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Permanently Closed - The County Bench Kitchen & Bar

4.1
165 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. At The County Bench Kitchen + Bar we draw inspiration from our local farmers, fisherman, wine makers, and brewers. We believe the best food comes from the best ingredients and that the best ingredients come from right here in our own backyard. In our kitchen, we highlight quality, local ingredients and make sure that they are prepared and cooked perfectly. We aren’t interested in overwhelming our guests or the ingredients that compose our food. We want our food and your experience to be approachable. We welcome all local ingredients into our humble home and we welcome all to join us for a truly crafted experience. It’s pretty simple really… local people + clean ingredients + timeless technique = The County Bench Kitchen + Bar
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday : 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday : 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Happy Hour: Tuesday - Friday : 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Late Night Happy Hour - Tuesday - Thursday: 8:00 - 10:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 9:00 - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(707) 535-0700
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Bruce Frieseke
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Private party facilities
Upstairs mezzanine will seat 30 people comfortably for a fine dining.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Mendocino
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 165 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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1.0Dined on August 12, 2017

This was soooooo disappointing. I made a reservation --drove 30 minutes to the restaurant and got to the door and it said 'CLOSED'. I was dismayed that no one called me to say that my reservation would not be honored due to being closed. How is that possible?

I am so disappointed. Any chance they just found out they were going to close just before they might close? i doubt it.

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4.0Dined on July 28, 2017

The décor was nice. Great bar with plenty of seats and decorative facing wall. Service was prompt, knowledgeable and friendly. The dinner menu is limited.

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2.0Dined on July 27, 2017

Service was very slow for everything...drinks, food, reordering, dessert...I recommend going elsewhere unless you want to take advantage of their Happy Hour and $1.00 oysters, which were good.

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2.0Dined on July 14, 2017

The food service was inept (e.g., brought the wrong dishes to the table, wasn't aware that bread should accompany the mussels even though it says it on the menu, second round of drink order didn't get placed so it came out only after we'd waited a long time and then had to ask). The fellow who appears to be the owner was not the least bit personable. Just an awkward and disappointing experience.

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3.0Dined on July 1, 2017

It was ok but mostly felt like faux organic, farm-to-table rather than authentic. And for what it was, I think way more expensive than it should've been.

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4.0Dined on July 1, 2017

Fun. Potions are on the smaller side. Would go back though.

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3.0Dined on July 1, 2017

The service was excellent and the food was good quality and fresh, but I didn't find it as flavorful as I would have expected for the prices.

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3.0Dined on June 23, 2017

Felt I did not get value for the price. Extremely limited menu and no specials. Too much taking plates/flatware and replacing---distracting and unnecessary.

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5.0Dined on June 21, 2017

Came here for the first time to treat my oldest friend for her Birthday! Fantastic food and impeccable service. I felt it was a good value for what we had for dinner!!! Keep up the great work..

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2017

First visit and will definitely be back. Preparation and presentation of food were both outstanding.

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3.0Dined on June 16, 2017

Food was different and fresh, though the shrimp on the salad came with heads on and no plate to get rid of them... had to ask for one. Also the shrimp were Very salty. The Pea Gazpacho was good.
Overall okay... wait was quite long to get someone to even offer water and also very long before our order was placed. They got more help in when we were almost finished with our meal, three people, and each one asked us how we were doing and if we needed anything... a bit annoying. Bar and crowds were very noisy.

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1.0Dined on June 15, 2017

The wine list is VERY overpriced. The menu was quite limited. They were out of one of the beers on their bar list and one of the glasses of wine ordered was maderized. Service was almost non-existent. Paid for our drinks and left without ordering any food - what a disappointment.

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1.0Dined on June 13, 2017

Lousy all the way around.. has closed..

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5.0Dined on June 13, 2017

We went here for Happy Hour nibbles prior to an event at a local theater. Great nibbles and very nice wines available by the glass. Outstanding food and service. Highly recommended. We'll be back.

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3.0Dined on May 25, 2017

This restaurant was just okay. The menu wasn't very big, which is usually a good sign in that the restaurant then does a fabulous job with the few items on their menu. I will say the beet salad was delicious and very well done. I also had the foie gras and it was a disappointment. Very little duck liver and LOTS of greens; to the point where I wasn't sure there was any liver on the plate at all. My husband had the pork chops which he said were delicious, but my friend had the halibut, which was quite thin and she said way too salty. Overall I'd rate this as an "okay" restaurant, but not one I will be craving to go back to any time soon.

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2.0Dined on May 24, 2017

The place is charming but noisy. Menu is very limited, maybe 10 appetizers, 6 small plates and 5-6 "large" plates. The cheese and cracker plate was rather sparse on cheese (2 slices of fancy local cheese) with some dry thin cracker break, a bowl of nuts and a teaspoon of local honey. I ordered a "large" plate of chicken breast, it had 3 small slices plus some kind of leg bone with meat attached that was breaded. Came with a couple mushrooms and some wilted green on top - boring as heck, no flavor! Won't go back.

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4.0Dined on May 21, 2017

THE PORK, CHICKEN AND THE HALIBUT WAS EXCELLENT. WE HAD APPETIZERS TO START OUT AND DESSERT WAS GREAT TOO. VERY NICE DRINK MENU AS WELL. HANA, OUR SERVER WAS OUTSTANDING, TAKING CARE OF OUR EVERY NEED. SHE WAS VERY PATIENT WITH ALL OUR OUR QUESTIONS AND GAVE US GREAT RECOMMENDATIONS. WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO COMING BACK FOR THE GREAT FOOD AND SERVICE.

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3.0Dined on May 20, 2017

Food was just OK. Portions were small. Choices were limited. Service was good.

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5.0Dined on May 20, 2017

This was our third time to dine at The Bench. Food was excellent as was the wait staff. Tried the Padron peppers but they were way to hot ( spicy)for our taste. Advised our waitress and she took the price off our bill. All in all, a very pleasant evening at the Bench!

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4.0Dined on May 19, 2017

Great Happy Hour. Steel Head on Quinoa Cracker and Oysters for $1.50 each- tasty and fresh. Pricey main dishes- New York and Halibut meals in mid $30s- . We would go back for Happy Hour for sure.

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5.0Dined on May 16, 2017

This one is a keeper! Loved the menu the portions and the presentation on everything! The salmon on Quinoa cracker was a slam dunk. Hamachi collar was very yummy with a very Asian bent. Everything was tasty and fresh. Service was super but we were there on a Tuesday night so they were not busy.

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5.0Dined on May 15, 2017

All four of us had the tasting menu and loved it. Each course was delicious. They added a few extra "bites" to start and finish the meal, the portions were perfectly sized, and lastly, it was a great deal. Hard to beat. We will definitely return and tell others to do the same.

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3.0Dined on May 14, 2017

We went for Mother's Day brunch with two littles, a 1 year old and a 3 year old, and were not thrilled with our experience. Ultimately, if you're going to have a "Mother's Day" event, it would be helpful to have a family-friendly meal prepared OR options for kids. As it stands, they had neither and after ordering two milks for them, which came in glass glasses (without a straw) I knew it was not going to be the best meal. I had to ask for straws...for toddlers...at a Mother's Day event. To be fair, they did their best to accommodate our requests but it really bummed me out. I also saw that they had roses at the front for moms but I watched two mothers have to ASK for their flowers on their way out. The gentleman who was maybe the manager (?) was staring at his phone behind the bar as they walked past, which was not just a quick glance because one of the mother's was using a walker. Needless to say, I didn't leave with a rose.

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3.0Dined on May 9, 2017

Food was a bit pricey for overall experience. The food was okay, but not "OMG!"
But the wine list was startlingly limited and expensive. Looking at Sauvignon Blanc (a basic mainstay on any wine list) there were only 3 choices! The cheapest was from NAPA, for $48. The next two, from Sonoma County, were $82 or $84. SauvBlanc? Really? Looking at the other varietals was also disturbing.
My wife said it would be embarrassing for a young couple on a date ... the poor host has no choice but overpay for wine. Odd for a casual (i.e. not top-tier) restaurant in the midst of wine country, with so many other great restaurants to choose from. Too bad! We won't be back.

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5.0Dined on May 7, 2017

My husband and I had a most enjoyable dinner with excellent service.

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4.0Dined on May 2, 2017

This was our 4th or 5th meal here and second dinner. I clearly prefer the menu for lunch/brunch as again our group had a hard time figuring out how to share the larger plates. We did well with the small plates ----- salads are always exceptionally good. All the ingredients are top flight. On earlier visits, we had found it hard to find an inexpensive/moderate wine on the list. This time, we learned before arriving that corkage would be free and brought our own. The old wine list was gone and current offerings were presented on a tablet. We sense change in management, but service was excellent and food was quite good although there was a long delay between starters and mains.

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2.0Dined on April 30, 2017

We were not prepared for this way-out menu. Wine list we could not find any selection we wanted. Be sure to check the menu before you go.

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4.0Dined on April 29, 2017

Food was good, but not good enough to warrant such small portions and high prices. I would only recommend to people with small appetites and enough cash.

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3.0Dined on April 22, 2017

It's a nice spot, stylish decor, and right in the heart of Santa Rosa; dunno if there's anything else of interest (restaurantwise) in the area, and that's primarily the reason I said I would reccommend it.

The food quality is good, and the service was very solid...to the point of overattention at one point, but I won't ding a place for that. Cuisine is New American, and presentation was good. Our server was well informed and charming.

I was suggested the place for it's Euro-focused winelist, but arrived to find it greatly diminished from what I was told about and what was found online. Inquiring, I was told the somm that built it stacked the place with a bunch of pricey wines that didn't sell and was let go. What remains, as of this writing, is a weird mix of stuff, both Cali and EU, with most of EU stuff at the expensive end ($100+). That was a letdown, and my main cause for the lukewarm review of "Good."

I bet once they get back on track wine-wise, the place will be better; a good somm working with a good chef, which they have, is where the magic is made.

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4.0Dined on April 22, 2017

Three gal pals sat at the bar and enjoyed wine and small plates - all delicious!

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5.0Dined on April 21, 2017

Great time at the Bench. Service is what made it for us. Casey took care of me and my wife, with all her dietary restrictions no less. We let them know ahead of time which prepared them, but super accommodating and will definitely go again!

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1.0Dined on April 16, 2017

I left a very negative review in Yelp which I would post if I could copy it but I am not giving anymore time to this very negative experience. Will not return or recommend.

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4.0Dined on April 16, 2017

Went here for Easter brunch with a mix of dietary needs and they accommodated nicely!

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2017

The food was outstanding! The service was over the top. I couldn't ask for a more perfect experience for an anniversary dinner!

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3.0Dined on April 7, 2017

Ok but not a lot of choices on the food menu. Beer choices were decent but again not a lot of depth.

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3.0Dined on April 1, 2017

Loved the ambiance. Wasn't sold on the dinner menu. Some items were great and others weren't. I didn't like the idea of small bites and then 6 entrees. Would have liked to see salad options as well.

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5.0Dined on March 31, 2017

The food, cocktails and service was impeccable!

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3.0Dined on March 29, 2017

Good food. The happy hour was a good value. However, the service was poor. A long wait for the drink order, a long wait for the drinks, a long wait for the happy hour appetizers, a long wait to order dinner, a long wait to get dinner, very difficult to reorder drinks, a long wait to order and then get dessert. It wasn't that there were not enough wait staff. They were just very unorganized. Would not go back unless I hear that they got their act together.

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2017

Great service. Funky vibe. Food was lovely!

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2.0Dined on March 23, 2017

Service was really, really slow. Waited 45 minutes to get the entree. Food was good. Make sure you have LOTS of time if you give this place a shot.

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