Farm to Fork: Eat Fresh, Locally

farm fork eat fresh locally solano

BackDoor Bistro’s Fried Chicken Dinner. Photo: Michelle Trippi.

There’s no need to travel outside of Solano or Yolo Counties to have a responsibly sourced, organic meal. This month we’re highlighting three venues that offer creative dishes using the freshest of ingredients.

BackDoor Bistro and Wine Bar

VACAVILLE – Just west of downtown, tucked in a small strip mall, sits BackDoor Bistro and Wine Bar. Peeking through the window on your way in, you’ll see Chef Lindsay (formerly of Bistro Jeanty in Yountville), busy at work creating the menu choices of the day. Upon entering, the quaint dining room invokes comfort, welcoming you into your reserved table or to sit casually at the bar.

Relying on local farms for most of the produce and meat, the menu changes daily offering diners fresh, responsibly sourced ingredients in every dish.

Being dedicated life-long fans of fried chicken, my dining companion and I decided to make a reservation for a Tuesday evening, which the chef has deemed “Fried Chicken Night.”

Our server suggested we start with the Cheese and Charcuterie Board; a combination of bleu cheese, smoked goat cheddar, brie, salami soprasetta, prosciutto, house-made bread crisps and cantaloupe-jalapeño and plum jams. All the different flavors make for a fun and delicious appetizer worth trying.

The chicken dinner is served family-style with salad, 2 pieces of chicken per person, two sides and two desserts. The salads, sides and desserts change weekly. This particular night, our sides were red cabbage slaw and house-made home potatoes. The highlight, of course, was the seasoned-to-perfection fried chicken. Its crunchy, crispy coating and moist, tender inside did not disappoint. I will definitely be going back for more. Our dessert, a blackberry compote, was a light and delicious finish to our meal.

BackDoor Bistro is located at 829 Merchant Street in Vacaville. Make your reservation by calling 707-685-9222 or online at BackDoor Bistro is open for dinner Tues-Sat from 5-9pm; lunch Wed-Fri from 11:30-2pm and Sunday Brunch from 10am-2pm. Catering is also available.

Ironwood American Bistro

Delectable beignets at Ironwood American Bistro. Photo: Suzette C. / Yelp

SUISUN – Chef Megan Smith not only has a passion for American food, she also has a passion and respect for responsibly sourced ingredients.

The chef creates culinary delights using only unbleached flours in noodles, pastries and bread, rice bran oil to saute and deep fry, wild caught (not farmed) shrimp, meats without hormones or antibiotics and dairy products without soy.

Inspired by American ethnic cultures and seasonally available ingredients, some of the favorite and popular dishes are the Braised Short Ribs, Pork Loin Chop, Roasted Pork, Macaroni and Cheese and Sausage Flatbread. A must order for dessert are beignets.

With a friendly staff,  Chef Megan has been known to visit the tables of her patrons offering an intimate feeling of community. Ironwood Bistro is located at 203 Main Street, Downtown Suisun. Phone: 707-759-4297,

Dawson’s Bar & Grill

Dawson’s Linguine with Shrimp. Photo: Emily S. / Yelp

DIXON – Established as a cigar store in 1908 by brothers Ben and Bill Dawson of the Dawson Poultry Ranch, then later sold to Joe and Clarabell Dawson,  this popular spot has transitioned many times over the years.

The cigars are long gone along with the sports bar and nightlife atmosphere and new ownership with a menu that offers locally sourced foods, organic offerings and more have taken root.

On Thursday nights, Dawson’s offers Farmers’ Market Thursdays, a prix fixe menu that offers diners a delicious choice of farm fresh foods from the Dixon area and beyond.

With menu choices such as Heirloom Tomato Salad, Honey-Glazed Pork Chop Stir Fry, Baseball Cut Ribeye and Loquat and Fuji Apple Bread Pudding, Dawson’s is quickly gaining a reputation as the best new farm to fork restaurant in the area.

Dawson’s is located at 105 N. 1st St. in Downtown Dixon. Phone at 707-678-2067.

Michelle Trippi writes “Tastes of Your Town”, a monthly feature in the print edition of Your Town Monthly. This article was originally published in the September 2018 Solano and Yolo County print editions.