Nicholas Petti, with his wife Jamie Parsons, of Mendo Bistro and Barbelow in Fort Bragg.

Nick Petti, chef/owner at Mendo Bistro in Fort Bragg, has opened  a new, late-night cocktail bar  just below his restaurant in the old Company Store building.
With comfy couches and an elegant bar, Barbelow offers a yummy array of signature cocktails such as The Diamond Dog, the Green Genie and the Cherry Smash.
Among  Petti’s  most popular bar bites are the Chicken Wings and Northern Nachos (housemade potato chips with garlicky Parmesan cream, crumbled blue cheese, minced cornichons and green onions).
Barbelow is open 4 to 11 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, and 4 to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Happy hour runs from 4 to 6 p.m. every day, offering $1 off well drinks, glasses of wine and pints of beer. All ages are welcome, although minors cannot  sit at the bar.
Mendo Bistro and Barbelow are located at 301 N. Main St. 964-4974.

 Here is a recipe for Petti’s signature dish, Crab Cakes with Cabbage Salad and Tarragon Aioli:

 Mendo Bistro Crab Cakes

1 ½  pounds Dungeness crab meat
¾  cup Panko bread crumbs + additional for outer coating
2 green onions, finely chopped
½ to ¾  cup tarragon aioli (recipe follows)
Oil for sauteeing

Combine crab, bread crumbs and green onions. Add ½  cup aioli and test mixture
to see how well it holds together. If needed add additional aioli.
Do not overwork ingredients. Cakes should be loose and just barely hold together.
Form into cakes about 3-inches  in diameter, and place one side in bread crumbs.
Heat oil in medium saute pan over medium high heat until just smoking and place
cakes, bread crumb side down in pan. Saute until golden and carefully turn over.
Lower heat to medium and saute until heated through.
Serve on cabbage salad (recipe follows) and top with additional aioli.

Tarragon Aioli

3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon  salt
1 dash Tabasco sauce
½  cup very hot water
2 cups olive oil
½  bunch tarragon, finely chopped

In food processor, or blender, place all ingredients up to Tabasco
and run machine. Pour in hot water and process for 15 seconds.
With machine running, slowly drizzle in oil
until a mayonnaise consistency is reached. Stir in chopped tarragon.

 Cabbage Salad

1 head green cabbage
Sea salt
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
½ cup Champagne vinegar

Remove outer leaves and core from cabbage and slice thinly.
Toss with a liberal amount of salt and let sit for 30 minutes.
Drain off liquid from cabbage and add chives and vinegar.


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