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A tasty benefit for Petaluma River access


The Fools for the River has been moved from April Fools’ Day to Wednesday, April 26 for this year’s Petaluma Small Craft Center fundraiser. This event helps raise much needed funds for the Floathouse, which is on the verge of being installed on an extended dock next to TAPS and the River Plaza.

The $41 ticket price gets guests one free treat at four venues of their choosing from TAPS, Paradise Sushi, Dempsey’s, Graffiti, Sugo Trattoria, Water Street Bistro, Seared, Baskin Robbins and Brewsters Beer Garden. There are enough choices that guest can use their tickets anytime for either a lunch or dinner tour. Visit www.petalumasmallcraftcenter.org for tickets and restaurant hours as all are not open all day and night.

Butter & Egg Days Parade

Petaluma’s summer festival season starts on April 29 with the Butter & Egg Days Parade festivities. The day kicks off at the Petaluma Lion’s Club breakfast, which runs from 8 to 11 a.m. and is held in the parking lot across from Putnam Plaza. After helping put the Rivertown Feed flatbed trucks in place along the parade route for announcement stands, I will be competing in the semi-celebrity category of the Cow Chip Throwing Contest, which is held in front of McNear’s Saloon at 10:30 a.m. I will then move over to the corner of 4th and C Street to announce the parade at that location. In the meantime, the Petaluma Egg Farm’s Cutest Chick Contest will have begun at 10:15 a.m. in front of Copperfields’ Books. Call 763-0921 to enter.

The pre-parade kicks off with the Sonoma County Vietnamese Association Lion Dance Team at 11:15 a.m., followed by the Clover Kids’ Parade at 11:30 a.m. The beer gardens at Western & Kentucky and Petaluma Boulevard and B Street are open from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., but please party responsibly. Most of the B&E Day drunk in public arrests are of out-of-towners.

The main parade kicks off at noon, followed by live music and plenty of food vendors until 4 p.m. And don’t forget that the Spring Antique Faire is the next day, Sunday, April 30, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Even if you aren’t into antiques, it’s still a great day to walk around downtown and enjoy Petaluma’s sense of community.

We will round out our Butter & Egg Days festivities with a ranch dinner at Stemple Creek Ranch. Tickets are still available at www.stemplecreek.com. Stemple Creek has also announced its 2017 ranch tour and meat-tasting schedule. Guests will learn how they do things at Stemple Creek Ranch, including “carbon farming, rotational grazing, and wildlife habitat creation.”

They always throw some meat on the barbie so guests can taste their amazing grass-fed, grass-finished meats. Meat is usually available for purchase after the tour, which is where I also got my Stemple Creek Ranch t-shirt, which I wear proudly. Guests are also invited to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after the tour. Ranch tours are scheduled for May 7, June 11, July 9 and Aug. 19.

The Block opening

The Block Petaluma is shooting to open in time for the Butter & Egg Days Parade. We look forward to visiting trucks like Chef Elias’s Bodega CA, as well as plenty of other fresh and local vendors once this food truck round-up is open. The space also has a pizza kitchen and will offer both beer and wine.

Barber Cellars art

Barber Cellars will hold their second art event of the year on April 25, starting at 6 p.m. Local jewelry artist Connie Hirschmugl and her painter son Johnny Hirschmugl will both be featured at Barber Cellars’ tasting room, located in the Hotel Petaluma. Both artists will make a piece of art live during the event and will also have other pieces for sale. Tickets are $9 and include a glass of wine, appetizers and live music. Wine Club members may attend for free but should RSVP by email.

Best bakery in California

Della Fattoria was named The Best Bakery in California recently by Mental Floss magazine. Mental Floss chose Della Fattoria in their recent search for the “Best Bakery in All 50 States.” This comes as no surprise to anyone who has enjoyed their spectacular breads, pastries, coffees, or breakfasts, lunches, or special event dinners, but it is still nice to see the Weber family and all their staff get the recognition they deserve.

Green String closure

Green String Farm is temporarily closed. According to their website, “Due to the recent rain we haven’t been able to plant, check back soon!” Green String is Petaluma’s premier sustainable farm, offering veggies to restaurants and the general public, making this quite a blow to our local natural food scene, but hopefully they will re-hire their staff shortly and have veggies back on your plates in no time.

Filling in the gap, County Line Harvest has started offering a fresh produce farm stand in Petaluma. Moj San Nursery, located at the corner of D Street and Wilson, will host County Line Harvest’s stand seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are currently stocking a variety of fruits and veggies, with their most popular current items being lettuce, spring carrots and baby green mixes. Produce is organic, and prices are affordable so as to improve access to fresh healthy food for everyone in the Petaluma community.

Thistle Meats changes

Thistle Meats will be back open for business either later this week or next, after a change in owner. Petaluma’s beloved Molly Best has handed over the reins to Travis Day, who is an experienced chef, butcher and charcuterier who has been working around the Bay Area for quite a while.

Molly opened Thistle Meats several years ago with the hopes of bringing Petaluma a one stop location for not only great meats, but also ones that came from conscientious ranchers and farms, and she did just that. Since day one, Thistle Meats has been Petaluma’s premier whole meat butcher shop and we look forward to meeting Travis and welcoming him into our community, confident that he will carry forward Molly’s legacy.

Lunchette veggie/vegan options

Lunchette is now open at Free Range’s spot on 4th Street, between Acre Coffee and B Streets. We stopped in for a few salads and a couple pieces of focaccia style pizza and were pleased to find that although they have veggie and vegan options, there are also meat topped salads and pizzas. The owners are the same couple who has been catering private events and farmers markets throughout the Bay Area as Pizza Politana. Lunchette offers take-out plant-based and organic lunches Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Wine bars

We recently rediscovered La Dolce Vita while walking around downtown. I personally enjoy their killer port flight, plus they have a surprisingly large food menu. Whether you are in search of a quick glass of wine before the movies, or simply want to grab some food and watch the game, La Dolce Vita is an excellent choice, and often has nights where they donate a portion of their proceeds to local charities.

Incavo “Wine Lounge & Collective” out of Marin appears to have taken over Corkscrew’s location at the corner of Petaluma Boulevard North and Western Avenue. Other than a big banner announcing their grand opening, and reading through their Marin location website, I have found no further information about their plans for their Petaluma location.

(Contact Houston Porter at houston@avant-larde.com.)