With its punitive parking scheme in constant flux and a ringing emptiness to the streets after 6 p.m., downtown has had a tough time attracting, well, anyone. But the downtown area — from the Santa Rosa Plaza stretching east to Super Burger down Fourth Street — suddenly has interesting new places open and planned to open. Keep an eye out for the following spring openings:
- Gerard’s Paella and Tapas (701 Fourth St.): West County chef Gerard Nebesky is bringing the excellent paella that beat Iron Chef’s Bobby Flay, plus Spanish wines, small bites, and a convivial atmosphere.
- The Jade Room (643 Fourth St.): Sift bakery owners Andrea and Jeff Ballus will harken Rat Pack-era Santa Rosa with their enormously necessary downtown wine bar and oyster club.
- The Parish Cafe (703 Fourth St.): The southernmost outlet of this Nawlins kitchen is heading down from Healdsburg with beignets and bloody marys.
For the larger Sonoma County area dining, check out this map of essential restaurants and North Bay breweries.Read More