Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Glen Ellen Gourmet

This Sonoma town may not be large, but its culinary scene is booming.



Glen Ellen Star: Veggies are served in cast-iron pots.

Photo courtesy of Glen Ellen Star

The tiny village of Glen Ellen in northern Sonoma Valley boasted a population of only 784 in 2010. That number was surely lowered by the devastating Nuns Fire last year, which destroyed many homes nearby. Yet despite its small size, the town has become one of Wine Country’s top dining destinations.

Otherwise best known for Jack London State Historic Park and Benziger Family Winery, Glen Ellen primarily serves locals from Sonoma to Santa Rosa, as there aren’t many lodgings nearby. These small-town eateries provide an insider’s taste of Wine Country for visitors.

Chef Ari Weiswasser: The Glen Ellen Star chef  harvests ingredients. Photo courtesy of Glen Ellen Star.

Owned by Sondra Bernstein and John Toulze of The Girl and the Fig, The Fig Café will seem familiar to those well acquainted with the Sonoma restaurant. Like its sister restaurant, it features country French home-cooking made with local ingredients and exclusively serves Rhône wines. thefigcafe.com.

Chef Ari Weiswasser of Glen Ellen Star spent two years at The French Laundry before opening this establishment with a casual feel and distinctly California sensibility. The Star also puts a strong emphasis on sourcing ingredients from regional producers–including its own certified-organic two-acre farm–but sets itself apart with its wood-fired cooking. glenellenstar.com.

The Fig Café: Mushroom pizza and grilled albacore delight at this French-inspired restaurant. Photos courtesy of The Fig Cafe.

Another authentic local hangout is The Saloon at Jack London Lodge. Steeped in the history of the area, the saloon serves comfort food and burgers until 9 p.m. and Wine Country sips until 2 a.m. every day. jacklondonlodge.com.

Also at the Jack London Lodge is Umbria. Chef-owner Giulio Tempesta has relocated and reinvented his famed San Francisco original in Glen Ellen. It might be a new location, but Umbria is still serving up the best of classic Italian food: spaghetti and meatballs in chunky ragu meat sauce, pizza, and a breaded chicken breast atop grilled polenta and spinach. umbriaglenellen.com.

Visitors can also find new faces in Glen Ellen at Les Pascals Patisserie et Boulangerie. The Pascals in question are chef Pascal Merle and his wife, Pascale, who—along with baker Sean Perry—craft pastries and breads customers can eat on the go and serve breakfast and lunch in-house daily as well. The café is casual, but very French. lespascalspatisserie.com.

Mixing the old and the new, Glen Ellen Inn Martini Bar and Grill has reopened after renovation. It offers fresh California cuisine, without fuss. glenelleninn.com.

Any and all of these dining spots will offer visitors an excellent example of Glen Ellen’s blossoming culinary scene. Call ahead to check for hours and reservations, but don’t hesitate to venture out and discover these hidden gems.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Cured Craft at Journeyman Meat Co. in Healdsburg

Pete Seghesio pays tribute to his family’s history with Journeyman Meat Co.

Cooking With Wine

Three local culinary experts illustrate how a touch of vino can enhance your favorite recipes

The Best New Bites

Wine Country is going global, with these new, intriguing, international-themed eateries.

Exquisite Evenings

Copain Wines invites fabulous chefs to pair their dishes.

A Sophisticate Palate

In this day and age of Iron Chef and Rachael Ray, everyone thinks they're a chef - or wants to learn to be one. Evolving with this culinary trend, the prestigious California Institute of America at Greystone is expanding its nonprofessional programs, offering a wide range of ways to introduce the amateur chef to the bounty of Wine Country.

New Eats in Napa and Sonoma

Feast on these new finds.

Claim Your Table

Several restaurants open their doors in time for summer.

A Perfect Pairing

The couple who created the Clif Bar debut a Napa Valley food line.

Inside Wine Country

From locally inspired recipes to essays on winemaking, these new books have it all.

New Eats

An array of nifty new snackable bites and small-plates eateries.

New Eats in Napa and Sonoma

Here’s some happy news for hungry folks in Wine Country.

Petaluma Pleasures

When you think about culinary destinations in Sonoma County, Petaluma often plays second fiddle to Healdsburg and Sebastopol. Recently, however, Rivertown has developed a restaurant scene all its own. Here are three eateries to try on your next visit.
Edit ModuleShow Tags