Restaurant features new menu
The new owners of the Genesee Store, the Palmaz Family, closed its doors after one last hurrah two years ago on Dec. 31 — putting on a fireworks show at the ranch that rivaled any big city production.
It’s been closed to the public ever since for renovations, with many Indian Valley residents anxious about what would happen to the 100-plus-year-old building and what would be discarded from the vintage building in creating something new.
Just a few weeks shy of that anniversary, the Genesee Store reopened last week to much anticipation. A few people around Genesee and Indian Valley got a sneak preview on the Dec. 1-2 weekend as to what they can expect at the new farm to table restaurant, and many saw the building’s restoration for the first time.
“After two years the restoration on the Genesee Store is complete! So much has changed and yet so much hasn’t! We can’t wait for you to see for yourself,”said Christian Palmaz on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Decorated with huge black and white prints of people inhabiting Genesee years ago — including one of the original chef at the store, Gee Pond Joe, the Palmaz family seems to be set on keeping as much of the original look as possible in this new rendition.
Rotting wood in both the floors and ceiling have been replaced. The floor is now even and the building and the grounds surrounding it are now ADA compliant — including new and very roomy restrooms and an ADA compliant kitchen.
The old stove in the middle of the store still stands. The building has the look and the soul of the old one, but with a new raised foundation. There is a charm to an old broken down building; there’s also something to be said for being able to walk without fear of tripping.
Palmaz indicated that he was thankful the planning department had been willing to work with him on the renovation of the building.
Together with his sister, Florencia Palmaz, who is the executive chef and Cristina Farmer, the chef du cuisine, and Josh Nielson, the front of house manager, he is eager to offer a new type of dining experience to Plumas County.
Seating for the winter season is limited to the store itself, but once the weather is warmer the new patio can accommodate picnic tables and many more. One can easily envision wedding parties out there. Palmaz plans to have bands playing on the patio in the summer.
All the old shelving at the Genesee Store remains intact and is now housing a “bookstore” of previously owned and rare books with sections for children, fiction and non-fiction and of particular note, cookbooks. The store will be partnering with book dealers in Sonoma County to find books for interested buyers, too.
But most of the people invited to the Genesee Store’s soft opening last week had more on their mind than the building. They were hungry with anticipation of what the Genesee Store would now serve up.
On the menu
Christian Palmaz gets excited when he talks about the concept for the restaurant. There are only four tables in the dining room, including a long family style table where one could wind up dining with a neighbor they hadn’t expected to see.
The evening menu on Thursday night is three courses and fixed. Friday and Saturday night are five courses and fixed. The lunch menu and the Sunday brunch menu have options to choose from. All will change seasonally.
The farm to table concept Palmaz is promoting means he’s hoping that the restaurant will be able to source as many local products that it can and to source from as many local and northern Californian businesses as it can.
To that end, the Genesee Store is featuring beef from Genesee Valley Ranch, and other products from nearby ranches. The Palmaz Vineyards, the family’s business in the Napa Valley, is the source for wine, vegetables and fruits.
Indian Valley Lavender Company is the source of lavender — showcased in the Schramel lavender lemonade beverage served there.
The soft opening was the opportunity for people around the valley to try out some of what will be offered. Palmaz couldn’t stop thanking people for coming and trying out the restaurant. The diners couldn’t stop planning for when they hoped to be back next.
“We’re so lucky that this place is here,” said one diner.
“I’ve never eaten like this,” said another.
The flamin’ jack appetizer was a send up to the family’s youth in San Antonio, Texas — baguette, apple and chili jam that dinner guests could dip into melting jack cheese.
The store is also an opportunity to showcase the family’s wines and the Friday and Saturday menu pairs wines with the dinner courses. Diners were treated to a bit of a tasting of what will be offered.
At the soft open, the food was simple: chicken, broccoli, mac and cheese. The quality of the ingredients and the alchemy of the recipes are what made it special: the gruyere in the mac and cheese, the lemon garlic in the broccoli, the beer in the whole chicken. Chef Florencia Palmaz served that up with an au jus sauce of chicken broth, with hints of citrus, for example, and carried the theme into dessert with vanilla panno cotta with candied oranges and a cardamom syrup (used over pancakes on Sundays too).
Florencia Palmaz came out from the kitchen to take questions and ask questions of the diners — they are breaking in both the menu and the kitchen and soliciting feedback.
The restaurant is now open Thursday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday for lunch and dinner 11 a.m. to 2 pm. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., with a Sunday brunch 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Seating is limited so they suggest reservations for a seating by calling (530) 280-0300 or messaging their Facebook page. The December menu is on the www.geneseestore.com website.
Oh and the fireworks on New Year’s Eve are back too. The fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Free and open to the public. Just like it used to be.
The Palmaz Family
7201 Genesee Rd, Taylorsville
Hours of Operation
Thursday: 3-9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 3-9 p.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.