It’s Tuesday, the second day of what’s going to be a long week of cooking for me. Besides various events we’re holding at the winery, we are finally ramping up our cabernet harvest. That means long hours for the winery crew and extra work for the winery chef to feed the hungry crushers.
Mostly, I cook their lunches myself or wrangle one of the other kitchen staff to pitch in. On this particular day, however, I just didn’t have time, so I searched for some help. I found it at Rocket Sushi and Catering. For the past few months I had noticed a sign on Highway 12 announcing that they were now serving lunch and calling it Rocket Back Door for either take-out or sit-down in the artistic patio.
Rocket Back Door is tucked away in a narrow storefront that connects to the patio and a large kitchen. Here, for nine years, the Heyerly sisters, Liz and Molly, have been creating their vision of a catering/restaurant/take-out spot. Rocket Back Door is open for lunch Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
I loaded up on stellar sandwiches with names such as the Rocket, Space Chick and, my favorite, Atomic Meltdown—grilled cheese with cheddar, Gruyère, roasted onions and tomato on artisan bread. Chef Molly whipped up some soba noodle salad and coleslaw to go with the sandwiches. Liz let me know they were going to start serving breakfast in a few weeks and adding some new things to the lunch menu.
Appearing nightly in the attractive sushi bar at Rocket are the husband-and-wife team Jacob and Camelia Talbart. Jacob has been back behind the sushi bar for a year, after three years in Hawaii with his family. He has clearly stepped up his game. On a recent visit I sat at the bar watching him do his thing and sampled super-fresh Monterey Bay scallop sushi. The sushi bar is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. In a few weeks they are adding a fish market and sashimi take-out on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Rocket is located at 18812 Sonoma Highway, across the road and downhill from Donald Street.
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John McReynolds is culinary director at Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards and Winery and author of “Stone Edge Farm Cookbook.”