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Speakeasy After Dark 

Up-all-nighters can shake the sleep off at classy bistro in Petaluma

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Unless you're OK with Denny's or the Burger King drive-through, late-night eats are hard to come by in the North Bay. Fortunately in Petaluma, there's Speakeasy. The bistro, just a few indoor tables, a small bar and patio seating on downtown's Helen Putnam Plaza, is an oasis of good eats and cool vibes, late night or not. It's open from 5pm to 2am seven nights a week.

I confess that when I first opened the menu I was dubious. The cuisine ranges far and wide: Mexican, Italian, Asian and New Orleanian. An all-over-the-map menu usually means the kitchen doesn't know what to focus on and falls flat. But Speakeasy's menu of "international tapas" is solid, in spite of its shotgun approach. The lamb meatballs, papas bravas and cheesy tomatillo enchiladas were all good. I also liked the short-rib tacos.

With a name like "Speakeasy," you might think they sell cocktails, like, you know, a speakeasy. But the alcoholic beverage menu is limited to wine and a changing lineup of local beer on tap.

If you're up late, you might as well wander over to the Big Easy, the restaurant's music venue a few steps away off American Alley. In this city by the river, the two businesses rule the night.

Speakeasy, 139 Petaluma Blvd. N., Ste. B, Petaluma. 707.776.4631.

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