Gray Goose Bistro Booming in Alta Sierra
The Gray Goose Bistro in Alta Sierra opened for business in September of last year. Since then, they have acquired quite a following.
Johnna Annable and husband Duane are the own the new restaurant. Duane manages the bar while Johnna manages the kitchen and dining room. “I think what makes us different is the personal attention that we give our guests,” said Johnna Annable. “I personally try to make a point of knowing their names, their likes and dislikes.”
When Annable gets a break from cooking on the line, you will find her in the dining room visiting with guests and getting their feedback. She has many requests from people who are on special diets – especially Gluten Free diets, which is a diet with absolutely no wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats.
Since the demand is so large in this area, Annable has trained her staff to make guests feel comfortable with special requests. She has a vast knowledge of special diets, and loves the challenge to create foods without gluten, casin, or dairy.
“Recently, I created a meal for a seven year old young man that missed his fettuccini due to his health restrictive diet,” Annable said. “I created a gluten and casin free creamy pasta dish with a side of gluten free meatloaf. For the first time since his diagnosis his family was able to sit down as a family and eat a dinner out together, without making him feel like he was different. His family sent me an e-mail to thank me for the meal and they now eat here often, calling ahead to tell me to get something together for him.”
The word is spreading fast. Annable now has many guests that call with their questions about gluten free foods, where to buy them and how they are prepared. “I feel blessed that I have gained the knowledge food to be able to help those that need it,” she said
Annable has always wanted her own restaurant and has worked toward the goal her entire adult life. The Annables owned Direct Inspect, a home inspection service for five years.
Johnna Annable made cookies and took them to the local real estate offices as thank you gifts and as a marketing tool. Before long, she was known as “The Cookie Lady”. She owned Tastefully Yours, a personal Chef Service, before opening The Gray Goose.
The Annables are a family that work together. “My daughter. Mary, now 12, named the restaurant after researching different animals,” she said. “She thought it was fitting since the Gray Lag Goose is monogamous and stays together as a family for life.”
Annable’s oldest son, Adam, now fifteen, is learning to cook on the line and looks forward to being a chef someday. Their youngest, Mitch, now 8, loves to play host and busses tables, as well as helping in the kitchen.
Individual and custom banquets and catering are also offered. “I personally meet with each guest and create a menu that everyone invited will love,” Annable said. “Every event is special to the person booking that event and I personally take that to heart and work with them to make it extraordinary.”
Annable recently hosted a wine tasting for a frequent guest. She paired the wines that were to be tasted with creative appetizers, serving a platter for the whites and then the reds.
It was such a hit that they have booked another for the holidays. “I have now been asked by many of our guests to do a wine club that meets quarterly to sell selected reasonably priced wines wholesale,” she said.
During the events, guests will get to see and learn how to pair wines with food, tasting how they can compliment each other. I look forward to getting this off the ground and getting to create some new and exciting foods, she said.
In the (full) bar, they offer a Happy Hour seven days a week with drink and appetizer specials. They also have karaoke, live music and dancing.
With two pool tables, they have nine ball tournaments on Wednesday nights and host pool league on Thursday nights, with four teams playing for The Goose. They offer Direct TV NFL Sunday ticket, and open at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays to host football on four large flat screen TV’s, with lunch and drink specials. Monday nights are football party night in the bar with dollar tacos.
The Gray Goose Bistro dining room is open seven days a week offering home-style comfort foods such as chicken pot pie, meatloaf, and slow roasted beef. They also have steaks and seafood choices that include Johnna’s own creation of blackened scallops with a citronee vodka sauce.
They are becoming well known for their chicken marsala and stuffed chicken breast. Everything is made from scratch. Their greens are organic and the dressings are made in house. No preservatives or additives are used and everything is fresh and prepared daily. “We buy as much locally as we can,” said Annable. “We get most of our meat from SPD in Grass Valley and most of our produce from local growers.” Every meal starts with biscuits with local honey butter.
Recently, Gray Goose Bistro was recognized by cheeseburger-review.com as having the third best cheeseburger (out of ten) by a gentlemen that travels and rates cheeseburgers for his Web site. And “we are very excited to have won the Best New Restaurant of Nevada County by the readers of the Union,” Annable said.
The Gray Goose Bistro is located at 10100 Alta Sierra Drive, Alta Sierra. You may reach them by calling 274-3825
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