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“"Fabulous From Start To Finish"”
Review of Central Market

Central Market
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Ranked #5 of 265 Restaurants in Petaluma
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $22
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Western Avenue
Transit: Nearest bus stop is at 4th Street & "C" Street
new jersey
Level 6 Contributor
176 reviews
122 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“"Fabulous From Start To Finish"”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

One of the best meals I have ever had. The food was well prepared. The wait staff was very well versed on the menu, the portions were a good size and the food itself was very tasty. The wine list is extensive and they use only the freshest of ingredients which translate to hmmm good.
It is noisy and the tables are close together but in this case it just made the experience better for me because you get to see what others are eating. In this restaurant that was good because the menu is very interesting and a little different so I wanted to see what others were choosing. I would visit this restaurant again and I would tell others to try it.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank bigglow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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379 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cupertino, California
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Creative California dishes with local ingredients”
Reviewed April 12, 2013

This is my favorite restaurant in Petaluma.
In addition to appetizers and salads, you will find another category called “snacks” on the menu. This is the American word for tapas. My two favorite snacks are the fried smelt and pickled sardines. The fried smelt are crispy, salty, and awesome. The pickled sardines are served on a thin toast point. Both are local fish from Monterey or Bodega Bay. Occasionally they have fried rabbit with buttermilk batter; that’s another one I cannot resist. The rabbits are raised on a ranch in Marin county called Devil’s Gulch.
Now on to the main course: someone else described the pork in another review. They don’t always have it, but when they do have it I get the pork chop, period. Another go-to dish is the duck, and any fish that is in season. The Pacific King Salmon should be available during the summer months, and it’s always prepared perfectly at Central Market.
You will find several food-friendly wines by the glass or carafe, and a good selection of bottles as well. Desserts and coffee are a nice finish to a great meal.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Ken N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“"Localvore" Central--Great Food”
Reviewed April 10, 2013

Farm-to-table and tasty cuisine. Chef Tony came out to our table and we ordered off-menu for some gluten-free dishes. The staff can tell you the name of the farm from who they bought the pig to cut the pork chop. The wine cellar is stocked with a great variety of local wines of Sonoma, Mendocino and Napa regions. Located in the heart of downtown, old Petaluma near the river, the restaurant exudes great charm. I couldn't stop spreading the fresh butter from the local creamery on the artisinal bread. We've already told several friends to check out Central Market.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Brian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Showcasing the North Bay's excellent produce”
Reviewed April 9, 2013

A fantastic restaurant in sleepy-by-San-Francisco-standards Downtown Petaluma! The appetizers alone were worth the entrance money. I'm sure the list changes with the seasons. We had the roasted carrots with tahini lined with honey, and the radishes (and were told the radishes had been picked that day) - they were both outstanding.

The halibut was light and perfectly done.

Their pizza has a thin and smoky crust (enough said!), and they aren't even an Italian restaurant, officially.

Given their location, it isn't surprising that their wine-list is extensive and very good.

A restaurant that could do San Francisco proud! (And, yes, it's somewhat expensive, but worth it.)

Restaurants seem to close rather early in Petaluma, even on weekend nights. Central Market is open till 10, while some of the others stop taking customers by 8:30.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank AverageTraveller1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Warm and Inviting Place in a Charming Town”
Reviewed April 2, 2013

Farm to table is a phrase used by many restaurants trying to jump on the artisanal train. This restaurant in Petaluma is truly farm to table and luckily also knows what to do with the food it gets.
The Pork leg that was the special was from the Chef's herd (is it a herd of pigs, I don't know) and the two people who had it were delighted. The fried pigs ears however tasted a little like, "hmm.. what do we do with these ears?" They are thinly sliced and reminiscent of french fries.

This is a simple rustic dining room in the center of Petaluma. There were four of us and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I had the halibut, another had the lamb and we all give it a thumbs up. The butterscotch pudding was a perfect ending to a great meal.

The wine list is interesting and has prices from the mid twenties on up. We had a nice bottle of red from Nimes France that was only $27 and paired well with the pork and the lamb. I think Southern Frenchy wines are a great value so was happy to see them on their list. I really liked their thoughtful selection. It wasn't the same old California stuff but a good mix of French, Italian, California and more. We run a wine shop and appreciated the number of wines that pair well with the food they serve. I had a glass of Cremont from Burgundy (a sparkling wine) with my halibut and it was perfect. At $10/glass I felt it was a fair price and happy they had it.

The service was very friendly and unpretentious. We worried we were taking up too much time at our table and the hostess overheard us and said, "don't worry, you have that table as long as you want it." They've done a good job of creating a place that is relaxing and informal but still special enough to feel like you've gone out. The menu is varied enough that you will find something for anyone if you are with a large party. This place is a real winner.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Terry A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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