Ubuntu CLOSED 1140 Main St./Pearl St., downtown, (707) 251-5656. L Sat-Sun, D daily; $$. Reservations advised.
Situated inside a vintage 19th-century building, this striking restaurant features a large open room with a high trussed cathedral ceiling and stone walls. Items on the upscale, all-vegetarian menu have long names, and descriptions can be mind-boggling—marinated “ruby queen” BEETS with whipped sheep, SHUNGIKU*-s- carmelized “honey crisp” peach, LAVENDER conji, noyaux (this plate of delicious, colorful red and gold beets, accented with this and that, turned out to be my favorite dish). Other winners included a tasty bean stew—a signature dish--and a wonderful savory chocolate “financier” with goat cheese and green tomatoes. From his open kitchen, the talented chef sends out tasty items in lovely presentations. Organic vegetables come from local purveyors and also from the restaurant’s own biodynamic garden, and the menu changes daily. I suggest exploring the menu, sharing dishes, and letting your taste buds enjoy the fun. Do save room for dessert—perhaps nasturtium ice cream or white chocolate-and-lavender cookies. A large communal table usually has space for walk-ins. (“Ubuntu” means “practice humanity toward others” in Zulu.)
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image courtesy of restaurant