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Fodor's Northern California 2014
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Every oenophile in town knows about this restaurant, named after the highway that crosses through Burgundy (Route Nationale 74), due to the involvment of celebrated sommelier Rajat Parr. But chef Jason Berthold's refined American menu is just as strong as the wine list, highlighting seasonal dishes rooted in French technique. Fort Bragg sea urchin is dramatically presented in its shell, enclosing potato mousseline and black trumpet mushrooms. Main dishes are generous, like a modern take on duck breast à la orange, served with Savoy cabbage and roasted salsify. Desserts are both delicious and cutting edge, like a yuzu cremeux with yogurt-shiso sherbet. The clever dining room has a train station motif (wines are listed on large departure boards), a change from the city's typical natural/modern look. A post-work crowd tends to take over the bar and lounge, while the dining room is equally welcoming to business diners and those on a date. Sunday evenings, there's a three-course, prix-fixe menu for $39 (and $30 wine bottle specials).
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