Kathleen Hill: Restaurants respond to the new isolation

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Keeping track

Several Facebook groups are posting updates on which local restaurants are offering takeout and/or delivery. Check out “Sonoma ToGo” and “What’s Open in Sonoma.”

Restaurant and other food updates

As we all know, restaurants and food providers and all of their workers are suffering economically during this crisis, as are workers involved in other businesses. In attempts to stay open and pay their staff, some change their plans almost daily or hourly during such unsettling times.

Many are trying to keep their staffs working by offering shortened menus for take-out. This information was compiled from responses to inquiries from the Index-Tribune; be sure to call ahead.

For children in need of school meals, there will be free meals starting March 23 at Altimira and Adele Harrison middle schools and Sassarini Elementary from 11 1 p.m. while schools are closed due to COVID-19. Families and kids should pick up meals at the school closest to their homes. Meals are only for children. No adult meals. Please observe “social distancing” when picking up meals to consume off-site. No paperwork is involved.

And for food workers laid off by restaurant closures and catering slowdowns, Sonoma Market and Safeway are actively hiring right now.

Lucky, Safeway and Glen Ellen Market will deliver purchases. Sonoma Safeway and Sonoma Market are both now offering “senior hours” on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at Safeway from 6 to 9 a.m. and at Sonoma Market from 6 to 8 a.m.

Restaurants that have closed temporarily

All plan to reopen when the crisis passes. Girl & the Fig, Fig Café & Wine Bar, Red Grape, Swiss Hotel, Sonoma Grille, Sunflower Caffé, Glen Ellen Inn, Picazo Kitchen & Bar, Burgers & Vine, Jack London Saloon, Swiss Hotel, Enoteca Della Santina, HopMonk Tavern, Depot Hotel, downtown La Hacienda and Sweet Pea Bakery.

Restaurants open for take-out

Restaurants serving takeout only, as of press time: Homegrown Bagels, Tips Roadside (will deliver), El Molino Central, Cochon Volant, Glen Ellen Star, Les Pascals (will deliver), Sweet Scoops (will deliver) both Picazo locations, Reel & Brand, El Dorado Kitchen, Bangkok 9 (will deliver), La Casa, original La Hacienda, Delicious Dish, Cafe La Haye, Glen Ellen Star, Mary’s Pizza Shacks on Plaza and in the Springs, Delhi Belly, Basque Boulangerie, Della Santina and Ovello.

McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Baker & Cook, Taqueria Jalisco and Jack in the Box are all open for drive-through.

Chapala Market and El Brinquito are open with weekend prepared food takeouts as well, and Iniquez is also open for groceries. Vineburg Deli is open and smoking lots of meats outside in the mist.

Here are some remarks shared by Sonoma restaurant owners, along with a few temporary takeout menus.

Homegrown Bagels

Owner Stuart Teitelbaum says he hopes to keep the bagel shop open for the duration of this crisis. Because of staff shortages he and baker Tony are now preparing everything themselves and will only be selling bagels and tubs of cream cheese. Adds Teitelbaum: “I must admit that, being an old hippie, it is difficult for me not to hug. But I’m trying.”

Delicious Dish

Delicious Dish owner and chef Lauren Cotner said, “We remain open unless we are asked not to. Staff has been told that if they need to stay home we will find ways to compensate them and offer assistance should they need. We have continued dinner pick-up and have added Fridays, temporarily.” Orders are best placed online at Next week she plans to resume lunches Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. but will have a menu limited to salads, cold sandwiches and noodle bowls. Order at or call 721-4231.

Keeping track

Several Facebook groups are posting updates on which local restaurants are offering takeout and/or delivery. Check out “Sonoma ToGo” and “What’s Open in Sonoma.”

Picazo Café

Kina Chavez just announced that they just closed Picazo Kitchen & Bar, have the café open on Arnold Drive for pickup (minimum order $25) and will have their food truck available from 5 to 8 p.m. on Arnold Drive as well. For curbside pickup and deliveries call 307-3831.

Chavez said they served 150 Sonoma Valley Hospital employees on Wednesday for lunch with the food truck.

Tips Roadside

Tips Roadside was the first to offer delivery of brunch and dinner in a geographic region from Boyes Hot Springs, Glen Ellen, Oakmont and east Santa Rosa. Minimum order $25. Free delivery through end of March. Order at

Mary’s Pizza Shacks

Mary’s CEO Vince Albano offers no-contact delivery and curbside pick-up for free if you order from their regular menu at all Mary’s, including Boyes Hot Springs (938-3600) and on the Plaza (938-8300).

Albano wants customers to know that should they “feel more comfortable enjoying our homemade recipes at your home, we are ensuring extra precautions with our delivery drivers and delivery partners for a seamless and safe delivery experience.”

Reel & Brand

Kevin Kress says Reel & Brand is doing free delivery, curbside pickup and take-out. Their abbreviated menu includes a poke bowl, tempura jumbo prawns with veggies, chicken wings, chowder fries, a big salad to which you can add chicken, steak or salmon, fish-n-chips, grilled salmon, the Reel Burger, and steak & frites. $10 to $22. 938-7204.

El Dorado Kitchen

EDK’s “Shelter-in-Place Take Out Menu” includes both vegan and not featuring choices such as their famous truffle fries, roasted vegetables, sides of mushrooms, Yukon Gold potatoes or beets; and entrees such as seafood paella, vegan risotto, tuna poke bowl, marinated chicken sandwiches, salmon, a BLT with pork belly, EDK burger, or New York steak with bone marrow and creamed spinach. $6 to $33. 996-3030.

El Molino Central

From owner Karen Taylor Waikiki: “Yes, we are open for car hop service from cold case (faster) or hot foods.” Full menu. 939-1010.

Glen Ellen Star

Glen Ellen Star is now the only restaurant open at all in Glen Ellen. Chef Ari Weisswasser is offering pick-up orders Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Online orders ready in about 30 minutes for pickup. Or call 343-1384.

Lunch may include starters of Mike’s garden salad with Caesar dressing or wood-fired cauliflower; three pizza choices from Margherita, tomato cream pie, or white sauce with arugula. The three-course dinner brings the same salad, brick chicken with Brussels sprouts, and house ice cream ($30).

Café LaHaye

Café La Haye has an a la carte “Temporary Takeout” menu featuring starters of mushroom sherry soup, beets and BelFiore Burrata, mixed chicory salad, or romaine spears salad with white anchovy, farm egg, and garlic buttermilk dressing. Main courses of lacihato kale and broccolini risotto, grilled pork chop, pan-seared salmon, Mary’s organic chicken, or marinated filet mignon. ($11 to $42). Sides vary daily, and desserts available. 935-5994.

Both Café LaHaye and Della Santina put out orange cones on East Napa Street in the afternoon to reserve parking spots for customers stopping to pick up food.

What can we do?

What can we do for ourselves and for others since we are all living with heightened stress and anxiety? These are all big questions many of us are toying with.

If we are “self-distancing” ourselves, what does that mean, and can we self-distance with friends? If we own restaurants, what do we do to survive and pay our staff? Everyone looks for answers, and no one seems to have them.

For some of us we might see this isolation as a chance to regroup our lives and figure out what is really important. For others it might mean someone needs a phone call and conversation. And yet another solution evolved yesterday here in Sonoma – work on one’s taxes. Ugh.

Or rediscover and try new interests, such as playing music, reading books, gardening, or even cooking and baking and drawing or painting. Fine Line Art Supply is open if you need artistic supplies (935-3199). Cooking and baking can be very satisfying and fun. We might be cooking for family or household members or cooking food for ourselves to last a few days.

Beans take several hours to prepare, but your source of heat does all the work. If you can, get dried beans or pasta and follow directions on the package. They are loaded with protein and good stuff for our bodies. “Yes, beans, beans the musical fruit” are actually good for us.

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