If you find yourself anywhere near Petaluma at lunchtime, consider stopping at this charming self-serve cafe that not only sells its famous, chewy, wood-oven baked breads, but makes sandwiches and salads of exceptional provenance using produce from nearby farms. Though the kitchen takes ages to make the food, the wait is worth it.
In early September, the cafe was offering a stunning summer bean salad ($7.50), a still life of slender green beans, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, fresh shell beans andred onion in an aromatic basil-and-lemon dressing. Juicy slices of ripe tomato and fresh goat cheese were layered on house-baked olive oil-brushed ciabatta toast ($11). Della Fattoria’s white pullman toast makes the BLT ($11) with Hobbs’ bacon, just-picked lettuces and ripe local tomatoes, one of the all-time great sandwiches. A counter filled with exemplary eclairs, macaroons, richly frosted mini-cupcakes, pecan buns and chocolate chip cookies beckons for dessert. In the realm of bakery cafes, Della Fattoria ranks at the very top.
Caffe Della Fattoria Bakery and Cafe
141 N. Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma; (707) 763-0161
HALLOWEEN MYSTERY NIGHT AT MAVERICK
Draw a three-course meal paired with three wines out of a jack-o’-lantern. To play, identify, at most, four ingredients on each plate. Additional points will be rewarded for guessing wine varietals. The highest score wins a revelatory bottle of wine. The event is Oct. 31; seatings are at 6 and 8:30 p.m. The cost: $55, or $40 for food only.
Maverick, 3316 17th St., San Francisco; (415) 863-3061;
Patricia Unterman is author of the “San Francisco Food Lovers’ Pocket Guide” and a newsletter, “Unterman on Food.” Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.