Eastside Road, September 7, 2012—NO; NOT THE COCKTAIL; just another old-fashioned dinner in an old-fashioned restaurant in an old-fashioned hotel. We're not staying the night. In fact, I don't know if we'll return. Maybe.
We were in town visiting with family, which of course involved eating. Before that dinner, lunch in a sort-of bistro we hadn't tried before, but which had been recommended — what I call a shoppingmall restaurant, not a place you'd happen upon while out for a stroll. There, though, I had an acceptable croque-monsieur, an acceptable bowl of bean-and-sage soup (slightly troubled by its revisionist tomato), and a lemon tartelet that put me in mind of Paris.
French red cut with soda water• Chloe's French Café, 3883 Airway Drive, Santa Rosa; 707-528-3095LATER, DINNER DOWNTOWN at an ancient but quite nicely restored hotel restaurant where the food made me think of… not Paris, but Occidental and its family-style restaurants of sixty years ago and more. The only thing really distinctive about the menu was its amazing feat: something misspelled on every line. "Aborio" rice, for example. Even "Cardonnay" on the wine list. When you see carelessness like that on the menu, you wonder what might go on in the kitchen.
Whatever it was, it caused them to run out of the main course I'd chosen, risotto. (Excuse me: "rissotto.") Oh well: I had a veal chop, nicely done with salt and rosemary; braised potatoes-and-onions-and-mushrooms on the side, and a decent salad; I guess I'd go back for nostalgia's sake…
Sauvignon blanc, Trecini, 2010; neutral and acceptable• Hotel La Rose, 308 Wilson Street Santa Rosa; (707) 579-3200