Backyard in Forestville
- Melanie Wong Nov 18, 2012 07:32 PM
It's open. The name comes from seasonal and sustainable sourcing from Sonoma County's backyard. Heard from a friend today that the chicken and waffle brunch is great.
Anyone tried it yet?
6566 Front Street
Two weeks ago I joined some friends here for brunch. I had corned beef hash in mind, but was not unhappy to find it had been replaced on the menu this day by wild boar confit hash. Apparently this was a by-product of the forage dinner held here the week before. The day’s menu:
With five of us at the table, our server recognized an upsell opportunity and convinced us to start off with the bucket o’ donuts. Luckily we went along with the recommendation. Cake-like beignets (six to an order) dusted with cinnamon sugar fried to order were fantastic served with housemade Meyer lemon marmalade.
Coffee’s from the roaster down the street. French press for them,
and cappuccino for me. Not a good pull, too bitter in the finish, and this won’t win any beauty contests.
Who has salad for breakfast? Well, I would if they’re all as pretty and more importantly, as delicious as this one. Jewel-toned roasted beets and blood oranges, delicate lettuces, toasted walnuts, and a light and snappy Straus yogurt vinaigrette.
Other than the salad-eater, none of my friends offered up a taste. But here’s what their brunch plates looked like:
Backyard Breakfast – two eggs scrambled, Nightingale sourdough toast, sausage patty (tempeh optional!), home fries
Biscuits and Gravy – springy side salad with lacy mustard green shoots was an unexpected touch
Then the Pièce de résistance that I ordered,
Wild Boar Hash – confit of wild boar shoulder, sunnyside up eggs, sourdough toast, butternut squash, foraged hedgehog mushrooms, braised young mustard greens, and pickled red onions. This had it all. The creamy sweetness of butternut, peppery mustard green bite, zippy onions, earthy mushrooms, and gamey richness of the meat made for a wondrous combination in the mouth.
Arriving at 9:15A, I was the second customer of the day. By the time we left before 11:00A, Backyard was barely half-full on this busy event weekend in Russian River Valley. I thought about the breakfast seekers in San Francisco languishing for more than an hour in line for the morning meal. Made me wish I could tell them to stop wasting time on the sidewalk and to spend the hour driving up here instead.
I haven't been for dinner, but hope to soon. The friends who joined me there for this brunch had attended the forage dinner the week before. They said it was one of the finest meals they've had in this country. Since they're in the wine trade, they've been to quite a few fine dining venues.
We finally made it over to Backyard last Friday for an early dinner. Pretty solid overall, everything was well prepared with a couple of standout dishes.
Shared a couple of appetizers, Cheese plate: Nicasio Valley loma alta, Cowgirl Creamery St. Pat, wild lettuces, meyer lemon marmalade, spiced almonds. Cheeses paired really well with the lemon marmalade and spiced almonds.
Also had a flatbread, First Light skordalia, Stemple Creek beef meatballs, Monkey Mountain arugula, Bohemian Creamery caproncino. This was a simple but tasty dish.
Both apps were good sized portions.
Entrees were True Grass Farm’s pork shoulder, Roots of Creation rapini, Mycopia king trumpet mushroom conserva, creamy polenta, young onion relish. This was good but the halibut was excellent. Wild, line caught, halibut, Armstrong carrot quinoa, wild spring onions, chive oil, wild watercress.
There were some comments that the portions here are small, we did not experience that with apps, entrees or dessert. Speaking of dessert "Ron's Chocolate Budino" is awesome, chocolate mousse, salted caramel, Strauss sweet cream, toasted rice. Heaven in a bowl, texture of the mousse and amount of salted caramel is perfect.
DW enjoyed a couple glasses of the Moshin RRV Pinot while I had a Boont amber ale. Service was friendly and helpful making for a relaxed dinner.
Want to get back for the Wednesday fried chicken dinner as Chef Kedan is ex alum of Ad Hoc.
Some pictures below.
I was across the street at Canneti on Saturday myself . . . more later.
Thanks for the pix, nice to see what dinner looks like. I wish I could pick up that other spoon and dig into your dessert!
Yes, Chef Kedan and his wife have some serious chops. Pretty cool that a small bistro in a town that's essentially a wide spot in the road has this kind of talent.
Stopped for lunch last week on our way through Forestville because the courtyard looked so inviting. Had the grilled cheese, sausage flatbread, and - oh, my- the onion rings (buttermilk in the batter!). Everything was excellent ! Had a great conversation with the chef. Will head back to Forestville on a future trip.