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This year Rocker Oysterfeller's in Valley Ford offered one of the best deals for Sonoma County Restaurant Week. Three-courses from the regular menu, including a choice of three different entrees, for $29. With Mardi Gras ahead, the NOLA-inflected menu was appealing. A friend and I headed there last weekend for a first visit for either of us.
Arriving a bit early, I indulged in a very good Sazerac in the busy Saloon. Both of us started with the Chicken and Andouille Gumbo. Unfortunately, the dark roux went beyond to burnt with a telltale acrid bitter note in the background.
Of the two entrees, my friend's fried chicken bested my order of shrimp and grits. A thick crunchy coating and the juicy dark meat of the drumstick won me over even though I disliked the bitter (again!) IPA-caraway gravy. My grits were undercooked with a hard sandy texture and not hydrated enough leaving them with a raw taste. Tasty Creole sauce on the overcooked shrimp and the good collard greens could not quite make up for those missteps.
Dessert took an upturn. We liked the fried-to-order beignets for their chewy personality and orange marmalade. The S'more pot de creme incorporated the defining flavors of the childhood campground favorite as a milk chocolate and cinnamon-y cream topped with brulee'd marshmallow fluff and a square of graham cracker.
While the food was uneven, the price was right for homestyle comfort food rather than finessed restaurant creations. The cozy room and warm service would draw me back, but with lowered expectations of the kitchen.
14415 Highway 1
Valley Ford CA, 94972
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