How to eat your way through Petaluma this winter

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Foodie events

Thistle Meats and Petaluma’s the Redd Connection wine retailer present “The Kings of Rhone” collector series dinner on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. at Thistle Meats in downtown Petaluma. This is an extremely rare opportunity to drink the best that the Rhone has to offer, which is why the experience is priced at $550 a person and is limited to 12 guests. Flights will include whites, Chateauneuf du Pape, Cote Rotie and Cornas, with seven of the 10 wines rated a perfect score of 100 (along with two 99s and a 98). Visit thistlemeats.com for more info.

Stockhome’s special Butcher Winemaker Dinner is Tuesday, March 5, starting at 6:30 p.m. If the tickets aren’t available today, they will be soon at stockhomerestaurant.com and I will report back with the menu as soon as I have it.

Don’t forget that the 13th California Artisan Cheese Festival is coming up March 23 and 24, and along with local cheese farm tours, it offers an excellent selection of seminars. Tickets tend to sell out early as cheese lovers flock from all over the country for this event. Seminars will cover “Red or White? Best Wines for the Cheeses You Love,” “California Cheese: Old School to New School,” “Cheese, Beer and Cider” and “Cheese and Cocktails: The Basics of Bitters, Booze and Cheese.” There are also several special events including Saturday night’s “Cheese, Bites and Booze,” and Sunday’s “Bubbles and Brunch” and “Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace.” Although the event has moved from Petaluma to Santa Rosa, most of the tours and many of the participants are Petaluma cheesemakers. Visit artisancheesefestival.com for more info and to reserve your seats.

Industry insiders

Whisper Sisters Cocktails and Provisions is the new name for the Drawing Board, slated to re-open in the upcoming month. As mentioned previously, the food will be similar, but more focused on small and shared plates in order to complement the new lounge vibe. But the excellent bar service will continue as before, as Whisper Sisters is a new collaboration that includes the Drawing Board’s former bar manager, Danielle Peters. I am not normally much of a cocktail drinker, but never miss a chance to try something new and creative from Danielle’s bar. Often thought up on the spot, based on what flavors I am currently craving, Danielle puts an incredible amount of thought into her creations. To learn more about Whisper Sisters, see a video explaining their vision, and contribute to the restaurant’s relaunch into the community (in exchange for fun and delicious perks, of course), do a search of Whisper Sisters Cocktails and Provisions at indiegogo.com.

The Lazy Hog is a relatively new food truck that popped up at the outlet mall last August, causing quite a positive stir. They serve a refreshingly limited menu including a burger; two dogs (one is wrapped in bacon); a couple of sandwiches, including a Cubano that customer says can’t be beat; fish tacos; and two kinds of fries. Their hours are normally 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, but check their social media if you are going to make a special trip just to try them.

Palm’s Grill has been lights out for a few days now, but I am assured that it is simply due to a remodel and that they will re-open shortly. Once they do, don’t forget that along with a great happy hour menu, kids eat free on Tuesday nights.

The Super Bowl is this Sunday, Feb 3, and Petaluma offers at least two ways to enjoy the festivities. If you want to enjoy the game from your own Barcalounger, Sarah’s Eats & Sweets offers take-home snacks and dessert menu, including chicken wings, loaded sweet potato rounds and spinach-artichoke dip. Prices range from $22 to $24 and will serve eight to 10 people. Or, if you’d rather go out, Beyond the Glory still has seats available for their reservation-only party in the bar, which will include a drink and raffle ticket, as well as an appetizer buffet throughout the game. The regular menu will also be available, as will the rest of the dining room for non-VIPs.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and what better way to celebrate your sweetie than with an ice cream cake collaboration from Mariposa Ice Creamery and True Delicious? We had the honor of being tasters for this kaleidoscope of ice cream, cookie and cake, and can attest to its greatness. The likely choices will be vanilla/lemon or chocolate/strawberry. These “ice cream tortes” will only be available by preorder, for pick either at their upcoming warehouse sale, or anytime during the day on Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mariposa and True Delicious (makers of Italian cheesecake, cookies and the best and most authentic biscotti I have ever had), will roll up their factory doors for their first sale of the season on Friday, Feb. 8, from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon. Check Mariposa’s Facebook page for more info, including the special Valentine’s flavors. Also in honor of Valentine’s Day, Penngrove Market has just placed an order with Mariposa for chocolate-dipped strawberry ice cream bars, so there is that too.

Wild Goat Bistro has posted a sneak peek at its Valentine’s Day menu. Choices will include appetizers of two-mushroom veloute, champagne-poached pears and pork belly and jumbo scallops. Main courses include wild salmon, cauliflower gnocchi, Australian rack of lamb and Niman Ranch ribeye, with dessert to follow of strawberry cheesecake or chocolate pots de crème. Dinner service starts at 5 p.m., reservations are required and the cost is $60 for this prix fixe menu.

Seasonal menus

Paying homage to the changing of the seasons, Della Fattoria and Wishbone have announce new menus. Della serves dinner Thursday through Saturday, from 5:30 to 9 p.m., and has added such starters as Bellwether Farms crescenza (a type of fresh Italian cheese) with sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, garlic, pinenuts and Calabrian chilis; and a roasted beet salad. The entrée menu now includes eight dishes, ranging from farro and short ribs or stuffed pork loin to chicken pot pie or the Della Philly cheese steak. Wishbone has added a “winter Benny” to the brunch menu, and plenty of winter crops, like squash and root veggies, to dinner’s offerings.

Get crabby

Still in the heart of the Petaluma crab feed season, the next two weekends are packed full of chances to get your hands on some of our local Dungeness delicacies. This Saturday, Feb. 2, has two crab feeds (Petaluma High School Athletic Boosters Club and Pacific Empire Chorus), followed by next weekend’s Friday, Feb. 8’s Petaluma Woman’s Club feed, which is one of my favorites. Saturday, Feb, 9, finds both the Sons and Daughters of Italy and Shoreline Acres Preschool holding annual fundraisers. Heidrun Meadery’s crab feast tickets just went on sale for Sunday, March 3, and are close to selling out. For more info, see my “Ultimate Petaluma Crab Feed Guide” at petaluma360.com.

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