When you think about culinary destinations in Sonoma County, Petaluma often plays second fiddle to Healdsburg and Sebastopol. Recently, however, Rivertown has developed a restaurant scene all its own. Here are three eateries to try on your next visit.
Mozzarella is the star of the show at this lively Theater District joint. Chef John Franchetti makes fresh mozzarella and mozzarella di bufala with local curds and serves the cheeses two ways: pulled to order, from the on-site mozzarella bar, or atop pizzas fired in the wood-burning oven. Another option: house-made Burrata, served with prosciutto di Parma ($10). Be sure to check the wine list for überlocal representatives; the eatery specializes in wines from the Petaluma Gap. rossopizzeria.com.
Kick back and nosh on comfort food at this upscale-yet-comfortable restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Pazzo. Highlights from chef Bob Simontacchi’s menu include fried chicken, mac ‘n’ cheese, pork belly, grilled rib eye steak, and savory beignets, to name a few. The cocktail program is worth consideration, too—especially the Seasmoke, with Espolon Reposado tequila, fresh watermelon, rosemary syrup, fresh lime, and a mezcal rinse. The bar also boasts Petaluma’s largest whiskey selection. socialclubrestaurant.com.
Contrary to what the name suggests, it’s not hard to find this tiny restaurant in Putnam Plaza Courtyard in American Alley—just look for the line. Diners flock to chow down on chef Patrick Tafoya’s tapas-style dishes with a California flare, such as edamame hummus and fresh lobster mac ‘n’ cheese. Another good bet: deviled eggs, which change daily. For dessert, don’t miss the maple bacon donut holes. speakeasypetaluma.com.