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Restaurants & Bars 2

CHOPIN: Polish Cooking in Santa Rosa

Melanie Wong | Aug 31, 200202:08 AM

. . . or perhaps more accurately, there’s Polish and Provençal cuisine served at Chopin Restaurant. The offerings pay homage to the composer’s homeland and adopted country.

Chopin is located in the Oakmont senior community off Hwy. 12. The dark polished woods, deep jewel tones and oil paintings of the interior evoke a European feeling. I’d heard about this one from friend, Jeff Cox (review in Press Democrat linked below). His recs for Central European eats are usually pretty good, so I stuck with the Polish side of the menu.

I chose two appetizers, small portions of the two dishes Cox liked best. The pierogi (2 for $6) looked like a couple of overstuffed pot stickers. The thick skins were white, softly doughy and coated with oil. The filling was mostly sauerkraut with some bits of champignon. There was no sour cream topping, but only a sprinkling of dark brown caramelized onions and chopped parsley. The onions had the weirdest texture, neither soft nor crunchy, but instead plasticine and oddly gummy in an annoying, tooth-sticking way. This dish was neither delicious nor comforting.

The housemade Polish sausage ($8) was a bright light though. As an appetizer, one is sliced and served on a bed of sauerkraut. Deftly spiced, the flavor was more assertive than commercial kielbasa I’ve tried before. Mix of coarse and fine-grained meats, the texture was appealing and leaner too. My criticism would be that it was not served hot, but closer to room temperature. While it had singed markings, the outer surface was wrinkled and moist, rather than dry and fragrant from the grill, as if it had been marked earlier in the day and then reheated in the microwave. A nice touch though was the presentation of the condiments. Pedestals carved from garlicky dill pickles held a dab each of Dijon mustard and horseradish.

To accompany these, I ordered a glass of 2000 Paradise Ridge Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc ($5.50). Refreshing acidity with an herbal and citrusy note that cut through the heavy and oily textures of these dishes.

Service was attentive and very friendly. I noted that the dinner roll, while blah in taste and texture, was served hot and the butter was soft and room temp, the way they should be. Yet, I’m not sure this is a place that I would return to soon.

Chopin [Sonoma County]
6576 Oakmont Dr.
Santa Rosa


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