Restaurant Review - August 27, 2007 - Joanne

West County Grill - Sebastopol

West County Grill

6948 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol, CA

Visited in July 16, 2007 - Lunch

The project of Jonathan Waxman and Steven Singer, West County Grill is a large, airy restaurant with exposed brick, plywood on the ceiling and wooden tables and chairs. Lot of large prints on the walls give it a NY Warehouse style ambiance. Thus saying, at lunch it was a bright and cheerful spot. It is likely to be exceptionally loud when full as there is little to absorb sound. The kitchen prominently boasts a wood-burning oven and raw oysters on ice are on display.

A blackboard offers today's Fra'Mani salumi line-up. The patio is a pleasant place to sit as well but there are only 6 tables so if you want to sit outside you should make a reservation. There is also lots of bar seating both at the bar and around the kitchen. The menu changes frequently (daily?) and is similar at lunch and dinner. We found the service friendly but flighty. We enjoyed our meal and intend to return soon.

Update December 2007: We've been to dinner three more times and still consider West County Grill a pleasant spot - but it can be expensive at dinner and would be a better choice for lunch.* See Dinner in October notes below.

What we ordered:

Proscuitto di Parma with Cantaloupe
Prosciutto di Parma with Cantaloupe
Hefty slices of sweet ripe melon wrapped with fluffy thinly sliced prosciutto. Not the best ever but certainly a great flavor-start despite the poorly scraped melon which included a seed at the table.

Rucola Salad with Fresh Ricotta and Figs
A rustic salad. The figs were ripe and sweet - one or two more figs or a bit more ricotta would have make this salad better as it was heavier on the wild arugula and lighter on the ricotta/figs. The idea behind it was good.

Pizza Margherita at West County Grill
Pizza Margherita: Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil

The sauce was very different - almost a smokey flavor to it. Not sure if I like it or not. The tomatoes that topped the pizza were added after cooking to keep it from getting soggy. Too bad they seemed pretty standard grade tomatoes with little taste (and tomatoes are in-season!) The crust was nice!

Salmon at West County Grill
Catch of the Day: Local Salmon

Boasting that it was locally caught, it was very good. Jack would happily go back and have this dish again.

JW's Chicken & Fries at West County Grill
JW's Chicken & Fries: Grilled Fulton Valley Chicken with Fries and Wild Watercress

Very juicy and tender. Good flavor. The fries
weren't quite perfectly crisp but they were good quality and easy to eat. The watercress was lovely. (Not excited it was Fulton Valley.)

Interior at West County Grill

2005 Jermann Vinnae
2005 Jermann Vinnae (Ribolla) - didn't show that well, but a recent taste elsewhere shows this wine is really quite good.

The wine list is good enough that you don't need to bring your own wine.

Sparkling water offered is Calistoga in single serve bottles.

Wines by the Glass List at West County Grill

West County Grill Dinner Menu

Menu at West County Grill

*An October Dinner 2007:
Fritto Misto of Summer Vegetables
Really fun. Lots of squash, onion and red pepper. Coating was light and aioli just a bit spicy. Very nice.

County Line Lettuces
Beautiful greens. Not much more to say.

Once again failed to impress me. The toppings were tiny bits, making the texture err on the wrong side of pleasant. It's just not right.

Lamb Entree Special
Really good.

Chocolate Almond Cake
A lot of almond to chocolate. Jack and Trent really liked it. I thought it was a bit over-board on the almond.

Bread Pudding
A bit too dry for my taste. The bread had not had enough custard with it and, it needed a wet element, like whipped cream, sauce or ice cream, to carry it.

Note: West County Grill Closed August 4, 2008

September 30, 2007 - Joanne

Niloufer Ichaporia King in the kitchen at West County Grill

West County Grill
Special Dinner:
The Flavors of Bombay with
Niloufer Ichaporia King
Kitchen at West County Grill
It was fantastic to see a kitchen in such excitement to cook something completely off their usual menu. My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking by Niloufer Ichaporia KingThe author, Niloufer Ichaporia King, was in the kitchen at West County Grill. She also found time to visit almost every table, chatting and sitting at times.

The inspiration for this dinner, was the release of her new cookbook: My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking. It is the first book published in the United States on Parsi food written by a Parsi. We can't wait to recreate those cashews!

Watermelon Radish at A Bombay Dinner at West County  Grill
Amuse: toasted papads,watermelon radish pickles, cashews with ajwain
Loved the lime juice and salt on the watermelon radish.

Cashews at West County Grill's Bombay Dinner
The cashews had just enough spiciness to make them evolve into a new experience. Jack asked for some to go - and he doesn't like cashews.

Crispy Papads at West County Grill's Bombay Dinner
The papads were good - crispy and spicy.

Chickpea flour coated vegetables at A Bombay Dinner including Ajawin Leaf
Bhajjias and Kachi Keri ni Chatni: fried farmers' market vegetables in chickpea flour with fresh green mango chutney
The chickpea flour made the coating crunchy and it was nice to see seasonal vegetables (including baby eggplant), as well as a mild fresh cheese, and the plate included coated and fried ajawain leaves (a nice touch!). The green mango was really good on its own, but the fried pieces didn't need it, as they were great on their own. I hated to send the green mango away.

Shrimp and Tilapia at West County Grill's A Bombay Dinner
Khari Machhi: talapia, shrimp and mussels in tomato and cilantro broth with basmati rice
The shrimp and shellfish were perfectly done and the broth and rice were wonderful. The tilapia was a bit overdone and a bland, main element. Enjoyable overall.

Lamb at A Bombay Dinner at West County Grill
Bhujelu Gos: twice cooked lamb shoulder with firoza's khichri, roasted pumpkin crescents with curry leaves and kale with seared ginger
Wonderful flavor. I adored the pumpkin crescents, which were soft and slightly caramelized. The mashed potatoes with caraway was a surprise and a subtle nice accompaniment. The lamb was served dry and the only thing that might have improved it would have been a light dipping sauce. The spinach was fresh and well cooked.
Salad at West County Grill's Bombay Dinner - with Pomegranite and Asian Pear
Watercress Salad: with asian pears, pomegranite seeds and green coriander vinaigrette
The watercress was fresh and crisp but could have been separated to make it easier to eat. The addition of asian pear and pomegranite was visually lovely, and the dressing was light enough to hold it together and offset the watercress (but still be a subtle complement). It was a weird finish to an Indian meal for us... it seemed like a California salad.

Ice Cream Sandwich at A Bombay Dinner
Jardalu Ice Cream Sandwiches
We liked the elements but, all-combined, everything was too subtle and there was no star. The ice cream needed more punch or the cookie more flavor. The good part was that it was not too sweet which was really nice. I loved the poached date.

Special Menu

Special Wine List

Wines we chose:
2005 Brundlmayer Zobinger Heiligenstein Riesling 2005 Schloss Gobelsburg Riesling Urgestein
2005 Brundlmayer Zobinger Heiligenstein Riesling

2005 Schloss Gobelsburg Urgestein Riesling

We also chose a glass from the special wine flight: a 2005 Juan Gil Monastrell Jumilla, for the lamb course. The two whites were both wonderful with the other courses and even the lamb.

Interior at West county Grill

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