Tucked away in a cozy corner of downtown, Twisted 2 is easily Petaluma’s best-kept restaurant secret. Created, cultivated, and curated by the husband and wife team of Dick and Julie Warner, Twisted 2 offers a prix fix wine paired dinner that is on par with even the best that the big city can offer, but without the necessities of bridge tolls, paid parking, and hours on the road. In fact, when I want to show an out of town visitor just how impressive Petaluma’s restaurant scene is, I send them to Twisted 2.
With seating for only about a dozen people, limited hours, and an unassuming location, it is not unusual to meet even long-time Petaluma residence who have never heard of Twisted 2. However, Twisted 2 is a love at first bite experience, which helps explain how Dick and Julie have steadily built a loyal following since opening in late 2013.
Dick and Julie met while attending the Athenian School, a college preparatory school located in Danville. Their romance blossomed while attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington, where they studied in the Good Earth program, learning about what would eventually become known as organic farming. Dick also learned skills like boat building, while Julie ended up apprenticing for her ceramics professor, a skill she still uses to this day. Forty-one years later, they still use these tools to bring guests a dining experience like no other.
Along the way, Dick has worked as a fisherman, piloting a 19’ commercial fishing boat that he built from scratch, as a melon farmer, and as a wine aficionado. Julie apprenticed in ceramics during college and would go on to spend thirty years selling her pieces through galleries throughout the Bay Area. But she has always loved cooking, learning from both her parents and her grandparents, and followed that passion through various ventures here in the North Bay.
Dick and Julie opened the Tomales Deli back in 1980, which is where Dick really developed his passion for wine. Without a good distribution network in the area, Dick took it upon himself to make sure the deli was well stocked with local libations. His passion for wine would eventually drive him to open various wine bars around Petaluma, including Westside Wine Company, where Applebox now resides, as well as one over the current Opera House Gallery on Kentucky Street, across from Jamison’s Roaring Donkey, as well as a wine bar inside the front entrance of Petaluma Market.
In 1996, Dick and Julie opened Twisted Vine in the space currently occupied by Brixx. As a wine shop and restaurant, Twisted Vine combined the best of both worlds; wine and food. It was a much loved spot for both locals and visitors alike, but when staffing became difficult in the early 2000’s, the Warners closed the restaurant, retained the space they currently occupy, for Dick’s wine distribution business. Julie continued creating ceramics, along with kitchen stints at the venerable Preferred Sonoma Caterers and Olive and Vine in Glen Ellen.
In 2013, with their two daughters all grown up, Dick and Julie decided to open the more intimate Twisted 2, just down the hallway from their old Twisted Vine location. Located in the heart of the Lanmart Building (29 F Petaluma Boulevard North), Twisted 2 can be reached from either Kentucky Street or Petaluma Boulevard.