After a 2015 fire, it was questionable whether Penngrove Market would ever reopen. Well, during last week’s Penngrove Parade, we got a peek in the windows of the rebuilt space and it looks great. A set of couples is carrying the torch, and is asking for help from the general public by way of crowd funding. If you visit Penngrove Market’s Facebook page, you will find a link to their funding campaign, along with a great video that explains their plans.
From the looks of it, they plan bring back the market even better than before, focusing more on local produce and products. The space has also been reoriented, with big front doors opening onto a large covered area, which I imagine will house produce bins, and is facing the newly paved parking lot, instead of the street. It is easy to envision Penngrovians getting a market on par with Petaluma Market.
256 North under ‘new’ management
Although I recently wrote a feature article on 256 North, I’m revisiting them in this week’s column to put the rumors to rest. Over the past weeks, several people have come up to me whispering about rumors they’d heard about the partnership that brought us 256 North.
Simply put, Jan Rosen and her partner have split. Jan is running solo, and has infused a bit more “Rosen’s” influence into the menu and the staff. So, if you have been hesitant to visit because you weren’t sure what was going on, now you know. If you want the true Jan Rosen experience, which is one that many Petalumans remember fondly from such places as J.M. Rosen’s and the Salad Mill, 256 North is now uniquely a Jan Rosen property.
Not surprisingly, the food is better than ever. Jan has been in restaurants her whole life and knows how to run a kitchen. Most of our favorite items are still present, such as the Trio of Crudo, but the menu is more straight forward now that Jan is running the kitchen.
We had the waygu burger recently, and it was excellent. We also enjoyed an excellent martini and a glass of port, in a proper Ridel port glass, not those ridiculous little tulip glasses that port producers crush under their boot whenever they run across them. We were also pleased to see local favorite Keller Estate on the menu, and with very reasonable by-the-glass pricing.
Jan has also replaced most of the bar staff, which were affiliated with the prior partner, and sometimes didn’t quite get how to keep Petalumans coming back. The new staff is friendly and attentive, even to non-food writers.
As a side note, 256 North is now open for lunch. My suggestion? Get the burger. They also have a large banquet room, which is great for both large and small gatherings. We’ve attended several there already and have been treated to great food and service, along with a spacious area for mingling, or formal dining.
Unless you knew where to find her wonderful jams, Leslie Goodrich’s LaLa’s Urban Farmstand might have seemed like a bit of urban folklore. Although you didn’t need a password or a secret handshake, only the adventurous seemed to be able to find her little side alley farm stand, located in the heart of the downtown’s historic Brewsters Edition.