A little about Forchetta/Bastoni: established in 2011 in Sebastopol, an unassuming town about an hour and a half north of San Francisco, this chic restaurant is the result of Steven Peyer and Jamilah Nixon's combined culinary talents. Forchetta/Bastoni roughly translates to "forks and sticks" - which is apt, considering the restaurant is a Southeast Asian eatery during the day (headed by Nixon's menu of Banh Mi and ramen - "sticks") and an Italian escape during the dinner hours (where Peyer exhibits fresh cut pastas and wood-fired pizza dishes - "forks.") We were lucky enough to congregate at Forchetta/Bastoni this winter (on a superbly gorgeous January day) to celebrate Aunt Nancy's birthday - just which one, I won't reveal, but suffice it to say there were multiple generations of our clan around the table that day!
I got the ramen, but almost everyone tried something different that day, giving us a great cross-taste of the Bastoni menu...
(Click through for more pictures, including some of my cousin's sweet, adorable bébé!)
This day also signified my first taste of Thai iced tea - Big T and I both had one each and were surprisingly pleased with the creamy, sweet taste. Sweetened, condensed milk is definitely an acquired taste, but I believe we both acquired it that day. Alright, enough wordplay, moving on...
I promised babies, did I not? Here is the gorgeous Olive, my oldest cousin's first baby. I wasn't kidding Zach, I'll babysit anytime! She's an absolute dream. I'm sure her grandpa (pictured here) agrees.
And here, the woman of the hour! Aunt Nancy herself. She is my stepdad's older sister but has always acted as a grandparent to me, which I have so loved and appreciated over the years since my other grandparents have either already passed or are far away. Seeing her and my stepdad's side of the family has always been such a joy - everyone in the W clan is so artistic, kind, loving, compassionate, hilarious, and whip-smart. I truly feel so lucky to have them in my family and to get to enjoy their company as often as I do!
...Especially this spitefire of a woman, showing us all how to age with both grace and mischief.
On to the food!
My uncle ordered the Banh Mi - I didn't try any of it, but MY it photographs well, doesn't it? Must be the bread! The pickled daikon (I think?) also looks so colorful and irresistible.
I got the ramen, which had both meatballs and tofu slices in it. I loved it - the broth was not the most flavorful that I've tried but the meatballs made up for it in spades. SPADES. They were absolutely amazing - so savory, so meaty, so perfectly cooked! They soaked up the broth and yet maintained their own flavor, and without being too soggy or salty. The only part of the dish I didn't care for was the pea shoots, and really, who likes pea shoots? I feel like that's just part of the dish you're supposed to pick off. Like parsley! The soup was fabulous.
Mom got curry, and really enjoyed it. From what I can recall. Honestly, I just got distracted thinking about those meatballs again.
More pictures of my soup! Your mouth is watering, isn't it? Everyone go to Sebastopol, right now. You're welcome, tourism association.
And, one more picture of the fam in action. Flying babies! Wheee! Alright, you can all probably hear the baby voice I just made emanating from the computer, and I'll stop now.
Overall, it was a fantastic lunch, mainly because of the company...but the food did not hurt at all, and provided a perfect backdrop for our celebration. I would love to go back sometime and try the Italian menu at night!