707 Scout

Wine Country Buzz (it’s what happens there)
November 4, 2014

Chef Masaharu Morimoto will be a featured guest at Flavor! Napa Valley. Photo courtesy of Flavor! Napa Valley.


Farm to Fork Fall Feast will be held at Glen Ellen’s Atwood Ranch on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Farm Trails.


La Taberna’s authentic Spanish tapas. Photo courtesy of La Taberna.


1313 Main in Napa will feature a new menu from chef Adam Ross. Photo courtesy of 1313 Main.

By 707 correspondent Heather Irwin. Sign up for the BiteClub Newsletter.

*Flavor! Napa Valley*, a celebration of food and wine featuring dozens of top chefs and winemakers, will be happening from Wednesday November 19th to Sunday November 23rd. During the five-day festival, hands-on events like Pickling and Preserving with Long Meadow Ranch, Cake Decorating with Duff Goldman, Cheese Making with local chef Sheana Davis, as well as chef demonstrations from the likes of Todd English, Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Chiarello, and Christopher Kostow happen throughout the valley. There are also wine tastings, wine dinners, seminars, and even more classes to round out the week. Event details and tickets (which range from $75-$295) are available online. [Ed. note: be sure to see the special pricing offered for tablehopper readers on some events here!]

Get Your Eat On: There are two deliciously incredible events on Saturday November 8th. (Sadly, you’ll have to choose.) First up is the Farm to Fork Fall Feast at Glen Ellen’s Atwood Ranch. You’ll get to meet local farmers, cheesemakers, and cider makers, then sit down to what promises to be an incredible meal from Zazu Kitchen + Farm’s Duskie Estes. (And trust us, when Duskie’s in the kitchen, no one goes hungry.) She’s whipping up pumpkin soup, kale salad, red wine-braised beef shank, chicken with Asian pear, and much more.

Tickets are $150 per person and include live music from the Easy Leaves Duo. Proceeds benefit Sonoma County Farm Trails and the young farmers scholarship fund. Details online.

Also on Saturday November 8th is the Best Winery Chefs dinner and fundraiser at Santa Rosa Golf & Country Club. Featuring Simi Winery’s chef Kolin Vazzoler, Robert Mondavi’s Jeff Mosher, Lynmar Estate’s David Frakes, and Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s Tim Bodell, each chef takes on one course with a special wine pairing. Tickets are $145 per person, with proceeds going to the Redwood Empire Food Bank and other local charities. Details online or by calling 707-526-2922.

La Taberna has opened in downtown Napa, a much-anticipated new restaurant from the ZuZu tapas crew. Inspired by the pintxo bars of Northern Spain, it’s a modern take on the classic Spanish tavern. The menu will include tortilla de camarón, ceviches, empanadas, and halibut croquetas. Hours are Sun-Thu 2pm-11pm and Fri-Sat 2pm-12am. 815 Main St., Napa, 707-224-5551.

Restaurant and wine bar ~1313 MAIN~ in Napa has a new menu, after last summer’s chef changeup. Executive chef Adam Ross debuts creative dishes such as poutine beef-fat (!) fries with oxtail gravy ($12), crispy pork trotters with quail eggs ($15), lavender-smoked duck breast with pickled huckleberries ($24), and lamb chops with harissa jus and lime yogurt ($21). The bar snacks menu (think poutine, a burger, and oysters) is half off during happy hour. In addition to wines by the glass, flight, or bottle, 1313 Main also has an extensive collection of beer, ciders (sadly not including any local ciders), spirits, and port.

October 17, 2014

Laci Sandoval of Wind & Rye Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Kate Webber Photography.


The 22-year-old Bistro Ralph in Healdsburg will be closing this year. Image courtesy of Bistro Ralph.


Food and Wine magazine’s Dana Cowin will be at Michael Chiarello’s Bottega on Wednesday October 22nd. Photo courtesy of Book Passage.

By 707 correspondent Heather Irwin. Sign up for the BiteClub Newsletter.

Upcycling Tomatoes: What do you do when life gives you 1,500 pounds of ripe, slightly bruised tomatoes? Make a whole lot of tomato sauce, Bloody Mary mix, and tomato jam.

That’s the idea behind ~WIND & RYE KITCHEN~, a start-up imagined by pastry chef and farmer Laci Sandoval. In just a few months, with nothing more than a truck, a borrowed kitchen, and a willing local chef, she’s transformed, literally, tons of produce headed for the compost pile into shelf-stable products. That’s a whole lot of tasty spaghetti sauce.

It seems the bounty of Sonoma County is sometimes a bit too bountiful, with up to 30 percent (!) of farmers’ market produce going to waste because of minor bruises and blemishes. Working with nearby County Line Harvest in Petaluma and Backyard Kitchen in Forestville, Sandoval has rescued and upcycled these well-worn tomatoes into bottled deliciousness.

The Wind & Rye Kitchen project this summer has offered just a peek at what Sandoval envisions: a large shared commercial kitchen, food incubator, classroom, and gathering spot that would be within the financial reach to the average Sonoma County eater. (It would also be a spot to bake her astounding wedding cakes.) And BiteClub’s all about that kind of thinking.

Sandoval launched a $40,000 Kickstarter campaign this week with the goal of converting an old barn on her property into a commercial kitchen. With the dearth of affordable shared commercial kitchens in Sonoma County, it opens the door to small farms that may want to test a prepared product without a steep financial investment.

In addition to the kitchen, Sandoval hopes to host reasonably priced farm dinners, cooking classes, and events that focus on local foods. “Wind & Rye Kitchen was created to celebrate our personal relationship with food through the ritual of eating on special occasions and in our daily lives. Whether you’re looking for the perfect wedding cake or a memorable meal shared with friends under a starry night sky, we welcome you to feast with us,” said Sandoval. Contribute to the Wind & Rye Kickstarter campaign here.

Bistro Ralph Closing, Long Live Ralph!: For months there’s been speculation about the future of the popular ~BISTRO RALPH~, on the Healdsburg square. BiteClub’s got the scoop that owner Ralph Tingle is selling the eponymous restaurant; the last day of service is slated for Saturday November 8th. “Twenty-two years inside these walls in enough,” said Tingle. But don’t expect him to be off the radar for long. Tingle plans to open a roadhouse-style restaurant with a full bar and beer garden in Healdsburg next summer. “I’m reinventing myself,” he said. As for the fate of Bistro Ralph? Tingle said the new owners (who he won’t yet name) are planning to continue operating the restaurant as Bistro Ralph until the end of the year; they plan to remodel and rename the restaurant in 2015. Big names involved? We suspect so, as Bistro Ralph is on some prime downtown H-burg real estate.

It’s Michelin season! As a preview to the big stars that will be announced Tuesday, the restaurant rating guide has announced its San Francisco Bay Area Bib Gourmand Awards. It’s a huge feather in the caps of moderately priced restaurants (i.e., the places most of us can actually afford) and a definite pathway to the stars. This year’s Bib winners for Wine Country are: Backyard (Forestville), Bistro Jeanty (Yountville), Bistro 29 (Santa Rosa), C Casa (Napa), Chalkboard (Healdsburg), Cook (St. Helena), The Farmer & the Fox (St. Helena), The Girl & the Fig (Sonoma), Glen Ellen Star (Glen Ellen), Grace’s Table (Napa), Hot Box Grill (Sonoma, under new ownership), LaSalette (Sonoma), Monti’s Rotisserie (Santa Rosa), Oenotri (Napa), Redd Wood (Yountville), Risibisi (Petaluma), Sazón (Santa Rosa), Scopa (Healdsburg), Willi’s Wine Bar (Santa Rosa). Falling off this year’s list: Cucina Paradiso (Petaluma) and Boon Eat & Drink (Guerneville), which was a bit of a shocker.

Burnt Ends (The Tasty Bits): Was that chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm making BLTs on Simply Ming last Friday? You bet. Watch for future broadcasts on KQED Life.

Chef Michael Chiarello hosts Food and Wine editor Dana Cowin at his Yountville restaurant, ~BOTTEGA~, on Wednesday October 22nd. Cowin will be introducing her new book, Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen. The book lays bare her many kitchen mishaps (including an infamous bout with a blender), with course-correcting techniques from 65 of her chef buddies, including Eric Ripert (lobster sauce), Ming Tsai (pot stickers), Thomas Keller (chicken), and Jonathan Waxman (turkey). Presented in conjunction with Book Passage, the $140 prices includes a meal with wine and a signed book. Details online.

October 10, 2014

The Fort Ross-Seaview AVA is a burgeoning wine region along Sonoma’s North Coast. Photo courtesy of Fort Ross-Seaview Winegrowers Association.


Copper pots and pans hang from the wall of the new Williams-Sonoma in Sonoma. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.


Chef Tyler Florence at the new Williams-Sonoma. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.


The showcase interior of the former Williams’ home in Sonoma. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.


Shone Farm in Forestville hosts a harvest celebration on Saturday October 11th. Photo courtesy of Shone Farm.

By 707 correspondent Heather Irwin. Sign up for the BiteClub Newsletter.

Eat and Drink to the Coast: Far from civilization and high above the fog line is the coastal Fort Ross-Seaview American Viticultural Area, or wine region. Homesteaded by hippies in the 1970s, the remote mountainous area, roughly between Healdsburg and Fort Ross, is home to one of the newest AVAs—and also one of the most up and coming. With just 27,500 vineyard acres and about 18 commercial vineyards, the cool coastal region has become a mecca for chardonnay and pinot noir. Among the top-tier wineries sourcing from this high-altitude AVA: Flowers, Martinelli, Pahlmeyer, Siduri, and Williams Selyem. Nope, not too shabby. So it’s worth the drive to the Fort Ross Historic State Park on Saturday October 18th for the 2014 Fort Ross-Seaview Wine and Harvest Festival.

On the docket: a wine tasting of recent vintages from local growers and winemakers and a luncheon featuring chefs John Ash, Barbara Hom (executive chef of Fort Ross Vineyard), Richard Whipple (executive chef of Sea Ranch Lodge), and Daniel Kedan and Marianna Gardenhire of ~BACKYARD RESTAURANT~ in Forestville. The Harvest Festival includes cheeses, apple cider, and baked goods from local growers, buggy rides, and Russian communal dances. The cost is $35 for wine tasting, $125 for the luncheon, and $20 for the festival. More details and tickets online.

Williams-Sonoma has finally come home to Sonoma: As we reported last week, nearly 60 years after its founding, entrepreneur Chuck Williams’ original ~WILLIAMS-SONOMA~ store has reopened just off the Sonoma town square. “We’re celebrating our roots and coming back home,” said Janet Hayes, president of the Williams-Sonoma brand. First opened in 1954 at 605 Broadway, the kitchenware store was among the first to bring French copper pots, Le Creuset bakeware, and high-end culinary tools to American home cooks. In fact, if you’ve ever used a KitchenAid stand mixer, Wüsthof knife, or poured cream from a little porcelain cow, you have Chuck to thank.

Ironically, since the store’s move to San Francisco in the late 1950s, there’s been no Williams-Sonoma in its namesake town—or anywhere in Sonoma County. In a stroke of luck, however, the original storefront (which had served as catering kitchen and frame shop among other things) came up for sale recently, and company officials knew they had to snap it up. Included in the sale was Williams’ home, which he shared with his mother for many years. After a massive renovation, the store has much of its original essence—from the original sign to Williams’ own collection of copper pans and French cooking molds—along with the crisp, luxe feel of the modern W-S vibe.

Food Network chef and Marin resident Tyler Florence was at the opening, and reminisced about his first meeting with Chuck in 2006. “I had a real connection when meeting Chuck at my own kitchen store. He brought the first copper and paella pans to home chefs. He brought all these new vehicles of expression,” said Florence. “What Steve Jobs did for computers, Williams did for cooking,” he added. We couldn’t have said it better.

The new store, at 605 Broadway, Sonoma, will be open daily from 9am to 6pm. A professional kitchen on-site will offer hour-long cooking classes that include:

  • Chef-owner Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen & Farm - 10/14
  • Chef and culinary instructor Jason Kupper - 10/20
  • Chef Dustin Valette of Dry Creek Kitchen - 10/21
  • Executive chef Todd Thompson of the Red Grape - 11/3
  • St. Francis Winery Wine Pairing Dinner - 11/11
  • Chef Cindy Pawlcyn of Mustards Grill - 12/12  

Down on the Shone Farm: Santa Rosa Junior College’s ~SHONE FARM~ (a working farm used for agriculture, viniculture, and culinary students) celebrates fall with a festival that includes U-pick pumpkin and vegetable harvesting, apple pressing, wood milling, and hayrides on Saturday October 11th from 11am-3pm. It’s family-friendly old-timey fun with a rotten tomato slingshot, forest walks, and plenty of animal petting. The Nellie’s Oysters food truck will be on site, along with plenty of delish lunch options from the farm. 7450 Steve Olson Lane, Forestville. Free.

October 3, 2014

Spirit Works Distillery in Sebastopol recently released a barrel-aged gin. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.


Christopher Long is the roving bartender of Libations Unlimited in Wine Country. Photo courtesy of Christopher Long.


Chuck Williams in 1956. A Williams-Sonoma store will open in Sonoma this weekend. Photo courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.


El Barrio opens in Guerneville. Image courtesy of El Barrio.


Chef Jamil Peden will leave Woodfour Brewing, but remain part of the Monday ramen pop-up. Photo courtesy of Heather Irwin.


Bonnie Lynn Tempesta. Photo courtesy of Boncora Biscotti.


The new KSRO food lineup includes (from left) Steve Garner, chef John Ash, Marcy Smothers, and Clark Wolf. Photo courtesy of Marcy Smothers.

By 707 correspondent Heather Irwin. Sign up for the BiteClub Newsletter.

On a recent tour of ~SPIRIT WORKS DISTILLERY~, BiteClub fell a little bit in love. Partly with owners Timo and Ashby Marshall’s Boston terrier, Bandit, but mostly with their newly released barrel-aged gin.

Made from red winter wheat, the gin is aged in new white oak, imparting a rich amber hue and giving it a more intense, toasty flavor, with lots of vanilla, butterscotch, cardamom, and orange. It’s a perfect winter sipper. Try it mixed with a little eggnog or straight-up by the fire.

Want to see the distillery for yourself? Guided tours are available Fri-Sun for $15 per person; reservations required. While you’re there, pick up a bottle of their vodka, rye whiskey, or sloe gin (a specialty of Timo’s family for generations), which are also available at local BevMos and specialty retailers. 6790 McKinley St #100, Sebastopol, 707-634-4793.

Guerneville’s food and drink renaissance continues with the recently opened ~EL BARRIO~ cocktail lounge. It’s the next in a series of food and drink projects by Crista Luedtke, who also owns Big Bottom Market, Boon Eat + Drink, and Boon Hotel + Spa.

The “Mexican modern cocktail lounge” will focus on spirits—bourbon, tequila, and mezcal—rather than food, with a robust drink program developed by SF bartender and consultant Christina Cabrera (Novela, Range, Marlow, Michael Mina). Luedtke says the name, which translates as “the neighborhood” is also a play on words bar and rio (“river”), or “river bar.”

The lounge replaces Whitetail Wine Bar, and the revamped interior includes custom-made Talavera tile and a graffiti wall installation by the Apexer, a SF-based artist. 16230 Main St., Guerneville.

It doesn’t get much cooler than this, cocktailians. From his vintage-style teardrop trailer, bartender Christopher Long (Spoonbar, Campo Fina) roams Napa and Sonoma serving up artisan cocktails (aka liquid alchemy) at outdoor dinners, weddings, and other Wine Country gatherings. Libations Unlimited offers bespoke drinks for each event, including kegged cocktails, a beer tap, and his customized espresso machine. So much classier than your brother pouring too warm wine, that’s for sure. You can hire Long (yes, he has a beard and wears a vest like any good bartender) for your event at libationsunlimited.com or by calling 707-328-2132.

Brawl of the bartenders at the Sonoma Bar Battle: Are there ever losers in a cocktail competition? Especially when the audience gets to be the judges? On Saturday October 11th, 14 local bars and restaurants will battle for the ultimate cocktail concoction. Did we mention that Charbay Artisan Distillery is the proud vodka provider and that Gloria Ferrer is hosting the sparkling wine cocktail contest? Tickets are $35 online and $40 at the door. Dancing, food, and a photo booth to document the merriment are included. All proceeds go to charity. Sonoma Veterans Building, 126 First St., Sonoma.

Former North Bay chef Matthew Bousquet has turned up at SF’s ~PER DIEM~. His Windsor restaurant, Mirepoix, which earned a Michelin star, closed in 2011, leaving a hole in the Sonoma County restaurant scene. We’re happy to hear he’s landed in a new gig focused on seasonally inspired dishes (though they lean more toward Italian than Bousquet’s well-known French cuisine). Santé!

In Napa, the owners of ~CA’ MOMI ENOTECA~ plan to open a second restaurant in downtown Napa. The menu is still under wraps, but expect their Oxbow Market enoteca (610 1st St., Suite 9, Napa) to continue focusing on authentic, to-die-for Neapolitan pizzas and pastries. The Oxbow location is one of the few pizzerias in the United States that’s certified by the authoritative Vera Pizza Napoletana association in Italy. Seating is limited at Oxbow, so we’re hoping to see even more “slow food” entrees (beef tongue, oxtail, and “obsessively Italian” pastas) in the larger restaurant space. 1141 First St., Napa.

After several years of planning, permitting, and building, the kitchen outfitter Williams-Sonoma is returning to its Sonoma roots. In celebration of founder Chuck Williams’s 99th birthday, the store will (re)open on Saturday October 4th (that’s tomorrow) at its original Sonoma Square location; there will also be a cooking school and culinary museum. The landmark store opened in 1956, when a prescient Williams decided Americans might appreciate European-quality cookware. Just a few years later, Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking kindled a firestorm of interest in high-end copper pots, pans, and knives. Sonoma County hasn’t had a Williams-Sonoma store since Williams moved his operation to San Francisco in the late 1950s. 605 Broadway, Sonoma.

Saturdays get even tastier on local news station KSRO (1350 AM, 103.5 FM) with the debut of At the Table with Wolf & Smothers on Saturday October 4th. Wine Country food fanatics Clark Wolf and Marcy Smothers will dish each week on food news and personalities with guests such as Ruth Reichl, Emeril Lagasse, Bruce Aidells, Martin Yan, and Douglas Keane. The dynamic duo’s first show airs live from the Sonoma County Fairgrounds during the Harvest Fair this Saturday from 1pm-3pm. KSRO’s Saturday lineup also includes The Good Food Hour with John Ash and Steve Garner from 11am-noon and On the Wine Road with Jeff Davis from noon-1pm. Delicious!

The food world lost a gourmet pioneer this week. Bonnie Lynn Tempesta, credited with introducing biscotti to the American food scene in the 1980s, died on September 25th at her Sonoma home. After founding La Tempesta Bakery Confections in the Bay Area in 1982, she became the largest biscotti producer in America, selling to Neiman Marcus, Starbucks, Macy’s, and Dean & DeLuca. The entrepreneur sold her business in 1997, devoting her life to art, animals, and a program for disadvantaged youth. In 2012, she started a small philanthropic bakery in Kenwood named Boncora Biscotti, donating a portion of every sale to her favorite cause, Pets Lifeline of Sonoma Valley.

Moving on from Sebastopol’s popular ~WOODFOUR BREWING~ is Jamil Peden. The creative chef, whose résumé includes Petite Syrah and Healdsburg’s Campo Fina, says he doesn’t yet have any plans, but welcomes the change. You’ll still find him at Woodfour’s ramen pop-up, Ramen Gaijin, on Mondays. There are some whispers about the new chef, who we hear is coming from a highly respected Marin restaurant, but no official word yet.

A hearty hello to the forthcoming ~YETI RESTAURANT~, slated to open in the former Lyon’s location in Santa Rosa, near the intersection of Farmers Lane and Highway 12. Yeti has been a popular Himalayan/Indian restaurant in Kenwood for several years, offering some of the best naan BiteClub’s ever had. More details on when they’ll arrive soon.


Dusk on the terrace at Cairdean Estate. All photos: © tablehopper.com.


The Countess of Carrak.


Smoked duck wings.


You game for some game pie?


Humphrey’s squab and lobster salad.


A variety of seating options, from the communal table to booths with banquette seating.

A Wine Country visit and review by Marcia Gagliardi.

The next time you’re heading to St. Helena or Calistoga, you should think about stopping off at the newly opened Cairdean Estate on the St. Helena Highway, just at the base of Spring Mountain. The owners, winemaker Stacia and Edwin Williams, have done a good job transforming the former outlet center into a food-and-wine destination (which will be taking shape even more in coming months with a sensory tasting experience and mercantile).

There’s a tasting room where you can try their extensive lineup (they have two estate vineyards, one in the Coombsville AVA of Napa Valley and the other in the Russian River Valley AVA), which includes an unoaked chardonnay, rosé (made from cab, merlot, and syrah), Russian River pinot, sangiovese, cabernet franc, and more. The tasting room has a gorg view of the valley at sunset, and here’s one more bonus: it’s open until 8pm nightly. There is also a very stylish private room for club members for events and parties, with its own bar and fireplace.

What I recommend is visiting the tasting room for a pre-dinner aperitif, and then saunter over to The Farmer & the Fox for dinner. The chef is Joseph Humphrey, who has a long legacy in Wine Country and San Francisco—the talented Florida-born chef got his start in New Orleans, and then came west to open the Restaurant at Meadowood. He was also the executive chef at Auberge du Soleil, Murray Circle, and then opened his own place, Dixie, in SF. Now he’s back in the 707, creating a modern, Napa-style version of a British gastropub.

Start with a cocktail from bar manager James Kendall, who blew our collective minds with his creative and balanced concoctions. The Countess of Carrak is one of the most unique drinks I have had all year, with Krogstad aquavit, egg white, beet juice, lemon juice, and a dusting of fennel pollen (and the Cairdean logo stenciled on top). Kendall hails from Bouchon and Ad Hoc, and his handcrafted cocktails are destination-worthy in and of themselves.

You’ll want to quickly order the cured salmon ($15) that comes on beer bread with curls of butter, spring onions, purslane, and herbs to keep the Countess good company. You should also make sure the smoked duck wings ($9) make their way over, a fun spin on buffalo wings (they come with crumbled Pt. Reyes blue cheese and finely diced celery), and of course the Scotch egg ($8) needs to be on the table—it’s spicy, with shaved horseradish and a watercress pistou. Humphrey’s team also shucks some fantastic Shigoku oysters (they come with a Mendocino seaweed mignonette).

Heartier choices include a game pie ($15) made with boar, venison, squab, quail, and duck (I know, whoa!), its density and richness cut by a big scoop of whole-grain mustard and crème fraîche on the plate. The flavor-forward lamb tartare ($12) comes with thick-cut, curry oil-brushed brioche, but we also loved piling it into the warm popovers ($9), baked every half hour. (I really enjoyed the texture from the fried shallots in the tartare as well.)

Of course there’s a burger ($16), with grass-fed beef, cheddar, and chips that get a clever dusting of vinegar powder. On the elegant side is a simple grilled fish ($21) with béarnaise, and check out that amazing price again. Bonus: it comes with rumbledethumps (!!), battered and golden little potato, cabbage, and onion croquettes. Say it: rumpledethumps! You can really dial in the luxe with the Paine Farm squab (cooked like a dream) and lobster salad ($32), with a stunning jus made from the two, balanced by the prickly heat of a baby mustard salad on the side.

All the dishes have Humphrey’s refined touch, mad culinary technique, and soigné plating, with such well-sourced ingredients. Unfortunately the desserts looked impressive but didn’t particularly stand out for various reasons (we tried the butterscotch mousse cake, roasted peach rice pudding, and ginger ice cream cake). But the after-dinner drinks, like the Spanish coffee (Kahlúa, Combier, coffee, whipped cream, and burnt sugar rim) ended things on a high note.

The restaurant doesn’t charge a corkage, which is pretty notable. Our server was friendly and well schooled on the menu, but our meal took a long time, with lags in service that I would have understood with a busier restaurant. It’s a location that doesn’t have food traffic—people will need to know about it before heading over—so I imagine biz will pick up in time. It’s still relatively fresh and new. But as the word spreads about Humphrey’s hearty-yet-elegant cuisine, the killer cocktails, and the stylish dining room that’s well designed for groups (there are plenty of booths), people should start filling it up. There were a bunch of fun residential design details, from the homey plates on the oak-paneled walls to the Welsh blankets and leather wingback chairs. It’s the kind of design that makes you instantly comfortable (although they could turn the overhead lights down a touch—then again, it made for some excellent food photography lighting, ha-ha).

If you’re around during the daytime, pay a visit to Butterscots Bakery, Deli, and Culinary Market (open daily from 7am-5pm). You can get your morning coffee and a house-baked croissant or a scone if you’re on the run, or sit on the fab patio for a nice lunch or afternoon snack (there are also picnic tables, plus an outdoor fire pit for evening chillaxing with a glass of wine). You can choose from a pretty significant array of salads (great to go as well), sandwiches, unique breads (including seaweed, curry brioche, and Scottish beer bread), cookies, and pastries. Oh yeah, and puddings!

3111 St. Helena Hwy. at Ehlers Ln., St. Helena. Restaurant: 707-302-5101.