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Thistle Meats Brings Boutique Butchery to Petaluma

Thistle Meats has opened on Petaluma Boulevard and Washington Street, as a whole-animal butchery focusing on ethically raised and locally sourced meats. And for a guarantee of a most sincere kind, owners and business partners Molly Best and Lisa Mickley Modica personally vet all the aged beef, lamb, pork, and poultry, sourced only from family farms and ranchers they’ve visited and know very well.

In a nod to old-fashioned boutique butcheries, customers can pick up freshly wrapped, prepared meats, such as Magruder Ranch grass fed beef, rabbit crepinettes, and pastured goat from Rossotti Ranch. There’s a salumeria, too, for mortadella, pancetta arrotolata, leek-gruyere sausage, boudin blanc, pates, terrines, and cured meats of all kinds.

But shoppers can also request custom meats and cuts, and see the butcher work in action. To round things out, the cold cases brim with local produce and eggs, plus extras like homemade chicken salad crafted with radish, sautéed carrot, and herbed aioli.

Yet even non-cooks have plenty of reason to celebrate this rustic-chic destination.  It’s a café, as well, offering a sandwich of the day, soups, stews, broths, and what might be heaven on earth: buttermilk lard biscuits.

Recent sandwiches have included a combo of salame cotto, rabbit terrine, cornichon relish, mustard aioli and butter lettuce; beef bologna with Colby Jack, house relish, mayo and butter lettuce on herb focaccia; and Aaron's meatloaf with sautéed carrots, pickled onions, Guinness mustard aioli and fresh greens on housemade focaccia.

And then there are the Friday night supper specials, such as shepherd’s pie stocked with local lamb from Tomales Sheep and Lamb Co., made with love by chef/butcher John Harley Richter.

Heaven on earth, indeed.

Details: Thistle Meats, 160 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma, 707-772-5442, www.thistlemeats.com.

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