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Roadside Attraction 

Fork Roadhouse opens for dinner

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Last January, Fork Roadhouse moved into a spot on Bodega Highway outside of Sebastopol that had been a revolving door of restaurants that couldn't make the spot work. Fork has made it work.

The homey restaurant's hearty but refined breakfast and lunch make it a Sonoma County destination. Like nearby Peter Lowell's, the restaurant exemplifies a West County culinary aesthetic: local farms and meat and border-crossing food that's simple yet thoughtfully prepared.

This month, the restaurant opened for dinner Thursday through Saturday, and it's an instant hit. While the roadhouse is as friendly and casual as ever, you're advised to make a reservation, because the place books up quickly.

The dinner menu carries over some of the popular lunch items, like the burger with caramelized onions ($13) and the signature pork belly and fried-egg taco ($6 for one; $11 for two), but goes deeper with dishes like braised short ribs, grilled fish and rack of lamb.

Things get even more interesting on Saturday nights, when the restaurant focuses on a particular cuisine or region. This past Saturday, it was south of the border: Mexico, El Salvador and Peru. The food was great. I went for the pupusas, masa griddle cakes stuffed with chipotle-pomegranate pulled pork and beans ($13). It was not the traditional Salvadoran style, but plenty good. The entrée-size Handlebar Farms lettuce salad with Baja prawns, avocado, corn, pinto beans and cilantro-lime dressing ($15) was also a winner. Also on the menu was leche de tigre, coconut-milk black-cod ceviche ($12), chile rellenos stuffed with Preston Farms kabocha and spaghetti squash ($17), and a trio of tacos—fried rockfish, Korean short ribs, and mushroom and caramelized onions ($12).

With its dinner menu, Fork Roadhouse is now a real roadside attraction. 9890 Bodega Hwy., Sebastopol. 707.634.7575.

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