New Perch and Plow Restaurant in Santa Rosa

An Asian inspired octopus mural commands one wall at the new Perch and Plow restaurant in Santa Rosa.

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New Perch and Plow Restaurant in Santa Rosa

All eyes – and appetites – are on Santa Rosa right now, following the debut of Perch and Plow and its Sonoma County-centric Cal-American cuisine. A project of chef Mike Mullins, it puts a more casual spin on his skills learned at restaurants such as Michelin-starred Cavallo Point, the former Petite Syrah and the former Kenwood Restaurant.

Set on Santa Rosa's historic downtown square, the bright, airy spot is artsy, both in its look and its cooking. An Asian inspired octopus mural commands one wall, overlooking sleek blonde and black wood tables, a bar and open kitchen.

The concept is small plates, in a global format that dances from familiar favorites like ahi poke with ponzu sauce, radish, sesame, avocado and crispy rice chips, to more creative takes such as fish stew of garlic cream sauce studded with clams, mussels celery and potato.

On the meaty side, we can nibble beef carpaccio with aged balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, crispy shallots, capers and aioli, or grilled Hanger Steak with king trumpet mushrooms, pickled carrots, arugula, celery root and chimichurri.

Craving some good bird? There's a fried chicken sandwich dressed with Cole slaw, pickled onion and aioli alongside fries, or – and this sounds extra delicioius – a house roasted turkey dip on ciabatta with melted fontina, aioli and beet pickle.

Happy day, too, prices are quite reasonable, in the $8 to $22 range. Which means cash leftover to splurge on cocktails, like a playful macadamia Mai Tai mix of rhum clement, Pierre Ferrand orange curacao, house made macadamia orgeat and a splash of lime juice. We can thank Alec Vlastnic for the quaffs, who earlier shared his skills at Healdsburg's lauded Spoonbar.

 Details: 900 Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, 707-541-6896,

Carey Sweet