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NORTH BAY BOHEM I AN | JUNE 1-7, 20 1 1 | BO H E M I AN.COM

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Dining Our selective list of North Bay restaurants is subject to menu, pricing and schedule changes. Call first for confirmation. For expanded listings, visit www.bohemian.com. COST: $ = Under $12; $$ = $13-$20; $$$ = $21-$26; $$$$ = Over $27

Rating indicates the low to average cost of a full dinner for one person, exclusive of desserts, beverages and tip.

S O N OM A CO U N T Y Baci Cafe & Wine Bar Italian $$-$$$. Creative Italian and Mediterranean fare in casual setting, with thoughtful wine list featuring local and Italian wines. Lunch, Thurs-Sat; dinner, Thurs-Mon. 336 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg. 707.433.8111.

Cafe Zazzle Eclectic cafe. $-$$. Colorful, tasty food cooked Mexican-, Japanese-, Thai- and Italian-style. Lunch and dinner daily. 121 Kentucky St, Petaluma. 707.762.1700. JhanThong BanBua Thai. $-$$. Sophisticated and delicate Thai cuisine. Fresh ingredients, packed with flavor. Lunch and dinner, Mon-Sat. 2400 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa. 707.528.8048.

Lynn’s Thai Thai. $$. A taste of real Thailand in convivial atmosphere. Lunch and dinner, Mon-Sat. 8492 Gravenstein Hwy, Ste M (in the Apple Valley Plaza), Cotati. 707.793.9300.

Murphy’s Irish Pub Pub fare. $. Casual, homey place serving no-nonsense pub grub like shepherd’s pie. Lunch and dinner daily. 464 First St E, Sonoma. 707.935.0660.

Nonni’s Ristorante Italiano Italian. $$. Hearty family recipes served with neighborly hospitality. Familyowned. Lunch, Mon-Fri; dinner daily. 420 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa. 707.527.0222.

Saddles Steakhouse. $$$$$$$. A steakhouse in the best American tradition, with top-quality grass-fed beef. Pies are made from fruit trees on restaurant property. Dinner daily. 29 E MacArthur St, Sonoma. 707.933.3191.

Sea Thai. $$. An oasis of exotic Bangkok with some truly soul-satisfying dishes. Lunch and dinner, Mon-Fri; dinner only,

Sat-Sun. 5000 Petaluma Blvd S. 707.766.6633.

Stark’s Steakhouse Steakhouse. $$$. Could be the best steak you’ll ever have. “Other than steak” menu changes seasonally. Happy hour Mon-Fri, 3 to 6. Dinner daily; lunch, Mon-Fri. 521 Adams St, Santa Rosa. 707.546.5100.

Vineyards Inn Spanish. $$. Authentic foods from Spain, fresh fish off the fire broiler, extensive tapas, as well as paellas and more. Emphasis on organic. Open for lunch and dinner, WedMon. 8445 Sonoma Hwy. (Highway 12), at Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood. 707.833.4500.

MARIN CO U N T Y Bay Thai Thai. $. Fresh Thai food with curries that combine the regions classic sweet and tart elements. Some of the best fried bananas to be found. Lunch and dinner, MonSat; dinner, Sun. (Cash only.) 809 Fourth St, San Rafael. 415.458.8845.

Bubba’s Diner Homestyle American. $-$$. Comforting Momma-style food like fried green tomatoes, onion meatloaf and homey chickenfried steak with red-eye gravy in a restaurant lined with cookbooks and knickknacks. Open breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 566 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo. 415.459.6862.

Buckeye Roadhouse American. $$-$$$. A Marin County institution. Delightful food, friendly and seamless service, and a convivial atmosphere. Try one of the many exotic cocktails. Lunch and dinner daily; brunch, Sun. 15 Shoreline Hwy, Mill Valley. 415.331.2600.

Il Piccolo Caffe Italian.

$$. Big, ample portions at this premier spot on Sausalito’s spirited waterfront. Breakfast and lunch daily. 660 Bridgeway, Ste 3, Sausalito. 415.289.1195.

Insalata’s Mediterranean. $$$. Simple, high-impact dishes of exotic flavors. Lunch and dinner daily. 120 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo. 415.457.7700. M&G’s Burgers & Beverages American. $. The ultimate in American cuisine. Crispy fries, good burgers and friendly locals chowing down. 2017 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Fairfax. 415.454.0655.

Marin Brewing Co Pub food. $-$$. Excellent soups, salads, pub grub and awardwinning pork-beer sausage. Lunch and dinner daily. 1809 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur. 415.461.4677. Portelli Rossi Italian. $$. Tasty and affordable fare in a cozy setting. Lunch, Tues-Sat; dinner, Tues-Sun. 868 Grant Ave, Novato. 415.892.6100.

Sushiholic Japanese. $$$$. A nice addition to the local lineup, with a lengthy and wellcrafted repertoire including uncommon dishes like nabeyaki udon, zaru soba, yosenabe and sea bass teriyaki. Lunch and dinner, Mon-Sat. Rowland Plaza, 112-C Vintage Way, Novato. 415.898.8500.

Tommy’s Wok Chinese. $-$$. Tasty and filling Chinese fare without the greasy weigh-down. Nice vegetarian selections, too. Lunch and dinner, Mon-Sat; dinner only, Sun.3001 Bridgeway Ave, Sausalito. 415.332.5818.

N A PA CO U N T Y Ad Hoc American. $$-$$$. Thomas Keller’s quintessential neighborhood restaurant. Prix fixe dinner changes daily. Actually takes reservations. 6476 Washington St, Yountville. 707.944.2487. Alexis Baking Co Cafe. $-$$. Alexis excels at baked goods and offers killer breakfasts and sensible soup’n’-salad lunches. 1517 Third St, Napa. 707.258.1827.

Angèle Restaurant & Bar French. $$$. Thoroughly French, but not aggressively

so. Lunch and dinner daily. 540 Main St, Napa. 707.252.8115.

BarBersQ Barbecue/ California. $-$$. An upscale ’cue joint with a high-end chef and high-end ingredients. Gorgeous chipotle-braised short ribs and pulled pork. Lunch and dinner daily. 3900-D Bel Aire Plaza, Napa. 707.224.6600.

Brannan’s Grill California cuisine. $$-$$$. Creative cuisine in handsome Craftsman setting. Lunch and dinner daily. 1347 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga. 707.942.2233.

Buster’s Barbecue Barbecue. $. A very busy roadside destination–for a reason. It’s the hot sauce, available in two heats: regular and hot. And the hot, as the sign says, means “hot!” Lunch and dinner daily. 1207 Foothill Blvd, Calistoga. 707.942.5606.

C.C. Blue Japanese. $$-$$$. Eat Godzilla maki and hamachi carpaccio in aquarium-chic environs. Hearty portions. Dinner TuesSun; late-night dining, ThursSat. 1148 Main St, St Helena. 707.967.9100.

Celadon Global comfort food. $$. Relaxed sophistication in intimate neighborhood bistro setting by the creek. Superior wine list. Lunch, Mon-Fri; dinner, MonSat. 500 Main St, Ste G, Napa. 707.254.9690.

Checkers California. $$. Perfect casual spot for dinner before the movie. Try the panéed chicken and butternut squash ravioli. Lunch and dinner daily. 1414 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga. 707.942.9300.

Fazerrati’s Pizza. $-$$. Great pie, cool brews, the game’s always on. Great place for post-Little League. 1517 W Imola Ave, Napa. 707.255.1188.

SMALL BITES

Blocks of Ox As unappealing as it sounds, there’s something sensual about pit beef. The aroma, the preparation, the fact that it takes over half a day to cook— it’s all about love. But is pit beef, by any other name, still just as sweet? What if it’s called, say, roast ox? That might be stretching the gastronomic terminology just a bit, but the Sonoma Community Center is calling its first summer event of the year as such, and for $12 per plate, who cares what it’s called? And they’re accommodating—nay, inviting—children to attend, with plates for little ones at just $7. Twelve bucks a plate for dinner on the Sonoma Plaza is about as rare as catching the Blue Man Group having an intense discussion about theology and literature at Wal-Mart, but it turns out it’s simply continuing a long tradition. “The ox roast is almost 50 years old,” says the Sonoma Community Center’s Toni Castrone. “Back in the day, folks would dig a fire pit in the plaza and roast a whole ox. These days, we’re more considerate of the natural setting of our plaza, so we use giant firebox barbecues and roast a thousand pounds of beef.” A “Sauce Your Ox” barbecue sauce competition will be judged by popular vote with music supplied by the Air Force Band Mobility and BackTrax. Ducks on the square have been advised to waddle away from the enormous grills for the day. The Sonoma ox roast takes place Sunday, June 5, on the Sonoma Plaza. Food at 11am, music at 1pm. 707.938.4626. www.sonomacommunitycenter.org. —Nicolas Grizzle

Fujiya Japanese. $$-$$$. Good, solid sushi. The Fujiya Deluxe combo is a standout. Lunch and dinner, Tues-Sat. 921 Factory Stores Dr, Napa. 707.257.0639.

Go Fish Seafood/sushi. $$-$$$. An über-trio of chefs all in one fantastic fresh fish house: Cindy Pawlcyn, Victor Scargle and Ken Tominaga. Need we say more? Open for lunch and dinner daily. 641 Main St, St Helena. 707.963.0700.

Gott’s Roadside Tray Gourmet Diner. $. Formerly Taylor’ Automatic Refresher. Lunch and dinner daily. 933 Main St, St Helena. 707.963.3486. Also at Oxbow Public Market, 644 First St, Napa. 707.224,6900.

La Toque Restaurant French-inspired. $$$$. Set in a comfortable elegantly rustic dining room reminiscent of a French lodge, with a stone fireplace centerpiece, La

Toque makes for memorable special-occasion dining. The elaborate wine pairing menus are luxuriously inspired. Dinner, Wed-Sun. 1314 McKinstry St, Napa. 707.257.5157.

Miguel’s MexicanCalifornian. $$. Ultracasual setting and laid-back service belies the delicious kitchen magic within; chilaquiles are legendary. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 1437 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga. 707.942.6868.

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