Restaurants & Bars

Review of Central Market, Petaluma: longish

Kim Cooper | Jul 24, 200505:41 PM     1

Having occasion to be in Petaluma on Saturday at 7:15 A.M., we arrived on Friday evening. After checking into the Motel 6, we drove around downtown to check it out. After seeing that the Pizza place had a forty-five minute wait, we walked across the street to Central Market and looked at their menu.
The menu looked good, so we asked how long a wait for the two of us. The hostess said, “Ten minutes”, and then mumbled under her breath, “or fifteen.” We said OK and went outside to sit on the bench and look at the menu. Twenty minutes later we checked in with the person at the podium, who said we were waiting for a couple to leave, she thought they would be gone already, they had paid but were just sitting. The couple she indicated were indeed just sitting – not even in conversation. It had to be soon. But she didn’t smile.
A while later I saw the hostess seat a pair of people, and I looked at her questioningly, and she said she had to honor her reservations first. She didn’t smile though.
We checked out a couple of other restaurants nearby. We finally got seated forty minutes after the original “Ten minutes”. We were hungry and worried about the hour because of needing to get up so early. “This had better be good!” we mumbled to ourselves. It was.
We ordered immediately, since we had had so long with the menu. Our waitress was very cheerful and upbeat. She was ok with it when we said we share everything and just ordered one salad, one main course and one side dish.
We started with Salad of butter lettuce, smoked trout, Fuji apples, and cranberries with creamy mustard seed dressing. $8.75
It was great; the combination of tastes was wonderful and the dressing was well balanced. We did have to cut up the lettuce smaller, but that’s true everywhere these days.
For our main course we had House Cured Double Cut Pork Chop with roasted organic peaches and Swiss chard. $21.00
The pork tasted great but was a tiny bit tough. The roasted peach was strongly peach flavored -- mmmmmmmm. The hit was the Swiss chard – we weren’t’ sure what it was seasoned with, and when we asked she said it varies according to the chef’s mood, but was always good. I think there was some fennel or tarragon in it; wonderful. The plate also had some beans on it – very nice in the juices from everything else.
We also ordered Garnet Yam and Cippolinni onion gratin with Hazelnuts. $4.50
This was very tasty also – cooked and not overcooked, slightly sweet but not too sweet, nutty, slightly oniony – perfect, and just right with everything else.
For dessert we had a bowl of decaf mocha and a galette. The waitress remembered to ask to be sure if we wanted just one mocha. The menu said warm apple and blueberry galette with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. When it came, it was all that except strawberries instead of blueberries. It was the perfect ending to a delightful dinner.
We even told them on the way out that it was worth the wait. The hostess finally smiled.

Total bill was under $50 before tip. I think $46.

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