Acme Burger Opens in Cotati

Carey Sweet

Share this story

Chef Todd Kniess knows the secret to a perfect burger, as served at his new Acme Burger in Cotati. It’s a fresh-ground, ¼ pound seasoned patty grilled to a caramelized exterior and a touch of pink in the middle, for juiciness throughout, a hint of crispness on the edges, and full, beefy flavor.

Interior of Acme restaurant in Cotati.

Set in the former North Light Books and Café in the Oliver’s shopping center, the chef’s eatery blends casual dining with top-notch ingredients, and a true chef’s touch. A real chef, indeed. Kniess studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and worked at high-end spots like the Four-Star Sazerac Restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans, the 5-Diamond Ritz Carlton Hotel in Naples, Florida, and Left Bank in Larkspur. He also owned two restaurants in Berkeley, Bistro Liaison and Le Petit Cochon, before moving to Sonoma County in 2017.

Now, he’s turning his fine dining skills to creating beauty between the buns, stuffing the toasted Franco American Bakery sesame seed sandwiches with goodies like grass-fed Sonoma Mountain Beef Company meat, lettuce, tomato and “awesome” sauce that’s sort of a spicy Thousand Island. Then, he lets us power up the toppings, for add-ons including Swiss, jalapenos, Redwood Hill goat cheese, sautéed mushrooms, applewood smoked bacon and, the bomb, truffle butter.

A variety of food from Acme restaurant in Cotati.

If you’re craving something other than beef, Acme has you covered, too. Choose Willie Bird turkey, a plant-based Impossible Burger slathered in hummus, buttermilk fried or seared chicken breast, an ahi burger with wasabi mayo and pineapple, flash fried Bodega rock cod, or seared pork belly confit capped in a crunchy mix of kale, Brussels sprouts, golden beets, carrots and cabbage slaw.

Next, consider your sides. There are plenty of good, crispy options – shoestring fries, sweet potato fries, Cajun spiced fries, chili cheese fries, tater tots, or thin sliced onion rings.

If there’s someone in your posse who prefers to eat light, you don’t need to leave them at home, either. The Caesar salad can be topped with any of the burger proteins, and there’s a tasty arugula salad scattered in spiced pecans, sliced apples, red grapes and crumbled blue cheese. Add a cup of daily homemade soup, and you’re golden.

Drinks keep the upscale mood going, with local beer and wine from producers like Cooperage, Old Caz, Bear Republic, Rodney Strong, Toad Hallow, and Benziger. And do – DO – get yourself a super delicious organic swirl milkshake.

Details: 550 East Cotati Avenue, Cotati, 707-665-5620.