Forchetta – Italian & Brick Oven Pizza

6948 Sebastopol Road / Sebastopol / 707-829-9500

Category: Italian Neo-Rustico and Brick Oven Pizza
Hours:  5pm – 9pm  Thu – Mon   D   only
Sun Brunch   11:30am – 4pm
Closed:  Tue – Wed
Full Bar
Off Street Parking Lot

**** 3/12/12     $$ – $$$

Two restaurants under the same roof with three chefs? One for the Italian, one for the Thai and one for the Pizza oven! Forchetta/Bastoni is the full name (forks and sticks in Italiano). Bastoni is patterned after a Thai noodle bar. Pizza is pizza in anyone’s language! Both restaurants are in the former Pizzavino 707 space in front of the Sebastopol Plaza where the parking lot is located. Bastoni has the added patio area for warm weather dining while Forchetta is facing the Sebastopol Street. Entrance to both restaurants is through the plaza area.

This review is for Forchetta only because even though both restaurants reside under the same roof and are only separated by the immense brick pizza oven, you cannot sit in one side and order food from the other…..mildly dissappointing as that would seem to be the purpose but, for now about the only way to sample both cuisines is to start at the bar with a cocktail or glass of wine, which is on the Bastoni side and sample some of the five starters. From $8 – $12 per order offering curry rice balls, wings, meatballs, naam plate, and thai beef salad. Or, return another time as I plan to do.

The interior of Forchetta is eclectic and charming. Old-world brick (on the walls), reclaimed wood with booths and tables made from salvaged doors and a large innovative/modern chandelier centerpiece made by a local artist, to wall scones made from old wine bottles. Tables are topped with butcher paper and utensils are in a mason jar. Napkins are actually dish towels! Funky chic? I thought so.

After an excellent cocktail in the bar and a good chat with the amicable bartender who gave us the lowdown on the reasoning behind not permitting guests to pick and choose from both cuisines, “because Italian dishes take much longer to prepare”. Technically accurate but, all the more reason to allow some pre-dinner grazing on the Thai side while you wait for your Italian dinner to show up.

But, let’s not be picky. We came for an Italian dinner. The menu was inviting and short. Displaying four Antipasti (starters); four Verdi (greens or, salads); four Pasta/Risotto; three pizza’s; three Al Forno/Alla Griglia (from the oven and from the grill); and, three Dolci (desserts). My kind of menu, uncomplicated. However, that does not describe the dishes within this. This chef takes basic Italian cooking to new heights, with his imaginative ingredients like:

Verdi: Insalata Mista ($9****) daily greens with radish, Pt Reyes blue cheese, olio nuovo and 3-yr old Balsamico vinegar. This is a simple salad but, oh so easy to over dress and ruin the dish. Definite restraint was used in applying the dressing making this one of the better mixed green salads I have had in a while.

Secondo:  Risotto di Giorno ($22*****) made fresh daily with whatever ingredients look good to the chef. Today, Chanterelles & Oyster mushrooms with bone marrow and crispy fried procuitto. OMG! If you have read my review of Stark’s Steakhouse in Santa Rosa you will recall my fondness for bone marrow. This dish was incredibly good. Rice cooked perfectly al dente (to the tooth) with excellent flavor and color.

Pizza Course:  Pizza Salsiccia ($16****) housemade sausage with pickled peppers and Fontina cheese. Thin, thin, thin crust and ample toppings without smothering the pizza. Very tasty. We boxed up half to take home and continued on our culinary quest.

Pizza Salsiccia

Primo:  Quaglie alla Griglia ($22*****) grilled quail with risotto cake, cherry agra dolce. Wonderfully flavorful dish and the small quail was cooked right to retain it’s juicyness. The cherry sauce complimented the game perfectly. Sardine alla Griglia ($22****) Monterrey sardines (large) with roasted romanesco broccoli and potato salad with mustard. I have not seen large sardines prepared this way outside of Italy! This may not be everyone’s fish dish as it is a strong flavor; not fishy, just robust. Wonderfully grilled and the potato salad with housemade mustard went well with the fish. Roasted veggies always bring out more flavor and this preparation had romanesco as well. Excellent dish.

Dolci: Torte Limone ($8****) housemade Meyer lemon tart. Perfect ending.

Highly recommend this restaurant for a pizza or, a full blown Italian feast.
Get Thee to Forchetta for some rustic Italian cooking.

Forchetta on Urbanspoon

2 Responses to Forchetta – Italian & Brick Oven Pizza

  1. jack bottomley says:

    The only thing this restaurant is good for is the drinks and the pizza. Their pasta tastes like stroganoff, they make their ceasar with escarole. I ordered trwo glasses of wine, the first was corked and the second was horrible (sangeovese) at a cost of $13 a glass. The Veitnamese is somewhat better, but not by much. If you go, have the lettuce cup appitizer or the the Pate bahn mi. The Bankok Burro is to die for…best drink EVER!!!
    The owners are great………….but they need to do somethin or this place will meet the same dimise as the previos three occupants of the building.

    • Hi Jack,

      Thanks for your comments. I always appreciate other’s views. And, although I do not agree with yours I do appreciate that you took the time to comment and visit my blog. Regarding GTO in Sebastopol, unfortunately others have not liked their food or, their attitude either so my review should not come as a big surprise. I try to offer constructive comments whenever I review a restaurant and I believe I did so there. Even so, I may return. What would you recommend I sample since you are a loyal customer? Regarding Hop Monk Tavern, I have had good experiences both in Sebastopol and Sonoma over several visits and I continue to recommend them and enterain friends there. Obviousily we have very different taste in food and service requirements. My culinary experiences included living with and assisting Chef Mary Bergin at Sur La Table in Santa Rosa(see my profile)additionally, Chef Mary spent 19+ years as the Executive Pastry Chef at Wolfgang Puck’s in L.A. and Las Vegas. She often accompanies me on reviews. Having been guided by her in not only the preparation, cooking and tasting of food but in the running of a restaurant both in front and back of the house has been immeasureably valuable to me when I dine out. Thank you again and I hope you return to my blog often. Kind Regards, Kathryn

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s