We drove up 101 and back yesterday, and stopped for lunch at Ruth McGowan's in Cloverdale. This is a brewery restaurant, with beer made by Vinnie Cirluzo, the incredibly talented brewmaster of the now-closed Korbel incarnation of the Russian River Brewing Company. (Korbel was nice enough to give him rights to the name upon closing the operation.) Lunch was a Turkey Swiss BLT wrap for $7.95. Lots of bacon, ranch dressing and a spinach tortilla made this memorable, and it was served with a decent home-style potato salad. My wife and I split this, and the waiter kindly brought each half on two plates without having to be asked. Daughter had the Caesar Salad, which had exceptionally fresh greens and a thoughtfully restrained dressing. The four-dollar sampler set was enough beer for my wife and I for lunch.
We ate dinner there last year, and were really impressed with the food, though I can't exactly remember what we had. What I really like about this place is the unassuming rural California atmosphere (no yupscale anything) with food that is at once contemporary and comforting. Great service, too.
Vinnie has recently reopened the Russian River Brewing Company as a brewpub in Santa Rosa. Will visit soon and report.
131 E. First St.
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