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Wishbone

When the pork chop hit the table, I could hardly believe my eyes.

I didn't have my pocket scales with me, but a good guess would be at least 24 ounces of pure pork — just a little fat, no gristle, no bone, and meat so flavorful and tender that it set a new personal standard for what a great pork chop should be.

Wishbone, the new Petaluma restaurant that serves this behemoth, calls it the "Pork Chop of Awe and Wonder" ($25 ****), and that's an accurate description. To accentuate the tenderness, chef Miriam Donaldson brines the center-cut chop, then roasts it until it develops a savory brown crust and plumps to a good 2 inches thick through the middle.

She is setting up local farms and suppliers, but this chop comes from Niman Ranch, whose headquarters are in the Bay Area but who contracts with more than 700 farms around the country that have agreed to Niman Ranch protocols.

These strict guidelines ensure the animals are raised sustainably, never fed routine antibiotics or hormones, come from parents with high-quality pedigrees, and are always treated humanely and with compassion.


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