The Tastes of Bavaria In Santa Rosa
Another Saturday night and the Dining Detectives were in search of a fine dining experience. There was a buzz about a small yet, authentic Austrian/ European restaurant, just off the beaten path in Santa Rosa. We ventured out from Petaluma and in a few minutes we were there .The location was charming and unassuming with barely a dozen tables. We had heard many good things about Café Europe from our friends, so we looked forward to our culinary adventure this evening. Actually, we couldn’t wait to try it!
Upon arriving, we received a warm greeting from Herbert Zacher, our host. We learned that Robert our Chef had been preparing the freshest and tastiest food Sonoma County had to offer for over 8 years in this location. European recipes and California’s freshest ingredients- a great mixture. . As the restaurant filled up, we got the feeling that we were in the midst of an extended family, totally uncommon in this anonymous busy era in which we live.
Delicious, piping hot seeded Kaiser Rolls arrived at our table. This was the first hint that fine food was on the way!
Now for some of our favorite menu items:
Freshly grated Potatoes, with onions and herbs. Served with applesauce and sour cream Crisp and light- Absolutely perfect!
Smoked Icelandic Salmon
With Horseradish, capers, red onions, one potato pancake and imported pumpernickel bread with cream cheese- this was fresh tasting and might have been enough for a whole meal
Pork Herb Sausages
Grilled, served on a bed of imported German Sauerkraut. Amazingly light and fresh served with both Saag’s sweet mustard and hot mustard.
Served in a Puff pastry shell, finished with herbs and white wine. The puff pastry really made this a treat
Possibly The Best In TownHearts of Romaine, croutons, fresh Parmesan cheese, anchovies. We love our Caesar and this hit the spot.
Raspberry Vinaigrette on romaine. Delightful fresh raspberry flavor. This is a specialty dressing of the house-we were glad that Herbert served it even though we hadn’t ordered it.
Austrian-European House Specialties---Main Courses
Gebackene Ente/ Roasted Duck- duck, roasted crisp and deboned, served with Chef’s sauce, potato pancake with apple sauce and sour cream, red cabbage. Preparation makes all the difference, no disappointment here- juicy and lean our personal favorite
Wild Boar Ragout
Sliced tenderloin, seasoned with herbs, sautéed, finished with mushrooms and Lingenberries in a Merlot wine sauce, Spaetzie, apple red cabbage. Those who wish to try the other red meat will find this a pleasant alternative. The Lingonberries made this a memorable entrée.
Lean topped sirloin, cooked to perfection, with onions finished in a mild paprika sauce, garlic mashed potato, apple red cabbage. Just like Grandma used to make it!
Grilled Salmon Filet
Spaetzie, lemon caper sauce. This fresh catch of the day was lightly grilled and was worthy
A specialty cut with the bone. A rare treat for those in the know. I recently had this dish at a well-established San Francisco German Restaurant and will attest to the fact that Café Europe’s rendition is superior.
Grilled loin of LambBest of Show-from presentation to flavor-we’d have it again.
Austrian Applestrudel- apple and pastry definitely worth saving room for---this made a Dining Detective yodel with joy!
Chocolate Bomb- a chocolate lover’s delight- not too sweet.
Lemon Sorbet-lemon shavings made this both a sweet and tart taste sensation
We enjoyed some wines by the glass from a limited yet efficient wine list
1999 Mazzocco Sonoma County- River Lane Chardonnay
Dry Creek vineyards Fume Blanc
Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon
For those that prefer to bring their own wine the corkage is a modest $7.00
Our waiter Chris was very busy but had just enough time to treat us like we were family. Herbert Zacher, Owner made sure we knew all about this authentic Austrian Cuisine and Robert Buchschachermair our Chef made sure that each of our meals was perfectly prepared.
We were very happy to dine at Café Europe. We must come back to try the Schnitzel.