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The Spinster Sisters

Author: Julie Fadda
November, 2012 Issue

The Spinster Sisters 
401 South A Street
Santa Rosa
(707) 528-7100
California Eclectic
Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun.
Closed Mondays
Small bites and entrées (dinner): $4-$23
Great wine list

 

 

 

Sonoma County is buzzing about The Spinster Sisters, the industrial chic meeting spot in Santa Rosa’s artsy “SOFA” (South of A) district, which offers local, seasonal cuisine with an international twist. The place is headed up by Giovanni Cerrone (wine director; his eclectic list has a nice beer selection, too) and Chef Liza Hinman (formerly of Santi). There’s a large bar with plenty of seating and tables along the room’s exterior. Rotating installations by local artists adorn the walls along with large picture windows.

And you thought it was two unmarried ladies running the place, didn’t you? Guess again. The 1924 building was originally an Italian market, with two sisters, both unmarried, living in apartments upstairs. They were seamstresses, and the symbols on the menu reflect that profession.

The menu is mostly made up of smaller dishes, with only a few “large plates.” There are also “bites” ranging from marinated olives to Thai-style peanuts and cashews, charcuterie and cheeses and assorted “veggies” for sides. Coming up with a plan on this menu is almost as fun as eating what you order. I say almost, because the food is truly inspired, well priced and delicious.

We started with the smoked trout paté, which was a dip served with bagel chips and pickled jalapeño. Spread it onto the crisp bread, put a couple jalapeños on top and, well, yum. We also enjoyed the kimchee and bacon deviled egg (two halves per order)—lots of bacon with the sweet deviled mix was very flavorful.

The house made duck terrine came with grilled bread, olives, mustard, pickled vegetables and fresh greens. A generous serving, this savory dish is plenty for as many as four people to share as an appetizer.

The wilted kale salad had sweet cherry tomatoes, pugliese croutons, creamy Pt. Reyes blue cheese, a deviled egg (no kimchee this time) and plenty of bacon, lightly dressed with mustard vinaigrette. It was kind of like a BLT but in salad form, with added earthiness from the cheese.

Who in their right mind would want to resist our next small plate: sweet corn and coconut fritters? There are five per order, each crisp on the outside and hot and soft inside, served with sriracha aioli (don’t worry, it’s not too hot) for dipping.

The grilled albacore tuna was a large, tasty filet topped with fig and olive tapenade (sweet and salty), seared rare with beluga lentils and cucumbers. Very fresh and tender with great texture play.

For dessert, we went for the “sisters sundae”: dulce de leche (caramel) and vanilla ice cream topped with toasted coconut, banana chips, plenty of hot fudge and whipped cream—a fantastic end to a great meal.

And you thought it was two unmarried ladies running the place, didn’t you? Guess again. The 1924 building was originally an Italian market, with two of five unmarried sisters living in apartments upstairs. They were seamstresses, and the symbols on the menu reflect that profession.

The menu is mostly made up of smaller dishes, with only a few “large plates.” There are also “bites” ranging from marinated olives to Thai-style peanuts and cashews, charcuterie and cheeses and assorted “veggies” for sides. Coming up with a plan on this menu is almost as fun as eating what you order. I say almost, because the food is truly inspired, well priced and delicious.

We started with the smoked trout paté, which was a dip served with bagel chips and pickled jalapeño. Spread it onto the crisp bread, put a couple jalapeños on top and, well, yum. We also enjoyed the kimchee and bacon deviled egg (two halves per order)—lots of bacon with the sweet deviled mix was very flavorful.

The house made duck terrine came with grilled bread, olives, mustard, pickled vegetables and fresh greens. A generous serving, this savory dish is plenty for as many as four people to share as an appetizer.

The wilted kale salad had sweet cherry tomatoes, pugliese croutons, creamy Pt. Reyes blue cheese, a deviled egg (no kimchee this time) and plenty of bacon, lightly dressed with mustard vinaigrette. It was kind of like a BLT but in salad form, with added earthiness from the cheese.

Who in their right mind would want to resist our next small plate: sweet corn and coconut fritters? There are five per order, each crisp on the outside and hot and soft inside, served with sriracha aioli (don’t worry, it’s not too hot) for dipping.

The grilled albacore tuna was a large, tasty filet topped with fig and olive tapenade (sweet and salty), seared rare with beluga lentils and cucumbers. Very fresh and tender with great texture play.

For dessert, we went for the “sisters sundae”: dulce de leche (caramel) and vanilla ice cream topped with toasted coconut, banana chips, plenty of hot fudge and whipped cream—a fantastic end to a great meal.

 

 

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