Aquarelle Cafe & Wine Bar 14025 Hwy. 128, Boonville, (707) 895-2767. D F-M. Reservations advised.
Diners can make a delightful meal here of appetizers. My party of two ordered an arugula-endive salad, pan-seared fish tacos (two small ones per serving), wild-caught Mexican prawns sautéed in garlic-butter sauce and topped with a golden nasturtium (four firm, meaty prawns), and two grilled Moroccan meatballs made with Niman Ranch grass-fed beef and topped with pickled red onions. This was plenty, and left us no room for dessert. Originally, I had wanted to try the soup and the red Russian kale Caesar salad, but the soup was fini and the kale didn’t arrive that day. Other popular menu items include truffle fries and steamed mussels in a yellow curry broth, and large-plate versions of some items are available. A large outdoor area is available in front—nice in good weather—and one large room and a small bar that seems perfect for solo diners make up the dining area inside. Both decor and atmosphere are informal and unpretentious, with tables covered in butcher paper. Leftover food is given to farm animals, and leftover drinking water is emptied from glasses into a very happy rosemary plant.
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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers