Foodies, don’t leave Sonoma County without visiting the Alexander Valley region—it’s one of the tastiest corners of Northern California
September 9, 2016
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Rustic, Francis’s Favorites
The Francis Ford Coppola Winery spotlights the culinary favorites of its owner (and America’s cinematic Godfather) at Rustic, Francis’s Favorites. From the bustling dining room and outdoor terrace, diners can glimpse the Alexander Valley’s expansive vineyards while enjoying wood-fired meats from the Argentine-inspired parrilla grill. If you happen to visit on a Tuesday, treat yourself to the restaurant’s a tavola, an Italian-style omakase-like experience, where the chef chooses which dishes to send “to the table.” francisfordcoppolawinery.com/visit/dine/rustic, $$$, 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville.
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Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria
You can’t get better Italian food in Sonoma County. The Sicilian-style thick-crust pizza is heavenly. The chef is always trying new toppings like foraged mushrooms and nettles, and the carpaccio is equally great. Dino Bugica spent ten years in Italy mastering their culinary craft. $$$, diavolapizzeria.com, 21021 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville.
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Enjoy the culinary mastering of Domenica Catelli, who has cooked for the likes of Oprah, Lady Gaga, and Nelson Mandela. She and brother Nicholas run the family restaurant in its original 1936 Geyserville location. Working with organic farmers and local wineries, they’ve crafted a menu filled with highlights, from the homemade three-meat ravioli to the ten-layer lasagna. Dine al fresco on the luxe patio and get carried away with the fresh herbs, wine, and signature spicy tomato sauce. mycatellis.com, $$$, 21047 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville.
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Relax on the string-lit patio for Oyster Hour at Café Lucia, where brother-sister team Manuel and Lucia incorporate local and seasonal flavors into Portuguese family recipes. The menu is seafood-forward and farmers-market-fresh, with favorites like caldeirada, a fisherman’s stew teeming with clams, sea bass, shrimp, and linguiça. Or, go the tasca (similar to tapas) route, so you can sample a handful of menu items and still have room for one of their dessert trios, featuring warm fig bread pudding and cinnamon vanilla bean crème brulee. cafelucia.net, $$$, 235 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg.
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In the Alexander Valley, just east of Healdsburg, Carrie Brown's Americana-filled general store is the place to stop for sublime sandwiches, salads, and what is without a doubt the world's best chocolate pudding. jimtown.com, $, 6706 State Highway 128, Healdsburg.
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Eat like a local at the no-frills Geyserville Grille, a relaxed, family-friendly departure from many of wine country’s schmancier eateries. Located at the Geyserville Inn, the restaurant offers an outdoor patio perfect for lunching under the oak trees, and a menu that offers everything under the sun. From the poke nachos to the Sonoma Dip sandwich, you’re sure to find something to cushion the blow of all the wine-tasting you may do in the Alexander Valley. $$, geyservilleinn.com/dining-en.html, 21712 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville.