Of all of the places we have eaten in Northern California, Bottega is my favorite. The Yountville eatery of famed chef Michael Chiarello, Bottega combines laid back California relaxation with a touch of old world Italy for an unforgettable dining experience.
Zazu, Santa Rosa
Zazu is a roadhouse in the heart of Sonoma wine country with an intense focus on fresh and local food. Most of the ingredients at Zazu are grown on the property or within a few minutes’ drive, and when we dined there last summer, our meal was blissfully simple and perfect. Zazu also offers a fun blind tasting option on their wine list so you can see if all of that wine tasting has paid off!
Nestled in a narrow space in a row of restaurants and stores, you can easily miss Scopa, but it is definitely a fantastic find. Just be sure to make reservations. Scopa offers a variety of Italian small plates, pizza, and pasta in addition to Italian and local wine in a very cozy atmosphere. A great place for dinner for two!
Oxbow Public Market, Napa
Oxbow Public Market is almost everything to almost everyone. Want a pint of beer and some oysters? Wander down to the Hog Island Oyster Bar. Interested in having the best English muffin in the US? Model Bakery is there for you. Or maybe you are craving a good old burger and fries. Oxbow Public Market has that covered with Gott’s Roadside. And there is so much more. You could eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Oxbow, for days, and never eat at the same place twice!
Dry Creek Kitchen, Healdsburg
Light, airy, with a wall of windows open to the outdoors, Dry Creek Kitchen is comfortable elegance with beautiful cuisine. Chef Charlie Palmer’s “Progressive American Cuisine” is like art for both the eyes and the palate. To top it off, you can bring your own wine to Dry Creek Kitchen, and there is no corkage fee if the wine is from Sonoma County.
Meghan Malloy is the blogger behind Travel, Wine, and Dine.