Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bruno's on Fourth

First Impressions/Atmosphere:

Sonoma Bento I've actually been to Bruno's fairly often, as it is right in my neighborhood. It's a casual spot, but generally has good quality food, and generous portions. The interior is cozy and welcoming with cute window seats and warm colors, but it can get a bit loud. There was a table of 14 celebrating a 27th Anniversary while we were there, which may have contributed to the service issues we had. We visited on a Sunday evening after a really rainy day, so I was definitely in the mood for some good comfort food.

CocoCarina Unlike Sonoma Bento... I have never been to Bruno's On Fourth before this little excursion of ours.  One of my co-workers told me about it and said it was one of her favorite places to go, so I had wanted to try it for a while but it just never worked out.  Luckily we've now started this blog so I can go to restaurants I've been wanting to try out!


Sonoma Bento I chose the seafood special of the evening, six seared scallops in a basil cream sauce with sun-dried tomato and artichoke heart risotto, and bits of dungeness crab. The plate was topped with a few leaves of salad mix, which didn't add to the flavor, or really make the plate look that much better. I think they could have left the garnish off and I still would have liked the way it looked. It was very rich, and I couldn't finish the whole thing. Bruno's tends to be heavy handed with the sauce, and as you can see, my plate was swimming in it. The scallops were very tasty, I just could have done without so much sauce. I really enjoyed the risotto and crab, as well. For dessert we tried a very decadent brownie sandwich. It had fudge sauce, caramel sauce, chopped candied pecans, and two gooey brownies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream between the brownies. Wow! It was definitely enough for two people to share.

CocoCarina I chose the sauteed chicken with sherry wine and mushrooms dish.  Unfortunately when the food came out they served me the seafood ravioli.  I'm just getting into trying seafood so I wasn't quite prepared to just take the dish.  Normally if it was something I would normally eat but was the wrong order I'll just take it rather than send it back... who knows it could be a nice surprise!?  But needless to say I wasn't quite feeling an all seafood dish so I asked for the dish I ordered, the Chicken ....  And like Sonoma Bento said they just got new computer systems in and the server accidentally pressed the wrong button.  I wasn't upset... the bread at the table was delicious so I ate a bit more bread to hold me over til my food came.  When it came I was very pleased.  It smelled delicious and I couldn't wait to dive in!  The chicken and mushrooms went perfectly with the Pinot Noir I ordered.  The Wine and mushrooms paired perfectly!  I was very happy with my meal choice and even had enough left to take home and eat for lunch the next day!  I love leftovers! After our meal our server comped us a dessert because of the entree mix-up - I was stoked!  We decided on the delectable brownie sandwich!  And boy, oh boy was it delicious!!!  It was two perfectly cooked brownies with vanilla ice cream in the middle, candied pecans with caramel and chocolate drizzle.  Y-U-M-M-Y!!!  When i go back to Bruno's, because I will go back, I sure hope this is on the menu because I WILL order it again!


Sonoma Bento I wanted a creamy chardonnay to go with the risotto and seafood, and the waitress poured samples of both chardonnays for me to try. I went with the 2007 Starkey's Court Chardonnay, which really complimented the rich dish. I would definitely order that chardonnay again. (The first glass I was served had a bug floating in it, which CocoCarina noticed. I was given a new glass of wine when I pointed this out to the waitress.)

CocoCarina I chose the 2008 MacMurray Pinot Noir. I've had this wine before, so I was pretty comfortable ordering it. I think this was the only pinot on the list and I was in a pinot mood, so it was PERFECT!


Sonoma Bento Possibly due to the fact there there was a huge table of 14 people taking up most of the room, or the new computer system Bruno's installed, CocoCarina got the wrong order. The waitress did put in the correct order and CocoCarina got her correct order within about 10 minutes, but it did put a hamper on the meal. The waitstaff apologized many times and they comped us a dessert, which was nice.

Sonoma Bento I am giving Bruno's higher overall scores, because this was honestly the first time I have had any service issues here. Every other time I have gone to Bruno's I have been given the correct order and never before found a bug in my wine. And the wait staff did work hard to correct any mistakes. This is a good place to go when you have a comfort food craving and want to have a full belly. And the convenience of its location is also a big plus for me. Out of 5 stars, I will give it 3 and a half.

CocoCarina Scores for Bruno's On Fourth:
Atmosphere: **** - it was a cute little restaurant... emphasis on little.  It probably sat about 20 people total.  But I kind of like that... you just better be prepared if you plan on going there with a big group.

Food: **** I thought the food was pretty tasty.  Not the best I've had in my life but definitely nothing much to complain about.

Service: **** The service was pretty good.  I believe the owner was helping to serve us, in addition to our waitress.  I was happy that they comped my dessert after the entree mix-up.  It was nice they tried to make-up for the little flub.

Price: *** I think the prices are pretty comparable for the kind of food you're getting.  It's good quality comfort food but not too high class where you feel like you gotta save a paycheck just to eat there, but then again it's not a place you could regularly afford to visit... well at least not with my paycheck.

Parking: ** There's some decent street parking but it's on an unlit street which was not comfortable to walk down by myself after leaving the restaurant.  They have maybe one or two spots in the back of their restaurant where you can park.  Other than that you have to park on the street. 

Cost of dinner for two with 1 glass of wine each: $63.75. If you want a dessert, add an additional $6. The bread served at the table made a delicious free appetizer. Yum!

1226 Fourth Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 569-8222


  1. Wow, this blog is going to make me sooo hungry!! Congrats on this blog!

  2. Thanks for checking it out, Mrs. P! We are lucky to have so many amazing restaurants in Sonoma County.

  3. Aw, c'mon and admit it, you've written reviews before! That was too good for a first review.

  4. Ha ha, thanks Naomi! You will have to share your recommendations for Sonoma County restaurants to check out.

  5. We rarely go out to eat; just can't afford it.

    But I'd like to hear your impartial opinion about El Coqui at 400 Mendocino. When I finally scrape up a few bucks to go there, I'd like to know what I should order.

  6. Awesome! I love the new blog :) Can't wait to see the next entry! I probably won't have a chance to try these restaurants (I live on the opposite side of the country! lol!) but it is really cool to be able to "try" them through your experiences. If only we could invent internet tasting!

  7. Congratulations on your new blog. Eventhough I don't think I will have a chance to visit there any time soon, it's still fun to read your reviews ^^

  8. Hey everyone! Thanks for checking out our blog! It's been a lot of fun so far! Good food and good company! And to dragonmamma... I've tried El Coqui on numerous occasions... I'm pretty sure I tried it the first week it opened and I love it! Puerto Rican food is sooo delectable! When I go there I usually get the Pollo con Horno with the sweet plantains and yellow rice. It also comes with a delicious avocado, tomato salad. YUM! The portions are a good size too so you won't go away hungry!

  9. Good to hear. Nothing ticks me off more than teensy-weensy portions. I'm a girl with a big appetite.

    What is "horno"? I looked it up and found "brick oven". Chicken with brick oven doesn't sound very appetizing!

  10. Oh, I've got another suggestion. There's a new burger place up on Mendocino called Brody's Burgers with grass-fed burgers. Have you been there yet?

  11. I think horno just means roasted so "Pollo al Horno" means Roasted Chicken...and it IS delectable! You don't even need a knife to cut it! As for Brick oven chicken... I've heard of chicken cooked under a brick which is probably cooked in an oven and well, I gotta say that is delicious too! I've had that at various restaurants and it's nice and juicy!

    Thanks for the suggestion of Brody's Burgers... I haven't heard of it yet but I love a good burger! So we'll definitely add it to the list of places to eat at!

  12. Resurrecting an old post here. My hubby and I went to Brody's Burgers the other day. We both got a Brody's grass-fed burger, and we split a medium order of sweet potato fries with the ranch seasoning on them.

    I thought the burgers were great, and the kaiser buns were definitely tastier and fresher than the usual burger bun. Rob, however, was not overly impressed. He said they were "OK".

    We both loved the sweet potato fries (piping hot and crispy!) but about half-way through, the seasoning started to get a bit over-powering. Rob disagreed; he loved the seasoning down to the last crumb.

    They've got a buck-a-brew promotion going on for an indefinite period of time, but Rob and I are not beer drinkers, which means we spent about twice that price for a coffee and a bottled juice drink.

    One negative: no liquid creamer or milk for the coffee! All they had was powder. Gahh, I HATE powdered creamers.