Eastside Road, February 27, 2011—FRIENDS INTRODUCED US TO a local restaurant new to us tonight. It's been open a couple of years, but we'd been warned against it at first: it was too vegetarian, to political, too… well, too Sebastopol. Sebastopol is said to be the Berkeley of Sonoma county, by which is generally meant offbeat, leftist, green, all that sort of thing.
Well, I was born in Berkeley, and went to high school in Sebastopol. None of that reputation scares me. But much of it does leave me cool, if not cold. I suppose I'm some kind of intellectual and leftist, but I like my fun too, and my meat, and shoes, and not too much hardware in the face, thank you. So we dutifully avoided this place until tonight.
Tonight, though, we had a very nice dinner. We had Minestrone made with Cannelli beans, kale, tomato, and some Parmigiano; then a Shepherd's Pie with ground beef (locally raised, to be sure), carrots, pearl onions, and mashed potatoes. The beef was tasty; the entire meal so far hearty, deeply flavored, and sound. Dessert was a huge serving of rich thick chocolate pudding with salt caramel and whipped cream. Nothing to complain about: we'll undoubtedly be back.
Syrah, Crozes Hermitabe, Yann Chave, 2006: rich and full.• Peter Lowell's, 7385 Healdsburg Ave., Sebastopol; (707) 829-1077