Field Notes: Restaurant, Hotel and Food News

An American bistro arrives in Sebastopol, a coffee bar from a long-time roaster lands in Oakland, and a Champagne bar adds to the fun in Los Gatos.

Goldfinch dishes, photo credit Kelsey Joy Photography

Napa and Sonoma Wine Country

I’ve had my eye on Livery on Main, the multi-project collective space in downtown Sebastopol, for a while. While the three-building concept includes three floors of programming, including a food hall on the first level, a bar and lounge on the second level and garden deck with firepits and another bar on the third floor, those concepts are still 18-24 months out, according to Chief Operating Officer Becca Lipski of The Beale Group that is managing the project. The co-working space at 6940 Burnett Street opened last summer.

Goldfinch interior

New to the scene is Goldfinch which swooped into the space where K&L Bistro once held sway in mid-May. A sit-down restaurant with a veggie-forward menu and a four-seasons approach to cooking, the restaurant self-proclaims as a modern American bistro but dishes like eggplant with lemongrass and feta, grilled shrimp with harissa and lemon and heirloom carrots with coriander honey and garbanzo puree on the Small Shareables menu proclaim California cuisine. Larger Shareables, like chicken roulade with sauce béarnaise a 12-ounce rib eye with potato pave hew more closely to the American bistro standard. Interpret at will.

Go:  119 South Main Street, Sebastopol; 707-827-9882

East Bay

Caffe Espresso interior designed by jones | haydu

Though multiple generations of co-owner Luigi Di Ruocco’s family roasted and distributed Italian-style oak wood roasted coffee to Bay Area shops, cafes and restaurants for 45 years, The Caffè by Mr. Espresso, which opened in mid-May in downtown Oakland, is the family’s first venture into bricks and mortar. The family patriarch, Carlo – the original Mr. Espresso – hails from Salerno and the caffe nods to Italian coffee culture. That means $2 for an espresso shot ($3 for a double) and a nocciola-tte (get it?) for $5.50. Baked goods are available, too. You may want to hang out a while at the 17-foot-wide wood slab bar crafted out of a centuries-old Valley Oak sourced from Marin’s Arborica and marvel at the hanging wood installation created by jones | haydu and assembled piece by piece. It’s gorgeous and an homage to the wood that is still used to roast Mr. Espresso beans.

Go: 1120 Broadway, Oakland

Peninsula/South Bay

If there is any doubt about what is happening at Tasting House Los Gatos, let me put it to rest: wine and food flights. (There are also a la carte items.) The French-ish bistro earned an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator and piled on to the happiness by adding Champagne Bar at Tasting House in May, a cozy new lounge-like space that features grower Champagnes and iconic Champagne houses, all available by the half glass, glass, half bottle, and bottle. My fave, Billcart-Salmon, is on hand, but I’d dive into a glass of Mousse Fils “Terre d’ellite” Blanc de Noir or MV Krug Grand Cuvee 168th Edition Brut quicker than you can say “sparkling wine.”

Go: 368 Village Lane, Los Gatos; 408.348.1807


I also write the New In Town column for Marin Magazine, which includes restaurants and more. To keep up with what’s going on in Marin, please head over there.