On a recent Peter Greenberg radio show, I chatted with the CBS News travel specialist about what makes dining in Sonoma County so special.
I could have stayed on that topic for hours, but in the few minutes I had, I zeroed in on the new raft of ethnic restaurants we’re enjoying now.
Just one example: Eight Cuisine and Wine, just opened in Sebastopol and so-named since it features food from the eight regions of China, plus Southeast Asian street food of Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan. It’s the work of the former Peking Chef folks that served Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine in Sebastopol for the past two decades.
Set in a sleek décor, this is more modern dining than typical chow fun, though a good version of that Cantonese dish is offered, as is an updated Chinese chow mein tumbled with chicken, beef, pork or vegetables and wheat noodles and sweet onions in ginger-garlic soy sauce.
Sebastopol-ites haven’t seen these kind of dishes before: Singapore Laksa, which is the signature Nyonya street food of Singapore/Malaysia, tossing chicken or prawns with lemongrass, chili, candlenut and kaffir lime leaves in a mild coconut curry base broth atop fresh rice noodles garnished with egg omelet, pineapple, mint, basil and cilantro; or Beijing Pork Chop wok-sautéed in sweet wine sauce.
Some of the more interesting dishes are the anchovies with peanuts bar snack, the fried prawns with sweet potatoes over seaweed, and wok-seared rack of lamb in cumin-coriander rub over homemade noodles.
For nibbling, Quandong-style Ha Gow are irresistible, the steamed pleated prawn dumplings dipped in plum and ginger sauce, while West Lake Beef Soup salutes the Zhejiang Province in silky broth sparked with cilantro and white pepper, and stocked with minced beef, tofu, egg white, mushrooms and scallions.
Details: Eight Cuisine and Wine, 7501 Healdsburg Ave., Sebastopol, 707-823-8189, eightcuisineandwine.com.