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Petaluma
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Dempsey's Restaurant & Brewery  - Organic Food and Fresh Brews
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Dempsey's Restaurant & Brewery  - Organic Food and Fresh Brews

 

The road to Dempsey's Restaurant is paved with a river, a bridge and the intoxicating scent of the grill that wafts into the waterfront path connecting shoppers from the Petaluma Mill with a hearty meal and crafted ale.

When we found the restaurant through a recommendation at the Petaluma Visitors Center, we followed the nice lady's advice and drove into an assuming shopping center where you'd never expect to find such a special restaurant.  The food served isn't just tasty or fresh....it's the best.

 

Owners Peter and Bernadette Burrell purchased Red Rooster, a small organic farm on the west end of town to supply their restaurant meals with the produce they prefer.  As a result, everything actually tastes better to the point of spoiling guests who not only become accustomed to the healthy faire, but actually find it tastes better than processed foods that contain preservatives and flavor enhancers. 

We chose a seat on the shaded patio that overlooks the bridge and Petaluma River so we could soak in the mellow weather and ambience this northern California city (once known as the egg capital), provided us on a tour of the region north of San Francisco. 

 

Oh, the good life! Great food, wine country and at Dempsey's a bit of the ale to whet your thirst. In great Irish tradition, you can enjoy the crafted brews that owner/brewmaster Peter Burrell creates in his ales, stouts and bocks. So popular is this long-time brewmaster's menu of beer selections that we watched in amazement as people (mostly men) walked up to the restaurant with their big glass 1/2 gallon growlers. "Fill'er up!" said one guy that road in on a bicycle with a huge carrying rack on the back. It looked like rush hour at a San Francisco gas station as people filtered in and out during our meal, bringing in the jugs for gourmet beer.

 

Finally the salads and meals arrived to our table and were we delighted! The greens were so fresh, so clean and right out of the field. You could pack your bags and move to Petaluma just to dine on Dempsey's great salads. Gourmet restaurants around this region and south of San Francisco in Carmel and Monterey buy from farms where the produce is specially grown and goes to the table within a day or two. Many of the chefs such as Dempsey's Bernadette like to grow some of their own spices and greens to infuse their meals with their own TLC. Potatoes, herbs, arugula and mizuna, chard, escarole, beets, baby carrots, baby lettuces and 17 varieties of tomatoes are cited as some of the produce grown at the Red Rooster Farm and served in chutneys and sauces at Dempsey's. A 12-month growing season makes the menu especially exciting when autumn comes around and you find squash & pumpkin soups and even desserts on the menu.

The roasted chicken served with garlic mash potatoes was fire roasted and again, tasted fresh and simple.  While the recipes that are created by Chef Bernadette Burrell change often, her expertise is in flavor & fresh. The chicken did not drown in sauce. It also lacked grease, though it was moist and tasty. 

 

For a luncheon snack, we didn't want any dessert, as we were needed to hit the road and find our way to the Sonoma Coast before dark & fog set in.

 

If you happen to be passing along Highway 101 not far from cities such as Santa Rosa, when you see Petaluma's unique road sign, veer off for a bite, a meal or brew. Dempsey's is waiting, and if there's a wait in line, it's worth it.

Location: Dempsey’s Restaurant & Brewery, 50 E. Washington St., Petaluma, CA Call: (707) 765 -9694. You'll find Dempsey's in historic downtown Petaluma approx. a mile west of Interstate 101, in the Golden Eagle Shopping Center. Take Washington Street exit and head toward downtown Petaluma.
 

 
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