The Graton Resort & Casino opening in Rohnert Park this fall will be huge, coming in at $800 million and 320,000 square feet, with some 5,000 parking spaces.
But the chef names at the restaurants just announced are big, too. As in world class. Setting up shop in the casino at Highway 101 and Wilfred Avenue are stars like Douglas Keane (the former Cyrus), Tony Gemignani (Tony's Pizza Napoletana, Tony's Coal Fired Pizza, Capo’s Chicago), and Martin Yan (M.Y. China).
It’s a sure win for diners. In total, the line-up will include four standalone restaurant plus nine casual eateries in a 500-seat marketplace. Some of the restaurants are thinking of serving 24-hours, which could be dangerous for diets.
M.Y. China will be an offshoot of Yan’s San Francisco destination, featuring an exhibition kitchen with wok dishes, hand-pulled noodles and dim sum. The noodles are a spectacular show, spun by hand, flipped and swirled in the air, pulled and flashed around like lassos. They’re delicious, too, stocked with wood ear mushrooms, wild boar, scallions and Chinese wine, or slow simmered rib eye with star anise and baby bok choy.
Tony’s of North Beach will be what celebrity chef Gemignani describes as “a hybrid, 80 percent Tony’s pizzas, and 20 percent Capo’s Chicago pizzas, baked pastas and chicken.” The pizza master is nearly world famous for his authentic pies, created in accordance with the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which is the globally accepted "disciplinaire" of the standards required to be an official Napoletana pizzeria.
Note: To be official, , a pizza maker must go to some extraordinary measures. For the crust alone, three pages of instructions detail that it must be fashioned from specially imported OO flour, water of 6-7 pH, sea salt only and yeast with "quite an insipid taste and a low degree of acidity."
Another familiar name for food lovers will be The Daily Grill, which is expanding its west coast chain presence, for classic American dishes with Mediterranean accents. And because ever casino needs a fine dining steakhouse, the upscale 630 Park Steakhouse is a Casino-owned, featuring dry-aged beef and premium seafood.
Everyone who loves top-notch food knows Keane, of course, and the chef will be headlining the marketplace, with his DK Wings offering gourmet chicken wings, fried chicken and a pickle bar, featuring Sonoma Brinery pickles plus Keane’s own fermented recipes.
The James Beard “Best Chef” award winner will offer Petaluma bird dressed in Thai chile, ponzu or tamarind glazes, and breading will be traditional style, or a blend of potato and flour for extra crispiness, plus a “naked,” gluten-free option with no batter or skin.
Details: Graton Resort & Casino, 630 Park Court (at Hwy. 101 and Wilfred Ave.), Rohnert Park, gratonresortcasino.com.
Tip: Such high end dining deserves a high end ride. Cruise to the Casino and back in a Pure Luxury limo or Town Car.