Best Dinner in Wine Country

After a long day of floating the Russian River, wine-tasting (we see you, oenophiles) or relaxing into your weekend getaway, there’s nothing better than tucking into a delicious, nourishing meal filled with local ingredients. From cozy to elegant-chic to rustic farmhouse, Wine Country has something to offer. As expected, wine is somewhat prominent in this historic region — we’ve included one restaurant located on a vineyard — but the food is as unmatched as the beverage offerings.

With an overwhelming amount of eateries to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to the cream of the crop dinner spots ranging from Sonoma to Saint Helena. Bon appétit!

Photo: Scallion pancake courtesy of Lazeaway Club, Flamingo Resort

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Ad Hoc

Thomas Keller opened Ad Hoc in September of 2006. The restaurant’s four-course menu changes daily and features classic American dishes like fried chicken and barbeque, all served family-style. Drinks here include signature twists on classic cocktails and small, straight-forward wine list. Offerings may include the likes of The French Laundry (TFL) Garden Lettuce Salad with fennel torn croutons and rigatoni carbonara with Hobbs’ bacon. Hours are Monday and Thursday from 4pm to 9pm and Friday through Sunday from 12pm to 10pm. thomaskeller.com

Barndiva-Wine Country-Dinner-@barndivahealdsburg-800x450

Barndiva

The name can be polarizing, but as soon as you see the place you’ll understand why it’s named as such. A perfectly rustic-yet-refined barn with a gorgeous and spacious patio, it’s no surprise that this is such a popular spot of weddings. Much like its neighboring restaurants, Barndiva serves food that’s been sourced from local farmers, ranchers and small batch purveyors. Among the favorite menu items are the goat cheese croquettes with lavender honey and the tagliolini limone with parmesan and meyer lemon cream sauce. Dinner starts at 5pm daily. barndiva.com

Farmstead at Long Meadow-Wine Country-Dinner-@longmeadowranch-800x450

Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch

Long Meadow Ranch is a family-owned business that produces grass-fed beef and lamb, extra virgin olive oil and estate-grown grapes and wine among other items in the Mayacamas Mountains. The restaurant, which has been reset to provide a safe eating space, showcases this bounty on its refined, yet approachable menu that includes home-smoked ribs, warm burrata and a selection of well-balanced cocktails. Tequila fans, check out the Porch Swing — Tanteo jalapeno tequila, watermelon, combier, lime, agave, basil, and a chili salt rim. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 11:30am to 8:30pm, Friday 11:30am to 9:30pm, Saturday 11am to 9:30pm and Sunday 11am to 8:30pm. longmeadowranch.com

Glen Ellen Star-Wine Country-Breakfast-@glenellenstar-800x450
Photo: Courtesy of Glen Ellen Star

Glen Ellen Star

Located in the heart of Jack London’s beloved cozy hamlet, Glen Ellen Star specializes in wood-fire cooking that brings out the finest flavors of their California-inspired dishes. The team sources ingredients from local producers and craft daily menus that showcase the best of the region. Make a reservation and get the house baked sourdough boule and brick chicken with cauliflower labneh, caper berries, dates and ramp “anchoiade.” Hours are Sunday through Thursday from 5pm to 9pm and Friday and Saturday from 5pm to 9:30pm. glenellenstar.com

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Photo: Courtesy of Lazeaway Club

Lazeaway Club, Flamingo Resort

We know, adding a brand-new restaurant to this list is bit risky — we challenge you spend an evening poolside in the newly spruced Flamingo Resort and not find a reason to come back. Refreshingly casual, the patrons range from locals dressed for a night out to hotel guests on vacay mode. Start off with a creative cocktail — no high fructose corn syrup found here — instead expect local honey and herbs and sample the Cal-Pacific cuisine created by Chef Sergio Morales previously of Sam’s Social Club in Calistoga and his team. Highlights on the menu include scallion pancakes (see feature image above), bibimbap, seared ahi tuna and the Lazeaway smashburger built for two. Hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 5pm – 9pm, Friday and Saturday 5pm – 10pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday. flamingoresort.com/dining

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Valette

The story of this restaurant begins in the 1940s with Grandpa Valette, a French-born baker who landed in the Alexander Valley at this very corner (minus the stop signs and cars on the road) to open a bakery. In 2014, Valette’s two grandsons returned to the corner and are now running one of the most popular restaurants in the area. Aaron runs the front of the house and Dustin, a veteran chef, runs the kitchen. The undecided and adventurous won’t want to miss the “Trust Me” tasting menu. Hours are 5pm to 9:30pm daily. valettehealdsburg.com

Who’s writing these?

Meet our always-hungry team of foodies who compiled this list.
Please let us know if we’ve missed your favorite eat@localgetaways.com.

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