News of the Food
By Gretchen Giles
Those who mourned the recent sale of Sebastopol’s country French restaurant Chez Peyo may instead find reason to rejoice. Former Silicon Valley restaurateurs Meekk and Rick Vargas have bought and remodeled the place, reopening it on Wednesday, Feb. 9, in its new incarnation as Bistro V. The former owners of Palo Alto’s vegetarian restaurant, Stoa (about which our sister publication, the Metro San Jose, once declared, “Food so lovely it took our breath away”), the Vargas’ currently have meat and seafood on the menu but are aiming to eventually position Bistro V as a high-end veggie place extraordinaire.
Peyo fans should wipe that tear away, as the Vargas’ have kept the restaurant’s famous French onion soup on the menu while adding savory pear tarts, jumbo Mexican scallops and the innovative salads, eggplant/porcini mushroom crostini and homemade spinach ravioli that had reviewers raving at Stoa. “Please don’t review us too soon,” Meekk begged when we poked a nosy head through the kitchen door last month. “That happened to us in Palo Alto and we were immediately beseiged with customers.” Such problems! Bistro V, 2295 Gravenstein Hwy. S., Sebastopol. At press time, the restaurant doesn’t have a new phone number, but the Chez Peyo line is still accepting messages at 707.823.1262. . . .
The restaurant that overwhelmed reviewers, that deconstructionist puzzler Antidote in Sausalito, has closed its doors. Known for its inscrutable menu (as above) and powdered foodstuffs, Antidote was too hidden and perhaps just plain old too weird for a bayside town that ain’t San Francisco. The demise is mourned . . . .
“Due to circumstances beyond our control,” says the quiet message that picks up when one phones Sonoma Saveur, “we are temporarily closed.” Later, Saveur co-owner Guillermo Gonzalez explained that he and his wife Junny have made the difficult decision to focus on their core business, which is making foie gras from ducks raised on their Stockton ranch. Gonzalez thanks the local community who have been so supportive of his foodstuffs and says simply, “We’re closing this chapter with our heads held high. We’re proud of what we’ve done with Sonoma Saveur.” The Gonzalez’s hope that an individual or a company with “a clear vision” might come in and continue the business. That remains to be seen . . . .
Longtime Santa Rosa favorite Mixx has changed hands, with departing chef-owners Dan and Kathleen Berman inviting regulars to stop by this week to say goodbye. . . .
Going in the other direction, Bodega Bay’s Seaweed Cafe reopens after its traditional monthly winter holiday on Thursday, Feb. 10, with a visit by most marvelous author Andrew Todhunter. A Sea Ranch resident, Todhunter appears at the Seaweed’s fun Writer’s Night to read from and discuss his exhaustive book about just one restaurant dinner, A Meal Observed. Writer’s Night is observed at the Seaweed on the second Thursday of the month from 6pm to 9pm, and the cafe serves a special light tapas menu while guests are regaled with brain food. . . .
From the February 9-15, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.