Tolay Restaurant: 745 Baywood Dr., Petaluma, CA 94954
(707) 283-2900, tolayrestaurant.com
Q-Tips say: Located in the Sheraton Sonoma County Hotel in Petaluma, which is dog friendly. The “Happy Hour” was only in the Lounge area, so that is where we ate. We chose Short Rib Pierogi – Wild Mushroom And Kochukaru Cream, Liberty Duck Spring Rolls – Seasoned With Honey And Soy, Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce With Asian Inspired Greens, Grilled Niman Ranch Flat Iron Steak – Pommes Frites, Grilled Asparagus with a Bacon And Whiskey Sauce. All were excellent along with the superb drinks – it is busy, the food and service is good and we were happy diners.
Bit of Tolay History: In 1823, Father Alta Mira, an early California explorer, discovered a beautiful 2,000-acre valley just three miles south of the present day Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma. He named it “Tolay”, in honor of a local Miwok Indian Chief. Historically, the floor of this valley was home to Sonoma County’s largest lake, Tolay Lake.
Proclaiming this fertile land sacred, indigenous tribes from all over the Pacific Northwest gathered to meet on the shores of Tolay Lake. They blessed sacred Charmstones and cast them into the lake during spiritual and healing rituals. To the Native Americans, these stones symbolized their successful hunting and fishing expeditions, and their bountiful harvests.
Today, the lake and its rich history have given way to abundant springs and ponds that support diverse populations of wildlife and flora, including Golden Eagles. A collection of these Native American Charmstones; over 4,000 years old, are on display at the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC. In honor of this longstanding partnership of land and community, we are proud to call our restaurant “Tolay”.