Since it’s opening in 2014, Topsy’s Kitchen, a lovely downtown restaurant, has been pleasing guests with a menu primarily focused on breakfast and lunch. During the summer months they do serve dinner on the weekends as well, and when I spoke to Topsy on a recent visit, she said they plan to start dinners again in June.
Topsy’s is a casual but upscale restaurant with very high ceilings, and décor that invites one to relax and enjoy the setting as well as the service and the food. There are many thoughtful touches throughout, such as fresh flowers and original art. I love their sayings on the giant chalkboard on the way to the restrooms.
They also have a lovely outdoor seating area that is a hot ticket on any nice day in Petaluma. Set back from the sidewalk and nicely enclosed, one is afforded a great opportunity for people watching on Kentucky Street — one of the two main shopping streets in downtown.
The servers were very attentive, and all orders were delivered correctly and promptly. When we asked questions, we found the servers to be very knowledgeable of the menu preparations.
Estelle “Topsy” Rand is the owner, proprietor, and all around presence in this locally run restaurant that specializes in American food from many places. In a nod to the South, you will find perfectly prepared Beignets as a starter at breakfast. Do not miss these. In New Orleans you would order them for breakfast with a huge cup of café au lait. At Topsy’s they are offered as a starter, warm from the fryer and liberally dusted with strawberry preserves. What a lovely way to start the day.
Another specialty that speaks to what Topsy likes to call their “California Farmhouse Cuisine” and everyone else calls delicious is their buttermilk fried chicken, served up as a Chicken Plate ($16.50), chicken and waffles ($15), a fried chicken sandwich with jalapeno-vegetable slaw ($14) and a crunchy chicken salad ($14.75). American comfort food clearly dominates the lunch menu. We tried the chicken and waffles the last time we were in, and it did not disappoint. Shatteringly crisp chicken and an equally crispy waffle with an abundance of maple syrup — it was delicious.
Chef/Owner Annie Simmons cooks everything from scratch using the fresh local ingredients we are so fortunate to have available here in Petaluma. I enjoyed the local organic eggs, scrambled and served on top of crisp chilaquiles ($13.50). Chilaquiles are crispy corn tortillas baked with jalapeno ranchero sauce and jack cheese. Here they are topped with the eggs, queso fresco, Mexican crema and sliced avocado. It was not at all spicy, but very tasty.
Topsy’s grilled cheese panini ($12.50) of Fontina, cheddar and Jack cheeses was served with a cup of soup of the day, in this case a lovely cream of exotic mushroom. My husband is always eying the burger on just about any menu, so he chose the Roadside Burger ($14.50) of California grass fed beef. His choice was to have it with house made pimento cheese, sweet pickles, bacon-onion jam, all served on a sesame-brioche bun. The accompanying housemade potato chips were just perfect, not greasy, but expertly fried to a crisp.
One of our guests chose Topsy’s Croque Madame ($13.75) an open-faced sandwich of smoked ham, béchamel and melting fontina cheese topped with an over-easy egg, and served on organic salad greens.