Archived in 2022

Originally posted on 11 Dec 2005

Marc visited Petaluma today and we took the opportunity to try Grafitti, a new restaurant along the river walk.

I walk past the place often and browse the menu. It’s always looked promising but I’ve never had a reason to eat there. Usually I’m on my way to or from the gym anyway, which is not a good time to be dining out.

The design of the interior space of the restaurant is very reminiscent of places in San Francisco. It’s decidedly hip without being pretentious. Works by local Petaluma artists feature prominently in the decorations (and all appear to be for sale). We were seated in a booth with walls which seemed to be repurposed bamboo flooring. The look was a good one.

Graffiti had to be a brew pub in order to get a liquor license so they brew two beers on-location. Unfortunately for Marc, neither beer was available today. He’s not much for cocktails, which is a shame considering the very extensive bar they kept on the other side of the restaurant space.

For starters we both chose the “flight of soups.” One small bowl each of cream of artichoke, smoked roma tomato and cream of butternut soups arrived. Each one was a winner, but we agreed that the cream of artichoke stood out as the best of the three. The smoked roma was very good but was a bit heavy on the smoke flavor. At the bottom of that bowl was a tiny ball of mozzarella fresca, which was a very happy surprise. The butternut was good, despite the heavy hand with the nutmeg, and probably would have been deemed outstanding had it not been in such good company.

The entrees we selected ended up being the most pedestrian things on the menu, but everything looked worth ordering. Marc got a burger with white cheddar. He seemed pleased with it but it was nothing overly special. Just your run-of-the-mill good burger. I did something I never do: ordered a sandwich. It was a brie and apple panini with carmelized onions and baby spinach. Rather than being grilled and pressed like a real panini, this one seemed to be fried in butter. The surfaces of the bread (which I think was focaccia) were crispy and, well, just yummy. The entire sandwich was well worth eating. Marc thought it was perhaps too sweet but I didn’t find it to be so. The melted brie oozed through the sandwich and kept the normally slippery and messy carmelized onions inside the bread rather than falling on my shirt. I could only eat half of the sandwich, so there’s a tasty lunch if my future this week.

We were both stuffed by the time the dessert menu arrived so we opted against placing an order from it. There were a number of interesting items there though, so perhaps sometime I’ll swing by and order a dessert to savor while sitting along the river.

The service was attentive but not overly so such that we wanted them to just go away. At first the wrong soup order was delivered, but it did not take long for them to fix the error. Even better, they left the wrong (cheaper) order on the bill. Bonus.

I very much enjoyed my experience at Graffiti. It’s good to know that once again I can walk a few blocks and get four-star quality food and service.