New Eats in Napa and Sonoma
Some fresh food for thought.
Chef Todd Kniess studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and owned two French restaurants in Berkeley before moving to Sonoma County. His new spot celebrates grass-fed Sonoma Mountain Beef Company meat, grilled to a caramelized exterior with a touch of extra-juicy pink in the middle. 550 East Cotati Ave., Cotati, (707) 665-5620, acmeburgerco.com.
The historic Fagiani/Thomas building has been reborn as a posh California-cuisine restaurant serving food and drinks on all three floors. Standout dishes include fancy toast topped with tangy blue cheese mousse, roasted grapes, and pomegranate reduction; plus braised rabbit with seared gnocchi and brown-buttered mushrooms. 813 Main St., Napa, (707) 203-8900, avownapa.com.
The Dutch Door
Private chef Brent Pennington of Napa’s Pennington Provisions has added a Dutch-door take-out window to his kitchen. Swoop by for gourmet grab ’n’ go delights such as a five-spice pork tenderloin banh mi sandwich with avocado mayo and herb-cashew pesto, or chilled black bean noodles tossed with tomatoes, grilled summer squash, greens, pistachios, hemp pesto dressing, and optional grilled chicken. 1245 First St. (window on Randolph St.), Napa, (707) 880-8301, thedutchdoornapa.com.
House of Flowers
Here’s a secret: Flowers Vineyards and Winery’s new tasting room has its own top chef, Jamil Peden, and offers complimentary luxury bites paired with its $55 tasting flight of five wines. You might have chilled corn soup with sea beans, yuzu, toasted quinoa, and brown butter, and nibble on savory maitake-thyme crostini. 4035 Westside Rd., Healdsburg, (707) 723-4800, flowerswinery.com.
Lucy at Bardessono
Bardessono recently welcomed executive chef Jim Leiken (Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen) and his newly launched field-to-fork menu. Signatures include herb-roasted local pastured chicken breast with kale and morel chicken sausage, shoestring potatoes, and chicken jus; and handmade linguine mixed with squash blossom pesto, roasted heirloom tomatoes, and broccoli di cicco. 6526 Yount St., Yountville, (707) 204-6030, bardessono.com.
William Tell House
Closed for more than a year through a renovation and various pop-ups, the beloved 1877-built Tomales inn and eatery is now serving a full, casual-coastal menu. Delight in buttermilk fried oysters and chips, Bolinas rock cod seafood chowder, and succulent roasted Petaluma chicken. 26955 Hwy. 1, Tomales, (707) 879-2002, williamtellhouse.com.