The best restaurants here make use of local fruits and vegetables, not to mention wine pairings
– August 18, 2016
Big Bottom Market
The name refers to the alluvial floodplain upon which the town rests, but then again, eat too many of Big Bottom Market’s signature Sea Biscuits—cheddar-thyme biscuits stuffed with smoked river salmon, crème fraîche, and capers—and other associations may well apply. Local celebrity chef Crista Luedtke parades a mix of gourmet goodies, upscale deli fare, and select local wines, including the full-bodied Big Bottom red blend. bigbottommarket.com; 16228 Main St, Guerneville; 707/604-7295.
Surrounded by vineyards at the Farmhouse Inn, the restaurant of the same name serves local food sourced from the owners’ ranch and artisan farmers. The Michelin-starred restaurant resides in an 1873 weatherboard farmhouse with murals depicting scenes from the Bartolomeis’ generations of family albums. farmhouseinn.com; 7871 River Road, Forestville; 707/887-3300.
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Boon Eat + Drink
At Boon Eat + Drink, the busy chef Crista Luedtke (of Boon Hotel + Spa) serves Cal-bistro specials such as beet salad, and braised pork shoulder over sautéed greens and ginger–orange zest black-eyed peas. Most of what's on your plate is locally sourced. And as if that's not enough, Boon Eat + Drink is committed to local drinking, as well, serving only Russian River wines and beer from no further than Mendocino County. eatatboon.com; 16248 Main St., Guerneville; 707/869-0780.
John Ash & Co.
Executive Chef Thomas Schmidt presents wine country food at its finest. The John Ash & Co. team works personally with more than 30 Sonoma County farmers to source local ingredients. An on-site fruit, vegetable, and herb garden adds a hyper-local touch to the seasonal dishes. vintnersinn.com; 4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa; 707/575-7350.
You can’t deny the pairing of bubbles and oysters, and Iron Horse Vineyards will not deny you either. Sunday is the day to reserve a picnic table beneath a redwood gazebo. The Oyster Girls are on hand, shucking the bivalves ($3/oyster) for purchase. The cost is $35, the flat fee for a picnic table (which seats up to six), plus a minimum of one bottle (bubbles start at $42). Govino glasses included. $25 tasting. ironhorsevineyards.com; 9786 Ross Station Road, Sebastopol; 707/887-1507.
Sometimes you just need classic Italian comfort food. Betty’s got you covered. Located in the R3 hotel, Betty Spaghetti stands out on its own. Chef Greg Barnes offers pizza and pasta with ingredients sourced from the best farms in the North Bay. The restaurant occasionally hosts wine dinners. betty-spaghetti.com; 16390 4th Street, Guerneville; 707-869-1400.