Eastside Road, May 5, 2011—YES, THE LIST of restaurant visits continues to grow; it's embarrassing, but apparently can't be helped. Today was complicated by the necessity to attend a business lunch, full of fascinating conversation I'm not yet ready to reveal, and nourished by a nice fresh green salad and a good-sized bowl of mussels in Pernod-flavored milky broth. I doubt the mussels were local, but they are surely sustainable, and not a one refused to cooperate with my stickyfingered assault.
Rosé• French Garden, 8050 Bodega Avenue, Sebastopol, California; 707-824-2030
Dinner with a couple of old friends at a hangout they proposed, a burger joint in fact — the American equivalent of a French bistro, I suppose. While others had more-or-less conventional hamburgers, I opted for the "lamburger," ground lamb on a bun, the usual hamburger garnish (lettuce, raw onion, tomato slice, pickle slices) and an odd south-of-the-border "aioli," flavored with cayenne as well as the obligatory garlic; and nice french-fried potatoes. It was huge, this sandwich was, and rather chewy; and it took me back to the days early in our marriage, fifty years ago, when we bought ground lamb for 25 cents a pound at the Blue and Gold Market on Berkeley's Shattuck Avenue, and broiled it and ate it with a little mint sauce.
Zinfandel• Carmen's Burger Bar , 1612 Terrace Way, Santa Rosa; (707) 579-3663