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Taps: 6 / Bottles: 6
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
96 Old Courthouse Sq
phone: (707) 573-9600
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 37
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Ben drove back to the hotel, roused the Bethy, and the 2 of them walked back to some place for din they talked good on just a few blocks shy of here. Wasn’t so much waiting on the call, but trying to keep track of time so I’d know when to set out to meet them. Probs was, I was going to have to give up my mint seat at the bar to do so and they don’t come so easy at Russian River. Tough one, but these things you do for friends and food; I finished my ‘tion’ and got up and just walked away...
On the green, seemingly upscalier than I am on a good or any day; through the out front pen umbrella’d up and in. It’s a pretty big room, it is. Stucco beige walls uppers done with landscape prints and framed mirrorings, burgundy ceiling with blended ductwork, yellowy center columns, down, well, the center, with alternating buttercup drop lighting, and seemingly blueish carpetings. 3 dozen tables about in all, not so much sectioned off as riddled about; standalone and some on beigey leather seating on the stucco walls, below mounted upright bell lamps. And most of it to the rear as the room opens up, but there’s some up front amidst an oddly placed fireplace there.
“C” shaped bar to the left pleasantly tea candle lit with something glowy underside otherwise, and seating for a dozen on non-backed stoolings. Barback holds a center mirror on a wood unit, with wine shelved atop and to both sides over a coffee thing and baby oven. A smaller wood shelving unit with wine sits to the left side. Track spots and a single spinny fan over the bar for ‘cool off, man!’
6 taps, and they’re all from Mr. Moonlight; Death & Taxes Black Beer, Bombay By Bay IPA, Lunatic Lager, Special (Brown Ale), Twist Of Fate Bitter, Reality Czeck Pils. It’s said that this place is the unofficial brewpub on Moonlight, and that Brian Hunt’s amazing beers are the only thing they pour. I am sooo good with that. Drank the Death & Taxes Black Beer because it pairs well with life. Apparently, they have a small bottle list I’m disinterested in looking in on now or when, ‘cause did I mention there were 6, count ‘em, 6, beers from Moonlight on? And a wine list with about 6 dozen entries.
Foodings are apparently good Italian, and a variety of other things. They started with the organic spinach salad (caramelized onions, bacon, organic pear & local goat cheese) and the sauteed Dungeness Crab Cake (basil aioli & crispy shoe strings yams of total win), while I opted for the smoked salmon pizzetta, overlooking the capers; dysfunctional family to dirty olives twice unsuccessfully removed. The pizzetta was quite perfectly what I needed, and the crab cake did not suck. Didn’t get at the spinach salad but it looked most handsome.
As we’d gorged ourselves on meat, cheese & bread earlier, we then decided to split 2 entrees between the 3 of us; they being the Martin’s Ragu (boscaiola meat sauce with porcini & red wine, pasta ribbons), and the prawn pasta (slivered garlic, sweet basil, white wine, pomodoro, cream). I was thinking this was going to be awesome, and was correct, as usual.
And dessert for the fuck of it (because we could). Thought the black & white bomba (choc & vanilla gelato espresso, whipped cream, nuts) would be in order, as we saw it constructed earlier, barside. Oh, and a double espresso would be lovely, yes, thank you. And the crème brulee for Bethy, and a chai tea, too.
Good crowd, comfortable house. Must be that special place you go do dinner ‘cause I’ve heard ‘Happy Birthday’ sung here 3 times here tonight. The food was real goddamn good, and the beer, well it is the unofficial Moonlight brewpub. I am most happy here. I must note at this point how awesome Ben is at organizing vacations and procuring tables at bars. Wait! I said that?
06-12-2012 14:40:16 |
More by slander
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Stopped in here for the expressed purpose of sampling the Moonlight lineup, and wasn't disappointed. Delivering kegs that day was none other than Brian from Moonlight Brewing, and it was great to meet and talk with him for a little while.
Tried Death & Taxes, Reality Czech, and Homegrown, and also sampled a couple small plates off the menu. The beer was the highlight, though the food was good too.
Flavor was a fairly large place, and pretty dead during the early afternoon. yellow gold stucco, red painted wood trim, carpet, and paintings hanging around the dining room. Upscale, sort of trendy but a little dated.
Service was quick at first, then they disappeared. It seemed like there were at least 3 different staff serving our table, and there were only a handful of tables occupied. They didn't do draft samplers, but did sell a Moonlight glass which was cool.
It's so close to RR, it would be hard not to stop in here and see what Moonlight seasonal was pouring when walking by. Overall a decent localvore restaurant that happens to sell some really great beers from Moonlight.
10-14-2011 02:59:31 |
More by emerge077
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
After a few brews at Russian River, I took a quick trip back to the Hotel to wash and brush up for the evenings New Years Eve festivities. Heading back into Santa Rosa for the Russian River Big Blue Ball, I first met fellow BA Rapapoda at the Third Street Aleworks for a few brews and then a trip to Flavor Bistro before hitting RRBC again for the NYE Big Blue Ball.
Interior is nicely laid out, a large rectangular room works back from the entrance. A smattering of tables at the front to your immediate left offers an airy view outside through the large windows. The small bar runs off to your left and seats around 8 in reasonable comfort. Working back the last third of the room has a regimental look to it, neatly laid out and furnished. Dark reds, golds, lots of dark woods and some pastel colors all add a warming atmosphere, as does the fireplace that I noted. The interior had a very European feel to it, like a cross between a high end Belgium bar and French Café, with the focus on quality, and with a relaxing but smart comfortable environment.
Principally a restaurant, it thankfully sports a small dark wood bar with a limited number of stools. Up to six different Moonlight brews are on sale at any one time. All the beers I tried here were top-notch, on-form, fresh and of the highest quality. It is noteworthy that the Owner-Brewer of Moonlight personally delivers and ensures the beers quality himself it seems. All of the Moonlight libations are served in rather cool Stange-type cylinders with the Moonlight moniker, which I have not seen before. A small but half-decent bottled beer range which is on display behind the bar is also on offer, but why on Earth anyone would stray from the Moonlights is beyond me!? I had the Death and Taxes as well as the IPA and both were damn tasty, the former holding up well to its legendary status.
I didnt eat here but the Menu was impressive, great prices too, the food I saw was drool worthy. I did however have an Appetizer, we started with a plate of freshly made bread and a dish of virgin Olive Oil with a touch of Balsamic Vinegar (which I think was free gratis), quickly followed by a stunning Pear Bruschetta.
Service was at all times incredibly professional, friendly and attentive. The bar keep was busy with other tasks but always made sure that our Glasses were kept filled.
Despite the excellent food, and equally great wine, this place really is all about the Moonlight brews, but what an establishment to find them in! An environment which is far from pretentious, with a very friendly smart casual feel. I really took to Flavor Bistro from the moment I sat at the bar and sampled my first Death and Taxes here.
I think it is also fair to say that there is definitive 'hidden' synergy between Russian River Brewing Company and Flavor Bistro. They are both without doubt in a completely different league from the other Santa Rosa beery establishments. But with the best will in the World it is hard to get worked up and excited about the fare at Russian River, and as much as it is a pleasure to drink there all day, you may find yourself finding the food a little wanting. So having the ability to pop round the corner (except Sundays when Flavor is closed) to drink a solid range of up to 6 Moonlight brews whilst enjoying a reasonably priced high quality meal is a real bonus. Then afterwards you can go back to RRBC to finish the night in style.
What I also really enjoy about Flavor Bistro is the way that Beer and Wine complement each other here, now that is very cultured indeed. THE place to drink Moonlight.
Last Visit: Saturday 31st December, 2005 and Monday 2nd January, 2006.
01-09-2006 01:53:47 |
More by TheLongBeachBum
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
In some ways, this place reminds me of Higgins in Portland. Like Higgins, it's a fine local Santa Rosa restaurant, that just happens to have a nice selection of bottled beers and 5 or 6 beers on draft from Moonlight brewing. The atmosphere is fairly informal and laid back, and the dining room is large and airy. It has warm colors of gold and wood, and there is a good size bar area off to the left when you walk in. Although the beer list is not huge, what they have is excellent and well thought out. There is also an impressive wine list here, should you prefer wine to beer with your meal. Table service was fine for what it was. Didn't have to wait overly long for anything, and I would describe service here as polite and restrained. As for food, I just had lunch here, but what we had was very, very good. This is clearly a place that takes its food pretty seriously.
A very solid place and a good alternative should you be tired of the cuisine and beer at Russian River (it's no more then a block away). That's hard to imagine, I'll admit, but I guess if you live in Santa Rosa it could happen. Impressive.
01-28-2009 02:24:27 |
More by johnmichaelsen
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This is Moonlights tap house n downtown santa rosa. The small downtown area of Santa Rosa is easy to navigate on foot and contains this place, russian river, sweetspot, and 3rd street. Nice. The atmosphere here is nice. Upscale and a bit fancy, but not snooty in any way, shape or form. The quality of all of the moonlight beers I sampled was spot on and the servers became friends who than went with me to Russian River after work! Selection is great, 6 killer moonlight brews poured right, in proper glassware. They also have a killer Sonoma wine selection if you are in to that sort of thing, and they serve some wines by the 1/2 glass, which is nice for me since i'm not rich. The Cutrer Pinot Noir is a nice try on the wine front. They also give out free bread with gourmet olive oil and balsamic. A nice touch. Another lovely place in Northern California.
05-10-2005 21:58:05 |
More by francisweizen
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
I stopped by this place on a recent trip to Santa Rosa. I was going to Russian River and some local BAs recommended this place to me because of their access to Moonlight Brewing Co. beers.
I was shocked when I walked in because this is a really nice restaurant and I was expecting a gastropub or beer bar. It's basically a fine dining(/) restaurant with a large open dining room with white linen tables. There in a medium sized bar to the left when you walk in and this is where I sat.
The bartender that served me provided excellent service. He was very friendly and prompt and made sure I was happy with what I ordered and that I had a drink in front of me. I didn't really talk to him much about beer so I'm not sure how knowledgeable the staff is about beer.
As far as selection goes they get major points for having about six Moonlight Brewing Co. beers on draft butloses points for not serving anything else. They had on Reality Czeck which I've wanted to try since I first heard about it when I joined this site. Also on was Lunatic Lager, Death and Taxes, IPA, and one or two others.
This was a really nice place with a great selection of a very rare brewery. I'm really happy that I stopped by and would do so any time that I'm in the area. I would like to go for dinner next time. Highly Recommended!
01-16-2010 22:13:01 |
More by corby112
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
What can I say about the Sonoma and Napa valley? Nothing wrong with the weather, thats for sure. Beautiful scenery, nice enough people, most wines we sampled were good or even great, vinification processes were interesting and innovative (you Yanks are a crafty bunch, although I suppose not having restrictive regional appellations, not to mention the crushing weight of 50+ generations of your forefathers who produced wine the same exact way for hundreds of years cant hurt either), but I really didnt like the whole Disney-fied way the industry seems to showcase itself. Paid tours? 10 bucks for 3 1oz samples and you get to keep the glass? Some places had so many people around I felt like cattle. In others I felt like they cared more about selling corkscrews and T-shirts than the actual wine. But the thing that really put my nuts in a vice was the ridiculous practice of selling the wine on-premises at a higher price than at the liquor store two towns over. Thankfully, there are places around like the flavor bistro.
I didnt give much detail about the place to my girlfriend, who followed me half-heartedly expecting yet another serving of pub grub burgers and fries, I totally caught her with her pants down, she even scolded me a bit saying that she was underdressed for such a nice looking restaurant. Local artists paintings and photographs sparingly set on the walls, the look of the place was pretty refined.
Our waiter was in his twenties, and his friendly, easy-going attitude helped to make the place seem a lot more casual. He helped Mel pick out her wine, and gave me a taster of one the Moonlight Beers I was hesitant on trying. He was spot on with his advice, her wine and my Beer were very good, tasted totally fresh.
Great looking menu, focusing on regional products, like the bread made by a local bakery, I even think the olive oil was from the valley. I had to restrain Minou from eating the whole thing, she has a tendency to spoil her appetite. I ordered the fish special, which was salmon served with barley and a ratatouille veggie side, she went for the risotto. My food was perfect, hers was a little too peppery and couldnt finish it, but I think the bread played a role in it too. Deserts looked great, but I having dusted off both my plate and part of hers, I didnt dare. Prices were quite reasonable for what you got. Its not cheap, but its reasonable for the quality of the food you got. And its a short walk from Russian River, too.
09-28-2006 19:11:30 |
More by Goldorak
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
This was a very disappointing experience, in large part because the service was just this side of catastrophic. We visited on a beautiful Sunday and the restaurant was busy, though far from overflowing. The host greeted us in a very slow and unfriendly manner, as if he was irritated by our presence. The place was swarming with waiters and busers, but they seemed consumed with doing side-work - prepping glasses, rolling silverware, carrying stacks of plates, all this at shortly after noon on a busy day. It was easily 20 minutes before we were even asked for our drink order, which was really the whole point of going. The one exception to the service was the water waiter, who whizzed through the restaurant filling glasses with lightning speed - I was on glass 4 before a waiter showed up. Even after he took our order, our waiter was so difficult to get hold of (he carefully avoided looking around at his station or making eye contact) that my wife attempted to set a trap, draining her water glass in hopes that the water guy would zip by on a refill mission and she could grab his wrist and restrain him until he agreed to bring us our waiter.
It didn't work.
We think the water guy sensed danger and hid, because we never got another drop of water after that point.
The food, when it finally came, proved to be decent. The burger menu is fussy and over-thought (my Burger di Parma proved nearly impossible to eat without a ghastly mess), but the basic burger was delicious. The gnocchi was good, and the Romaine Lettuce Wedge was, well, romaine with dressing and bacon. I don't know what else we expected.
The beer is, however, very tasty and worth the trip if you're in the area. The Moonlight Brewing IPA was musky and rich, the pilsner was crisp, and the bitter was a good english pub bitter.
So go. But go with your expectations in check.
06-24-2011 20:46:13 |
More by Seanibus
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I was lucky enough to be told about this place by some BAs while at Russian River. After having several beers at RR, we took the very short walk over to Flavor and took a seat at the bar.
They have six taps, all Moonlight beers. They had Reality Czeck, IPA, Death and Taxes, Twist of Fate, and two more that I can't remember for some reason. I enjoyed an IPA and a Reality Czeck, both top notch.
The beers are great here, but the real attraction for most people is the food, which is great. The prices are a bit high, but the food really is worth it. A lot of local and fresh ingredients are used, which is something I like. I had the Duck Ravioli and they were phenomenal.
The service was quite good, but that is no surprise at a restaurant such as this.
It's not necessarily a "destination", but it's a great place to go to get to try Moonlight beers and with it being so close to Russian River, it's an easy spot to check out.
11-28-2009 20:21:14 |
More by womencantsail
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
This is more of a restaurant than a bar, with a small bar in the front corner. As stated previously the beer is from Moonlight, but their beers are outstanding and somewhat difficult to find so they are a treat.
On my last visit I tried the Butternut Ravioli which was wonderfull. The food is more Bistro style than pub fare and the menu is large so it would be hard to tire of the selection.
Russian River is one minute away so a stop there before or after your meal makes for a great afternoon or evening.
If you park in a metered spot be carefull as they watch the meters and tickets are easy to come by.
05-03-2006 04:41:15 |
More by VegasBill
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Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa, CA
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