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Small Bites

By Stett Holbrook

I liked Pizzavino 707, but the layout of the late Sebastopol restaurant always bugged me. The dining room was too big, hangar-like, even. The industrial-looking open kitchen seemed overexposed and out of place. I usually ate in the bar or out on the patio, because the disconnected space felt like two restaurants.

New owners Patrick Wynhoff, Jamilah Nixon and Steven Peyer must have felt the same way. But rather than fight the floor plan, they embraced it, deciding to formalize the concept with two restaurants in one, Forchetta/Bastoni.

It not only fits the 6,000-square-foot building, it fits Nixon and Peyer, too. The husband-and-wife duo met at Lucy's, an older incarnation of the building, but they have different culinary passions. She likes Southeast Asian street food. He likes rustic northern Italian. Why not do both?

The restaurant (the name means "forks and sticks" in Italian) will make food out of two separate kitchens. Forchetta will serve Italian food, and Bastoni will serve Southeast Asian cuisine. The bar and patio will be dedicated to Bastoni, while the lofty dining room will be Forchetta's. To soften the big room, they're adding cozier booths, lower lighting and a beautiful series of window collages made from salvaged materials that will hang above the kitchen, framing it and giving it more definition.

On a visit to the restaurant last week, the place was in mid-construction disarray, but I could see it coming together. I think it will work. Forchetta/Bastoni opens in early November.

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