New Revibe Café and Scoop Bar in Sebastopol
For all the inventive restaurants in Sonoma County, the new Revibe Café & Scoop Bar has to be one of the most unique. It’s a combination of a Caribbean tapas eatery, a Jamaican beer and tonic bar, a live island music lounge, and from-scratch ice cream parlor.
The work of former New Yorker Will Abrams and CIA-trained chef Anthony Walters of Kingston, Jamaica, it offers Spanish, African, British, Chinese, East Indian and Rastafarian cooking, all in a mash-up of mouthwatering fare like West Island flatbread, jerk chicken kebabs, fried dumplings, and Caribbean jackfruit ice cream.
A party? You bet. It feels island-y from the get-go, in a setting of bright red walls and a lemon yellow ceiling in the bar. A curved metal Quonset hut roof in the dining room opens up the dark wood trimmed space, while plain wood tables and coffee shop style chairs bring a casual mood.
For anyone not familiar with Jamaican food, the Revibe website offers a helpful history. Just one gem to noodle over: “Spanish and West African Influence - The Spanish arrived in 1509 and drove out the Native Arawaks who were the original inhabitants of the island.
Many Slaves arrived with the Spanish who brought their spices, recipes and culinary techniques from West Africa. Additionally, the Spanish Jews contributed their unique dishes including escoveitch fish.”
The end result is a menu tempting with plates like Saba’s signature curried goat, an authentic, savory morsel of crisp filo stuffed with braised meat, potatoes, and spicy brown gravy.
Vegetable patties bring a blend of highly seasoned mushroom, peas, broccoli rabe, callaloo greens, carrot, peppers and cabbage, while Ital stew is a traditional Rastafarian vegan casserole stocked with vegetables, grains, spinners (Caribbean dumplings), herbs and spices slow cooked in coconut cream.
For meat and seafood eaters, specialties include smoked pulled pork roti in mild jerk sauce with a triple cheese mix and julienne pickled slaw all wrapped in roti (flatbread), or marinated skewered shrimp with garlic and fruit oil atop grains.
To drink, it’s Red Stripe Jamaican beer, naturally.