Kathleen Hill: Hello Noodle Spring; farewell Cafe Citti

Noodle Spring opens next Thursday

Girl & the Fig owner Sondra Bernstein’s long-awaited Noodle Spring opens Thursday, Oct. 22 at the West Spain Street door of the Girl & the Fig. Something for everyone at good prices.

Ramens are all $16 and range from Cloudy Day with pork belly, bok choy, purple daikon radish, seaweed, and a 6-minute egg to Spicy Tan Tan with chili broth, spicy ground pork, charred cabbage, daikon sprouts, scallions and seaweed, or coconut curry with fried tofu, enoki mushrooms, bok choy, negi, and a 6-minute egg (vegan with no egg).

Also watch for edamame, Sunomo salad of cucumbers, red onion, seaweed, and toasted sesame, crispy Brussels sprouts, spicy long beans, Yellowfin poke salad, duck fried rice, sticky riblets, pork meatballs, crispy chicken wings or chicken salad, Karaage chicken with sesame, scallions and sauce, fried chicken sandwich or lacquered chicken, which is a half chicken with lap cheong fried rice, scallions, and sesame seeds ($7 to $22). Also sake, wine, beer, and cocktails available.

Ramen out the side door daily for takeout only, noon to 8 p.m.

Reel & Brand Oktoberfest Saturday

Reel & Brand managing partner Kevin Kress offers a special Oktoberfest celebration Saturday, Oct. 17 for which you can either order and pickup or dine-in on their large patio with a sausage platter with pale ale bratwurst and smoked bratwurst, German style mustard dips, sauerkraut and giant pretzels as well as beer specials. $16. 1 to 5 p.m. 401 Grove St., Sonoma. 938-7204.

Café Citti closes and moves

Luca and Linda Citti announced via Facebook that they are closing their Kenwood restaurant and moving to what used to be Whole Pie next to Hank’s Creekside on 4th Street in Santa Rosa.

A combination of forces out of the Cittis’ control led to this move: the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent requirements that they serve outside only; two fires, including the recent Glass fire that burned parts of Kenwood; frequent PG&E shut offs and rolling blackouts; and their landlord’s interest in repairing the building Café Citti has occupied for 30 years.

No one seemed to care that the front stairs were uneven, or that the floor creaked a little, or that you had to order at the counter and wait for food to be brought to your table. Guests represented a wide range of local ranchers, vineyardists, second-homers and old-timers.

It was all worth it. Everyone who stopped by on their way back and forth between Sonoma and Santa Rosa had their favorites. Pastas, special sandwiches, that garlicky Caesar salad or the classic roast chicken.

Even Guy Fieri and his wife used to drop in for a chicken to take home for dinner, and Jerry and I often planned a break there before or after teaching an Osher Lifelong Learning class at Oakmont.

So the Cittis are taking advantage of the big changes and deleting their restaurant service and switching to takeout only at their new location in Santa Rosa.

Sonoma residents will miss the frequency of visits and tastes they remember of Café Citti, but I will never forget the experience of watching as Guy Fieri and crew filmed the Café Citti segment for his “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” for the Food Network. New address: 2792 4th St., Santa Rosa.

Ernie’s Tin Barn reopens with some food

Ernie’s Tin Barn has reopened and partnered with Taqueria Cancun and Pig In The Pickle to provide food to go with what they call “some of the best craft beer this side of the Golden Gate.” Call the bar at 762-2075 daily from 2 to 7 p.m. for reservations for limited outside tables. No dogs. 5100 Lakeville Highway, Petaluma.

Suite D Garage Sale

Sondra Bernstein is having a garage and garden sale at her Suite D this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 17 and 18, something she has been planning for three years. Just cleaning out lots of excess miscellaneous stuff. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. Cash only. 21800 Schellville Road, Sonoma. Wear a mask, she says.

Korean short ribs and bottomless pinot noir

You read it right.

Ed Metcalfe, who lost all of his “product” in Skyhawk in the power shutoffs during recent fires, rises again at Seamus winery’s lounge in Kenwood on Friday, Oct. 23.

Metcalfe will offer his favored “Korean style” sticky ribs with steamed rice and Asian slaw at the Séamus Winery’s Tasting Lounge in Kenwood, along with “bottomless pinot noir.” His vegan option will be Asian kale salad with marinated tofu, a soft boiled egg, couscous and slivered almonds with creamy miso dressing.

Seamus Winery invites you to “Spin some vinyl, hang with friends on cozy furniture and use the space as it is meant to be – as a lounge – not your typical tasting room. $50 to $55. Tickets via 8910 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood. 573-7277.

Skipping Halloween?

Many of us and our kids will miss the fun and fantasies of Halloween along with school parades, parties, costume parades around Sonoma Plaza, trick-or-treating in stores, and trick-or-treating to people’s homes.

What will everyone do for their sugar highs? Or have we gotten over those yet?

Maybe family parades around the block, banging pots and pans, or dressing your pet up to go along.

Is anyone putting out candy? Putting out spooky decorations or lights?

All of that has been on store shelves for ages, with Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff already trying to crowd out Halloween.

Film Festival Halloween drive-in movies

Sonoma International Film Festival will host a Halloween Drive-In double feature at Sonoma Skypark on Friday, Oct. 30.

Brace yourselves for “Monsters, Inc.” and “The Addams Family.” There will also be a costume contest if you dare.

Bring your own food, although Taub Family Outpost will sell you some of their favorites curbside downtown to take with you to the drive-in, including popcorn with garlic, butter and anchovies; a treat kit with popcorn, chocolate chip cookie, a brownie and strawberries; fried chicken with potato salad; pizza, roasted beet salad, a Cubano sandwich, or farro salad ($15 to $20). Entry at 5 p.m. Movies $60 per vehicle (no RVs). Accessible restrooms available.

Thanksgiving to go?

Bright and early on Oct. 1 I received an email offering El Dorado Kitchen’s “Thanksgiving Takeaway Feast.” Girl & the Fig was next up.

Most restaurants had not thought this far ahead, and who can blame them? With another “high fire danger week” predicted for this week, and not knowing if they would be able to have customers dine in or out or everywhere or nowhere.

And families are wondering too. Can we get together? If so how and where? How many of us is safe?

Can we barbecue our turkeys or salmon or squashes outside (which I love to do) or will it actually rain, which is not in the long range forecast.

Both of these offerings are presumed to be curbside or just plain pickup to go according to current Sonoma County regulations.

Here is EDK’s Thanksgiving menu.

The first course will be mixed greens with apples, beets, Cotija cheese, pickled red onions, pepitas, and sherry vinaigrette. For the second course you have a choice of roasted free-range turkey with potato purée, brioche stuffing, Brussels sprouts, sage gravy, and cranberry compote or salmon with all of the same sides. And finally apple cranberry crumble, oat streusel, and vanilla ice cream. $65. Order at 996-3030. 405 First St. W., Sonoma.

The Girl & the Fig: Owners Sondra Bernstein and John Toulze offer dinners for two with leftovers or dinner for four, all for takeout as well.

Three choices include roasted turkey breast confit with cornbread pudding, glazed fall squash, mashed potatoes and gravy, and cranberry relish or cedar plank salmon with roasted carrots, braised greens, mashed yams with candied walnuts, and a kale and Brussels sprouts Caesar salad. (Each $120). The vegetarian option includes wild mushroom and sunchoke ragout, roasted carrots, braised greens, mashed yams with candied walnuts, and the kale and Brussels sprouts Caesar.

They also offer whole pumpkin or apple pie ($28), sea salt chocolate chunk cookies, butterscotch pot de crème, or pumpkin cheesecake ($7.50 to $12), a Thanksgiving three-bottle wine pack ($100), and cocktails for four ($25 to $30). Order before Nov. 22. Orders can be picked up at the Girl & the Fig in Sonoma or at the Fig Café in Glen Ellen on Wednesday, Nov. 25 noon to 7 p.m. or Thursday, Nov. 26 from 8 a.m. to noon.

Annadel Estate Winery sold

Abigail and Dean Bordigioni have sold Annadel Estate Winery, a deal that was completed just before the fires of 2020.

The Bordigionis kept the Bordigioni Family Winery and Big Pink brands and have plenty of wine to sell.

In phone conversations from the family’s new home in Waimea, on the island of Hawaii, Dean Bordigioni said the whole thing is sad, but they are happy and their kids are happy and attending school in person every day.

Why was it all sad? Several reasons.

Most of the time they lived at and developed Annadel Estate Winery they spent working to get permits to do various things, from growing and selling flowers to making and selling wine. Earlier fires dodged or barely singed their property, but the Glass fire was physically and emotionally draining, even though they had already moved to Hawaii.

This time the property lost a couple of barns, and not empty ones. In one barn they had stored two containers of Abigail’s family memorabilia and antiques, some dating from the 1700s. One of those containers to be shipped in November to their new home had most of Dean’s classic motorcycles collected since he was a Harley-Davidson dealer, including his famous 1914 Harley-Davidson “single cylinder, single speed belt drive.”

That container and all of his motorcycles were destroyed by September’s Glass fire, but he has hopes that the bike he rides in the Motorcycle Cannonball race might, just possibly, be saved and restored. Fortunately, this year’s Cannonball, the most difficult endurance race across the U.S., has been postponed to 2021. Just remember that Dean is the defending champion of that cross country race having won in 2018.

“We are all so happy here where we have been coming for 11 years to the same area. We loved our farm, but here we live in a neighborhood and the kids got on their bikes immediately and made friends right away. And our house is half the size of our Kenwood house.”

Lots of us will miss the Bordigionis. They both were very involved with Kenwood School where the kids attended and Abi founded three Girl Scout troops of Daisies, Brownies and Junior Girl Scouts who learned about public service, partly by helping Sondra Bernstein and me with our 2017 fire “cookbook raising” and distribution to people who lost their homes and kitchens then.

Many of you know of her Abi’s Farmhouse Kitchen postings. Now she is trying a variety of Spam recipes and learning about how to make the most of Hawaiian vegetables and fruits.

The new owners and residents of the property are Dan Whalen and Katie Honey. Dean said of them, “They are the same age as we were when we started this and they will bring lots of new energy to the property.”

Abi and Dean said, “We always thought if we sold we’d have this great party with our friends, family and wine country colleagues that have been such a part of this journey. COVID killed that like it has too many people in this country. We wanted to celebrate the new owners and introduce them properly.” But that didn’t work out.

In his posting, Dean said, “In closing, Abigail and I want to sincerely thank all of you for your friendship and love. It was a hard decision to sell, but it was the right one for our family. I always felt as a caretaker of this property, not an owner, and I think I did my job. We secured the permits necessary to continue as a winery, and now Dan and Katie can come in and continue the restoration by investing into the old farm house and making Annadel the Grand Old Dame she deserves to be. All the best, god bless and be kind.”

While she looks forward to possibly rejoining NASA with so many of its projects on the Big Island, Abi’s final remark in our most recent conversation from Hawaii on Tuesday was, “It’s all so bittersweet.”

Realtor Mark Stevens posted the selling price as just under $6 million.

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