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Ready, set, eat: Petaluma gears up for Restaurant Week

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Sonoma County Restaurant Week starts on March 2 and runs through March 11. Many of your favorite restaurants, as well as some that you may have been wanting to try, will offer special menus and deals during Restaurant Week. Check their individual websites or www.sonomacounty.com for more menu info. Participating Petaluma restaurants include Petaluma Pie Company, Simply Strudel, Seared Steak and Seafood, Chicken Pharm, Mary’s Pizza Shack, Brewsters Beer Garden, Flamez Grill, Wishbone, Sake 107, Palms Grill, Rosso, Central Market, Bump City Bakery, Cattlemens, and Pongo’s. Valley Ford and Bodega Bay restaurants Estero Café, Rocker Oysterfeller’s, and Bluewater Bistro will also be participating.

Gluten-free strudel

Simply Strudel owner Jarret Dennis has finally offered a gluten-free option for his Vanilla Bean Cheese Strudel. I have also been hearing great things about Jarret’s tasting room, which is located on corner of Petaluma Boulevard South and H Street, across from Charley’s Wine Country Deli, which sells Jarret’s strudels when his shop isn’t open. He has partnered up with Ari, who runs Wake Up Coffee House at the same location and everyone has been raving about both.

Yanni’s fond farewell

Yanni’s Sausage Grill of Penngrove is coming into their final week before handing over the reins so they can concentrate on their retail sausage sales. Touted as “The Little Place That’s Big On Taste,” Yanni’s burst on to the scene in grand fashion, taking home the Sonoma County Harvest Fair’s award for “Best Charcuterie” in their first three years of operation. Fans have just one week left to grab their last sandwich specials, as well as some of Yanni’s more unique sausages.

Currently, the Greek, the Loukaniko, and the Chicken Lemoni are available at local grocers, but because it takes a while to get through the retail sales approval process, it may be a little while longer before you see their other great flavors on the shelves.

If you have enjoyed Yanni’s Sweet Italian, Hot Italian, Garlic, Olympic Flame, Gyro in a Link, or Beer Brat, which is made with Lagunitas Sucks beer, I suggest you pick up all that your freezer can hold because once they close their door on the last day of February, it may be a while before you see these succulent sausages again. As the best Beer Brat we’ve ever had, we are now having buyer’s remorse that we didn’t buy more.

A special thank you goes out to Francesca and Johnny for all they have done for the local food community over the past eight years. My family first visited their new shop in 2010, and knew immediately they were going to be a success. As witnessed in most of their Yelp reviews, their fans appreciated Francesca and Johnny, as much for who they are as for the great food they prepared.

Francesca and Johnny treated my family like family, even showing my mom their special recipe for the Thanksgiving in a Link sausage sandwich special, so she could serve it as a surprise on Thanksgiving a few years ago. That became a family tradition, along with visiting Francesca and Johnny at least once a month in order to try whatever new special they came up with. One customer recently bought them a gift certificate for Twisted 2 as a thank you gift, so I am sure the rest of their customers feel just as sad as we do to see them go, but are also grateful for all the good times and great meals.

Sweetheart breakfast

Petaluma VFW and Auxiliary Post 1929 will host their Sweetheart Breakfast Fundraiser on Feb. 24, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Vets Hall, 1094 Petaluma Blvd. South. Breakfast is $8 for adults and $3 for kids and includes pancakes, eggs, sausage and more. We attend many of these events, both in Petaluma and when traveling, because they are not only a great way to give back to the community, but also gives us a great opportunity to meet new people in a fun and festive environment.

All you can eat pork

Senhor Santo Cristo will hold their Matanca do Porco, which is an all-you-can-eat pork feed, at Petaluma’s Holy Ghost Hall (Portuguese Hall) at 4649 Bodega Ave., on Saturday, Feb. 24, starting at 6 p.m. Dinner includes soup, pork loin, ribs, chops, linguica, blood sausage, sweet potatoes, taro root and beans. Wine and bread is also included for the $30 ticket price ($15 for kids 12 and under.) Dancing will go from 8 p.m. to midnight. For tickets contact Linda at 304-2819 or Cindy at 762-8521.

Mom’s night

Adobe Road Winery will hold a “Mom’s Night Out” on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. at their tasting room, located in the Great Petaluma Mill at 6 Petaluma Blvd. North. Tickets are $40, at www.adoberoadwines.com and include a welcome splash of Adobe Road’s Sparkling Rosé, with a take-home flute, a special flight of three Adobe Road wines, prizes and giveaways, great appetizers, and great company with other moms.

Dine and donate

La Dolce Vita Wine Lounge and the Petaluma Arts Center are joining forces on Wednesday, Feb. 28, for a Dine and Donate event. La Dolce Vita will donate 10 percent of all proceeds of every purchase directly to the Petaluma Arts Center. La Dolce Vita specializes in boutique wines from both local and worldly sources. They offer gourmet appetizers, pizzas and soups, in addition to more than 40 wines by the glass, which are also available for retail purchase. They also offer free WiFi and classic films projected on the wall.

Corned beef and cabbage

Penngrove Social Fireman will hold their St. Paddy’s Day corned beef and cabbage dinner on Saturday, March 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. We always enjoy this event, not only for the great corned beef, sourced from Bud’s Custom Meats of Penngrove, but also for the great company, as well as the great $1 desserts available from the local 4-H club.

Additionally, raffle tickets for the pot of gold are only $1 each and you need not be present to win. Prizes are Visa gift cards in the amount of $200, $100 and $50. Tickets ($15 for adults, $7.50 for kids under 12) and are available at the door, or in advance by dropping by Penngrove’s JavAmore Café (794-1516).

Fire fundraiser

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese is dedicating some of their incredible dinners at the Fork as fire fundraising events. So far, they have raised an incredible $28,000 since starting their fundraising efforts for the North Bay Fire Relief, but are looking to reach $50,000 by offering great food and live music at both their Feb. 21 and March 14 dinners. PRFC is matching every dollar, which means they are hosting these dinners for free. These are truly unique dinners and usually sell out well in advance, so this offer makes this a win-win for everyone involved. www.pointreyescheese.com.

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