrot-harissa salad, feta and baba ganouj
Everything was delicious and the portions were ample. Our only "criticism" was that we'd imagined the kale salad as a shredded salad that was rubbed or pressed. It came instead as bunchy, curly kale - not bad, just unexpected.
There were many herbs and spices, so each bite was unique and would have been even if we'd chosen only one dish apiece.
The restaurant is a large, light, beautiful space with a long bar and tables along two walls. The noise wasn't too bad, in spite of high ceiling & bare floors.
It's a bit off the beaten path and there were as many staff as customers at lunch time. I hope they make it.
New American Restaurant
401 South A Street at Sebastopol Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA.
1 (707) 528-7100
Tue - Sun: 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
My husband and I went for an early Sunday supper last night. The place was hopping (and very loud) at 6:00 pm. Attractive place, very friendly (but not intrusive), supportive service. Interesting wine list, we had a sparkler (Chenin blanc) from the Loire that was very tasty, and went with the food well.
We shared roasted cauliflower, Kennebunk fries, "small plate" mussels, and a "large" plate of Albacore tuna served with lentils and cabbage with a fig puree. Followed up with a sundae (very tasty) and a great cup of Flying Goat decaf.
Everything was delicious, and it was plenty of food. Kind of interesting sweet/savory/spicy. The roasted cauliflower was particularly interesting with a little curry, cashews, and something with a lot of umami (hoisin?). The tab (not including tip) came to $100, so a little pricey for us for a casual meal.
We would certainly return, but I would avoid it on a Friday or Saturday when I fear the noise level would make conversation impossible.
Huh, I guess I forgot to post about my meal there. Thai-spiced peanuts and cashews were a great bar snack. Excellent pickles. Pork belly was cremated and inedible, sent it back, second try was perfect. Great and interesting wine list. Attentive service. Met SF standards even though it's in Santa Rosa.
On a warm Saturday last month I met a friend here for brunch after doing my shopping at the farmers market at the Vets building. Luckily I got here a few minutes early, as every seat was taken by the time he arrived shortly after noon.
The server had asked me if I wanted my mocha iced, and given the temperature of the day, I thought that was a fine idea. She brought me my beverage with an apology . . . now we understand why it’s not usually offered this way. The chocolate froze into tiny beads. But it tasted fine and the chocolate melted immediately in the mouth, so I kept it.
My friend had the breakfast scramble, asking for the bacon to be omitted for a vegetarian version. I quickly intervened and asked for it on the side so that I could eat it! Done and done. We especially liked the rye toast. I asked which bakery and was informed that the bread is baked in-house.
For me, one of the day’s specials, a work of art known as pancakes lemon brulee, $11. Just from seeing a plate on another table, I wanted it. Our waitress described it as pancakes with blood oranges, toffee, and lemon brulee. Toffee, hmmm, sounds wacky and too sweet. But after tasting it, I had to concede that the chunks of airy toffee completely worked amplifying the burnt sugar tones of the torched lemon-flavored crème anglaise topping. To balance, the lemon was quite tart and zingy keeping the dish from being cloying. My dining companion asked me if I thought the pancakes were overcooked. These were definitely firm rather than fluffy, but the deep browning seemed on theme with the brulee effect, and the heavier texture helped them maintain their integrity under the wet toppings. If this dish appears on the menu again, don’t miss it.
SOFA – South A Street Arts District
We stopped in early Sunday evening for their 3 course for $29.00 Sunday supper. Very nice dinner and an excellent value.
Started with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes and cucumber salad. lightly dressed and tasty.
Hanger steak, crispy fingerlings, roasted heirloom tomatoes, EVOO aioli. Steak was a perfect medium rare, nice mix of flavors brought together with the aioli.
Roasted figs over vanilla ice cream with balsamic glaze. Indulgent but not too sweet, perfect ending to the meal.
Server - bartender was very helpful, steered us to a carafe (500 mls) of NPA Red field blend from Mendocino which had just enough funk to be interesting. Wine was also a nice value at only $18.00.
There also was live entertainment as The Gallagher Sisters started playing and singing at 6:30.
It was our first visit to The Spinster Sisters but will certainly be back. Here are a couple of pictures (minus dessert)
Went for brunch, I got a daily special of cheese and nopal tamales with black beans and Spanish rice. To my taste, everything was seriously undersalted, but once I corrected that it was great. Nicely spicy dense red chile sauce and great house-pickled carrots and peppers.