Being a local to Rincon Valley…I still miss the evenings when we would head down to Rincon Valley’s Rita’s and have a glass of wine served by the fun loving owner, Kevin. He now has a wonderful new spot downtown Santa Rosa, Sprenger’s Tap Room, if you have a chance , stop in and have a glass of beer. *Clink *Clink
Recently, the Flipside Family, as they are fondly called in Santa Rosa by locals, has bought the spot from a group called Doc Holidays who did a poor job managing and marketing the restaurant after Rita’s left.
I was excited to see the signs go up announcing the new owners!! I also watched as a complete renovation was done over the course of months and let me just say…It is like a whole new building in there. Fantastic props go to Flip Hospitality and Entertainment Group for renovating the space and making it useful again.
As a local wine lover, much love to the wine display and local wineries list. It has been renovated with a decor and atmosphere that is true Wine Country living.
The restaurant family also owns Flipside Bar & Burger; Chez Vous Catering to You and the Lakeside Grill in Santa Rosa. They also are renovating Space XXV and Rendez Vous Bistro which I loved…yum French food. I also heard tell of a Brewhouse opening in Sonoma County by this family soon.
I dined with the lovely Sherri Housman, another fellow wine blogger, a local to Santa Rosa, wine tasting room extraordinaire and also friend. We started out with a lovely Stone Street Cabernet. A label which she introduced me to, yum. Dark cherry tones, exquisite complexities for which Alexander Mountain wines are beloved – Definitely one to try folks.
We had a lovely server named Emily and she was attentive. During lunch, guests sit in the Sports Bar area and in the evening, diners enjoy the more formal setting. The place was 3/4 full on a Friday and yet service was still good and our food came fast.
Our server took the time to chat with us and recommend a few things. She was also very good at checking in throughout our meal. Things we enjoyed that lunch:
THE FAMOUS TOMATO $8.50
Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Pickled Onions
FLIPSIDE BURGER $9.95
American Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato
Caramelized Onions, Special Sauce
Everything was terrific and a real spice to the tacos, yum. I love a good heirloom tomato salad and this was beautifully plated.
To get the full experience of the restaurant and family atmosphere, I returned that Sunday with my family.
We arrived at 15 minuted before dinner service and they directed us to the bar and explained that we could order from the bar menu. We asked if this would still be a regular service and thought of going elsewhere but the staff was sweet and we stayed.
My kids were here for the shakes anyway, so everyone was happy. Ha. Our waitress was Emily again, she was sweet and remembered me, also checked on us often.
However, I did find my overall experience with the chef and food complete opposite than last time. I find consistency in a dining experience to be very important to retaining a clientele of locals that return regularly.
My daughters both ordered the Smores shake they have at Flipside Burger. The first shake came out 15 minutes before the second and as you can see from my pictures, not only was the timing off…but these were completely different products.
And as any mother knows already…my children definitely noticed that “her shake is better than my shake”. (insert your best whiny voice here) Our food came out in shifts with each item coming out from the kitchen a good 10 minutes before the next. My 9 year old had eaten the 5 small shrimp and shake before 2 of us had even gotten any food. We didn’t make her wait for everyone to get their food as it was obvious that it might be too long.
My 12 year old had the steak frites which she enjoyed but which came out second to last, boo. 2nd meal was Aaron’s, their father, and he had a double double burger and fries.
Fries were terrific and I snacked on them as I was starving at this point and my glass of Cabernet wasn’t cutting it. He enjoyed the burger but said it was quite large…although my 9 year old stole all his bacon. It is nice to get along so well with their father even after 7 years of divorce. My beet salad came out and it was a beautiful display and quite yummy…Props to them for using a local goat cheese as well.
My soup never made it out and everyone was long done with their meal by the time I ate the beets. I simply asked them to put the soup in a to go container so we could get the kids home.
Too bad that I had this experience although I will return again to review because as a regular diner….I know that every restaurant has their off days. And not everyone is ready for a diner as critical as perhaps I can be either…Cheers until the next time.
138 Calistoga Road at Highway 12 in the St. Francis Shopping Center For more information, visit their WEBSITE or follow Flipside Steakhouse on Facebook. Reservations can be made by phone at 707-539-7700 or on the Open Table web site.