Kathleen Hill: Noodlespring, Kivelstadt delivery and more

Noodlespring coming to Girl & the Fig

Hundreds of locals, and eventually people from around the Bay Area, quickly became regulars at Sondra Bernstein and John Toulze’s winter Ramen Nights at Suite D on Schellville Road off of Eighth Street East.

That led to Bernstein taking the bait to create Noodlespring, a would-be noodle restaurant (and more) in what was supposed to be a container development in Boyes Hot Springs. She had researched and designed her container with plans and a company in the East Bay.

After more than two years waiting for something to happen with that development, Bernstein cut that bait and withdrew her plan to be part – or even anchor – of that development.

We all know a couple of things for sure: Restaurants are having an especially tough time throughout the country with COVID-19, outdoor spacing and now smoke covering everything here; and Sondra Bernstein likes to think of ways to innovate.

So in time for a season change (if we have more than fire season) she has had another brainstorm: Open Noodlespring in the side door of the Girl & the Fig, which has been where you pick up ready-made sandwiches and those luscious Wicked slushies, which are glorified refreshing snow cones.

As weather cools, slushy demand wanes, and normally Bernstein would open her Wednesday Ramen Nights at Suite D. Under current circumstances though, people can’t sit close together at Suite D so Bernstein and Toulze will serve their ramen delights to go only out of that side door on West Spain Street.

Bottom line, slushies out, ramen and more in, as of sometime in October.

Among the many offerings will be a vegan coconut curry ramen, their fabulous riblets, poke, long green beans, and many more Noodlespring favorites. Ramen will be $16. Girl & the Fig food will be served to go out of the front door. Can hardly wait!

Kivelstadt rebirths dinner delivery service

Jordan Kivelstadt and his crew at their new wine bar and restaurant have again embarked on delivering dinner to your home, or you may pick up dinner yourself at the site of the former Schellville Grill.

Their “Kivelstadt to You” program is available Friday, Saturday and Sunday and free delivery is open to anyone in Sonoma, Agua Caliente and Boyes Hot Springs areas. Just order by 5 p.m. the day before you want to either pick up or receive your dinner.

This weekend’s menu includes some choices: For the main course choose between chicken Provençal with late summer squashes and red wine tomato sauce; cedar-planked Skuna Bay salmon with chimichurri sauce, or a harvest pumpkin and winter squash risotto with goat cheese, pistachio gremolata and pomegranate molasses.

Then you get to choose two side dishes among Gravenstein apple and shaved fennel salad with arugula and Manchego cheese; Sonoma Slaw of cabbage, kale, shaved carrot and radish with apple cider dressing; broccolini with blistered tomato, garlic and chili flakes, or the potato of the week, patatas bravas, which are twice-cooked Russet potatoes with herb aioli,and smoked paprika tomato sauce. The kids’ pasta of the week is tomato basil with mozzarella and cavatappi. $55 for two. Order at and click on Delivery page.

Sonoma Promenade, al Fresco and Saul

While the Girl & the Fig, La Casa, B&V Whiskey Bar & Grille and Sigh seem to be doing quite well serving in Sonoma Plaza, only Plaza Bistro has actually set up their restaurant on weekends on First Street East, and even they seem to have reduced theirs to a few parking places and it looks very presentable like a European café.

Saul Gropman, owner of Café LaHaye, voiced another idea to me. How about closing the first half block of East Napa Street weekend evenings with three restaurants and a few wine bars serving and hanging fun lights from building to building high off the street? Let us know what you think.

Twin Oaks hosts Dine and Donate

Dean Biersch’s Twin Oaks Roadhouse in Penngrove is giving 25 percent of all dine-in or takeout food sales this weekend to rebuild their neighbor’s Palace of Fruit. A car slammed into the green fruit and more market and caught the place on fire last Saturday.

Many Sonomans enjoy the ride to Penngove to find goodies and bargains not available here.

Twin Oaks is a cool historic ranchers’ bar and restaurant on Old Redwood Highway, slicked up somewhat by Biersch and friends. The menu resembles HopMonk Tavern’s both for weekend brunch or all day lunch/dinner. Sample fried Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, buffalo chicken wings, burgers, fish & chips, sliders, baby back ribs, salads, Ruebens, a chicken Philly sandwich, Nashville hot chicken sandwich, tacos, smoked salmon avocado toast, and candied bacon. I just wish they still had the former owner’s shrimp salad sandwich. Nothing over $20. 5745 Old Redwood Highway, Penngrove. 795-5118.

Flatbed Farm update

As the air quality varies and we empathize with our neighbors throughout the western states, we sometimes take “little joy rides” around the Sonoma Valley. One of our destinations might be Flatbed Farm on Highway 12 across from Audubon Canyon Ranch, formerly known as the Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen.

Amie Pfeifer is the chef at Flatbed and says they have loads of offerings at their farmstand such as salad mix, four summer squash varieties, five kinds of cucumbers, daikon radishes, padron, shishito, banana and eight other peppers, cherry and heirloom tomatoes, beets, carrots, onions, garlic, purslane, microgreens, many herbs, eggs, figs, table grapes and pippin apples and quince from Medicine Wheel Orchard.

Pastries available from Cibo Bakery include bacon cheddar scones, berry coffee cake with gluten-free flour, spelt loaf, focaccia, lavash crackers, and granola, all individually packed. They also feature gluten-free doughnuts from Harvey’s Gourmet Donuts. Plus there will be jams and coffee. Usually open Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a “Golden Hour” from 9 to 10 a.m. for seniors and people with health concerns. Air quality could alter their hours. Check Instagram or Facebook for last minute changes. 13450 Highway 12, Glen Ellen.

Fairmont Football Thursdays? Really?

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn has just launched its new Touchdown Thursdays. You can watch games on the resort lawns throughout the football season, weather, pandemic and smoke permitting.

According to Michelle Heston of FSMI, they will have 60-inch high-definition TVs appropriately arranged on the front lawn “gridiron.” She suggests you “score a drink” at their “sports bar,” purchase some food at the hotel’s CaliForno Street Eats Food Truck and have a seat to yell and scream with permission.

Chef Jared will whip up a few extras to add to the menu of Parmesan truffle fries, grilled garlic prawns, Black Mission fig and ricotta toast with Marcona almonds, radicchio and burrata salad, green grilled cheese with pesto, avocado, spinach, gruyere, and brie sandwich, fried chicken sliders with cole slaw, local cheese selections, strawberry shortcake, and fancy s’mores after dusk ($10 to $18). No reservations required. While there is some FSMI seating, you may also bring your own folding chairs. From 5:30 p.m.

CDC, COVID-19 and restaurants

According to the San Francisco Chronicle and National Restaurant news, in a month-long investigation completed in July, the Center for Disease Control analyzed symptomatic outpatients from 11 U.S. health care facilities and found that adults who became infected with COVID-19 had reported dining at indoor or outdoor restaurants two weeks before getting sick.

“Adults with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results were approximately twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than were those with negative SARS-CoV-2 test results,” the Chronicle reported. “The more an individual interacts with others, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.”

The CDC also lists the types of food service that carry the greatest risk of contact with the virus:

• Lowest Risk: Food service limited to drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curb-side pickup.

• More Risk: Drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curb-side pickup emphasized. On-site dining limited to outdoor seating. Seating capacity reduced to allow tables to be spaced at least 6 feet apart.

• Even More Risk: On-site dining with both indoor and outdoor seating. Seating capacity reduced to allow tables to be spaced at least 6 feet apart.

• Highest Risk: On-site dining with both indoor and outdoor seating. Seating capacity not reduced and tables not spaced at least 6 feet apart.

Sonoma Cheese Factory nostalgia

Upon the sale by his sisters of his family’s Sonoma Cheese Factory to Stacy and Ken Mattson, David Viviani sent me this wonderfully historic and local nostalgic email:

“I remember well your Dad. He was part of the ‘Senior Tribal Coffee Council’ most mornings at the SCF store. He was always proud when you would come to visit him there. There were as many as two dozen revolving characters, all with their stories to tell. Skinny Nick, who was a WWII prisoner in Italy, No Neck Ski (character bartender at the El Dorado), school principal Chet Sharek, Colonel John Stewart, Swiss Hotel chef Freddy Wing, former city council member Frank "The Barber” Thebeau, who had the pig farm on the east side, Sam Shainsky of the chicken/egg family, Al Torrieri of the Vagabonds fame and his cohorts, Harry Guardino, Pete Kniggo of Wonder Bread and Sonoma High classmate of Pete (Viviani) along with George Wilson, who ran my father’s successful campaign for SV High Student Body President, and our partner Fred Harland and the unstoppable Gypsy Boots. So many stories, tales and jokes were told. Al Torrieri arranged visits by Patti Page, Frankie Lane, Vic Damone. Others included Tommy Smothers, 49ers Bob St. Clair and Dwight Clark, really too many VIPs to list.”

But what a start.

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