May 15, 2012

May 15, 2012

A rendering of The Social Club (courtesy of Mick Suverkrubbe).


St. Francis Winery & Vineyards (photo by Heather Irwin).


Oakville Grocery in Napa; photo courtesy of Oakville Grocery.


A rendering of French Blue in St. Helena, courtesy of French Blue.

By 707 correspondent, Heather Irwin.

More SF players moving north: The team behind SF’s Circa, The Cosmopolitan, and Parlor Bar plan to open ~THE SOCIAL CLUB~ in Petaluma this July. Executive chef Steven Levine will create a rustic American menu around a wood-fired oven and grill expected to include smoked short ribs, grilled Angus hangar steak, Prather Ranch burgers, and Sonoma fried chicken. Prices will range from $5-$24. Levine garnered critical acclaim for The Cosmopolitan and was the former chef of Freestyle in Sonoma. Owners are currently looking for a chef de cuisine.

Big names attached include restaurateur Mick Suverkrubbe, designer Lauren Geremia (Blackbird, Churchill, Citizen’s Band), a beverage program developed by Alex Fox (Bar Tartine, Gary Danko, Myth), and GM Damion Wallace (Wexler’s, Bistro Aix, Gary Danko, and Myth). The bar menu will include 50 bottled craft beers, single-malt scotches, and bourbons, along with an affordable wine list. Outdoor fire pits and a large patio are key outdoor features planned for the restaurant.

Bacon beckons at ~ST. FRANCIS WINERY & VINEYARDS~ on Saturday May 19th, when the Sonoma Valley winery hosts a Luxury Bacon Dinner. It’s a porktastic voyage that includes a bacon-stuffed roulade of beef, chicken-fried bacon and gravy, smoked bacon tamari, and banana bread with bacon lardons for dessert. 100 Pythian Rd. at Hwy 12, Santa Rosa, 707-833-0242.

After closing in January for much-needed repairs, Napa Valley’s ~OAKVILLE GROCERY~ reopens Tuesday May 22nd. The 130-year-old general store best known for its gourmet picnic fare has an upgraded interior and menu. There’s a new walk-up espresso window and ice cream counter (serving locally made Three Twins ice cream, natch) along with a farm stand featuring fresh produce from nearby Rudd Farms. Newly appointed toque Jason Rose (formerly of the Delfina Group and La Cocina) has rejiggered the menu to include updated sandwiches, salads, baked goods, and seasonal produce from the farm. The 130-year-old general store was rescued from an uncertain future by winery and restaurant owner Leslie Rudd (Dean and Deluca, Press, Oakville Estate) in 2007. 7856 Saint Helena Hwy. at Oakville Rd., Napa, 707-944-8802.

It’s a busy month for Rudd, who will also open the forthcoming ~FRENCH BLUE~ in St. Helena on Tuesday May 29th. The restaurant, named for the signature blue doors that have stood at the entrance of the redesigned building for 50 years, will serve a variety of farm-to-table-inspired dishes using a wood-fired oven. Executive chef Philip Wang (Carneros Inn, Daniel, Jardinière) heads the kitchen, while designers Howard and Lori Backen dish up sleek Wine Country design. Managing partner Stanley Morris (Teatro ZinZanni) adds to the restaurant’s star-power credentials. French Blue will serve dinner only (5pm-11pm) until Monday June 4th, when it opens for lunch, adding breakfast service Wednesday June 13th. 1429 Main St. at Adams St., St. Helena, 707-968-9200.

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