perks for your palate.


Del Dotto


St. Francis Winery

7 wineries where the food is as good as the booze

A visit to a winery is one of Northern California’s true epicurean pleasures, and more of these destinations than ever are now amping up the experience with the most welcome appearance of wine’s natural partner: food. With everything from full multi-course sit-down meals to smaller bites and more casual sips and nibbles, the options in wine country today are as diverse as they are delicious. One thing is for sure: Your wine adventure never tasted so good.

Freemark Abbey
With the finishing touches nearly complete, the renovation at Freemark Abbey has beautifully preserved its iconic, century-old stone building and launches the property into wine’s future with the opening of a new wine library and an on-site restaurant, Two Birds/One Stone. Led by acclaimed Napa chef Douglas Keane (Cyrus) and chef Sang Yoon of LA’s Father’s Office and Lukshon, Two Birds/One Stone brings California-inspired yakitori to unexpected heights. Dishes like duck egg custard with lemon verbena and uni, or foie gras parfait with cherry blossom gelée, buckwheat groats, and sakura salt are the norm here. The eclectic and international wine and cocktail list, Developed by Master Sommelier Kevin Reilly, reinforces the cosmopolitan tone.
Where: 3020 St. Helena Highway N., St. Helena, CA 94574
Phone: 800-963-9698 (winery); 707-302-3777 (restaurant)
What’s What: reservations and walk-ins welcome
Hours: tasting room 10 AM–5 PM daily
Two Birds/One Stone Thu–Mon 5 PM–9 PM; closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Drive from San Francisco (with traffic): 60 minutes

Patz & Hall
Not far from downtown Sonoma is Patz & Hall’s Sonoma House, where “The Salon Experience” awaits. Six chardonnay and pinot noir single vineyard–designate wines are paired with canapés and small bites. For summer, that means a menu of crispy wonton with French onion and tobiko-smoked trout tuile, fennel pork nacho on forbidden rice, or a short rib torchon with huckleberry, all crafted by Natalie and Jonathan Niksa of nearby La Saison. With sweeping views of the estate’s vineyards and the Mayacamas Mountains, the Salon Experience at Sonoma House captures the spirit of the region.
Where: 21200 8th St. E., Sonoma, CA 95476
Phone: 707-265-7700
What’s What: reservations required
Hours: Thu–Mon seatings at 10:30 AM, 1 PM, and 3:30 PM by appointment only; closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Drive from San Francisco (with traffic): 45 minutes

Del Dotto Vineyards
At Del Dotto Vineyards, the “Delicacies” experience begins in the caves, where a host guides a barrel tasting of four wines. You’ll then walk past the Italianate marble and glowing chandeliers of the tasting lounge to a more secluded upstairs salon, where a seat at the large mahogany table awaits. Here, you’ll experience the tranquility and elegance of a five-course tasting menu designed by chef de cuisine Joshua Schwartz, whose menu of high-end proteins like American Wagyu beef–black truffle slider, and a Maine lobster roll with toasted brioche match the glamour of the vineyard’s Venetian estate.
Where: 1445 Saint Helena Hwy. S., Saint Helena, CA 94574
Phone: 707-963-2134
What’s What: reservations required
Hours: Thu–Sat seatings at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM (through September)
Drive from San Francisco (with traffic): 75 minutes

St. Francis Winery
Voted the number one restaurant in America by Open Table diners in 2013 and 2015, St. Francis Wineries Wine & Food Pairing program has truly hit its stride. An assortment of small dishes from executive chef Bryan Jones, such as pan-seared arctic char with chorizo and grilled onions, or elderflower panna cotta with sous vide vanilla apricots, tempt even the most indifferent palate, while the killer views and intimate communal dining seal the deal.
Where: 100 Pythian Rd. (at Hwy. 12), Santa Rosa, CA 95409
Phone: 800-675-9463 (winery); 707-833-0240 (food pairings reservations)
What’s What: reservations required
Hours: Thu–Mon seatings at 11 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM; closed Tuesday and Wednesday;
Winery 10 AM–5 PM daily
Drive from San Francisco (with traffic): 80 minutes

Traffic on route 29 in Napa can make St. Helena seem as far away as Seattle, but the folks at Brasswood make it worth the trip. A bakery, deli, restaurant, wine lounge, tasting room, and gallery on premises make it conceivable to while away an entire day without moving more than 100 feet across the well-manicured lawns. The recently reimagined Brasswood Bar and Kitchen features executive chef David Nuño’s (Tra Vigne) Californian-by-way-of-Italy dishes. A refreshed green apple risotto with confit of duck leg has loyal advocates, while a marvelously marbled, dry-aged bistecca alla Fiorentina will knock the socks off of any steakhouse fan.
Where: 31111 St. Helena Hwy., St. Helena, CA 94574
Phone: 707-302-5997 (tasting room); 707-302-5997 (restaurant); 707-302-5104 (bar and bakery)
What’s What: reservations and walk-ins welcome
Hours: restaurant noon–9 PM daily; tasting room 10 AM–5 PM daily; bar and bakery 9 AM–5 PM daily
Drive from San Francisco (with traffic): 75 minutes

Robert Sinskey Vineyards
Lauded with awards, including Food & Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chef,” Maria Helm Sinskey anchors the culinary experiences at her husband’s vineyard. Grab a seat in either the great hall, the terrace, or the fig garden to experience Eat Drink RSV, a hosted tasting that pairs Robert’s wines with Maria’s seasonal small plates. Summer’s treats include gougères stuffed with a porcini Mornay sauce, summer garden tartlets, and savory Parmesan shortbread with organic fruit jam from the vineyard’s orchards. A visit to meet the sheep grazing in the vineyards promises one way to finish up the day—or not.
Where: 6320 Silverado Tr., Napa, CA 94558
Phone: 707-944-9090
What’s What: reservations required
Hours: winery 10 AM–4:30 PM daily; The Communal Table is by appointment only
Drive from San Francisco (with traffic): 50 minutes

Lynmar Estate
Served in the tasting room courtyard overlooking the Quail Hill Vineyard and Estate gardens, the seasonal, three-course, farm-to-table Lynmar Lunch crafted by chef David Frakes features dishes made mostly with estate-grown ingredients, masterfully prepared with Lynmar Estate wines. Lunch begins with a bowl of organic popcorn sprinkled with lemon infused olive oil and roasted beet and lavender thyme salt. A salad of heirloom tomato and aged chèvre topped with toasted, puffed quinoa gives way to summer vegetable beggar’s purses brimming with grilled skirt steak and local ricotta served alongside olive confit. To conclude, guests have the choice between a savory local cheese or a sweet treat prepared by the chef. It’s enough to make even the most finicky foodie sigh with contentment.
Where: 3909 Frei Rd., Sebastopol, CA 95472
Phone: 707-829-3374, ext. 102
What’s What: reservations required
Hours: Thu–Sun 10 AM–4:30 PM by appointment only (The Lynmar Lunch is offered April through October)
Drive from San Francisco (with traffic): 75 minutes

Two Birds One Stone

Email   Print   Tweet   Share

San Francisco

Where to eat barbecue in SF this summer

The Carolinas, Tennessee, Texas, Kansas—you name it. You can find all those factions and more represented in the Bay Area this 'cue season.

San Francisco

Eat This Now: 6 must-try dishes in San Francisco right now

New openings in San Francisco seem to be at a peak right about now—so much so that it can be tough to keep up with all the constant deliciousness in the city. But we can try, can’t we?

San Francisco

SF’s hottest restaurants for $35 and under

As it turns out, San Francisco is ripe with affordable prix fixe options, from special lunch and brunch deals at some of the biggest-name restaurants to affordable dinners at trendy hotspots.

San Francisco

Eat to live—6 places where eating out is almost as healthy as making it from scratch

So often, going out to eat means sacrificing—not just on cost, but on clean and smart choices, too. In the spirit of treating your body as well as you treat your palette, here are six awesome restaurants and cafes around the Bay Area where eating out—and eating well—is almost as clean as dining at home.

San Francisco

7 Bay Area spots where both the food and the show are first-rate

In a city that offers so much and at such a high level, it’s only natural to be a little greedy: You want both your dinner and your show—dancing, live music, comedy—to be worthy of the spotlight, instead of one greatly outshining the other.

San Francisco

5 Vietnamese hot spots for under $20

San Francisco’s patchwork quilt of cultures and ethnicities is a big part of what makes it such an exciting culinary capital, and Vietnamese holds an important place in the city’s dining landscape—here are six of our favorite spots where you can eat for under $20.

San Francisco

7 buzzy spots worth the hype for less than $25 per person

A dinner check in SF can rival your monthly rent before you know it. But have no fear, it’s still possible to sample fabulous cuisine at top restaurants without taking out a second mortgage.

San Francisco

San Francisco’s best bets for ordering in

In our on-demand world, you can have practically any sort of meal brought right to your front door, and with ease. So what can you count on when you want dinner delivered? Here are five of our picks for types of food that travel well—and where to get it.

San Francisco

Surprise your dinner party host with something rad beyond wine

In vino veritas—and the truth is there’s probably something else you could be bringing to that dinner party besides wine. While there’s nothing wrong (and everything right) with the old-standby, there’s also a whole other world of fine, local goodness that can make the party that much more memorable.

San Francisco

$25-and-under date ideas

Here are eight restaurants in the Bay Area where you can have a delicious but affordable date night—whether your after festive, casual, hip, intimate, or playful.

San Francisco

Eat This Now: 9 must-try dishes in San Francisco right now

With San Francisco's diverse and delicious food scene, you barely have a chance to visit last month’s hottest new dishes before you're all wrapped up in the excitement of the next new thing. If you're still playing catch-up too, here are nine favorite dishes to check out around town right now.

San Francisco

How to feast well on Korean fare for $25 or less

If you’re smart and play your cards right, you can find places where bountiful Korean feasts are offered at a real bargain—and that’s not even counting the banchan, the impressive spread of kimchi and other accent plates that come complimentary with your order.

San Francisco

San Francisco's best Indian eats for under $20

Filling, flavorful, spicy, and appealing to almost any dietary restriction, Indian also makes for some of the best bang for the buck meals you can find in San Francisco.

San Francisco

7 late-night Happy Hours worth staying up for

If you're putting in crazy overtime hours and can't make the early bird deals around town, check out these “reverse” happy hour specials—think dollar oysters, $4 beers, and half-off bottles of wine—that are offered late night, if not all day.

San Francisco

6 bang-for-your-buck brunches

Weekend brunch can quickly turn into a rather expensive habit, it doesn't have to be that way. Here are six of our favorite budget-friendly brunch options.

San Francisco

6 spots where bringing the kids and loving your meal aren’t mutually exclusive

Date night comes but once a week, so great dinner spots that also extend a generous welcome to families are always a boon for parents. The kids might not need much, but the right menu—and a few helpful touches—can make all the difference, granting you some precious extra moments to enjoy the meal.

San Francisco

On the Blackboard: French under $30

While classic French cuisine might fly under the radar in San Francisco, we’re drawn under its spell from the first whiff of a freshly baked kouign-amman to the last bite of ratatouille.

San Francisco

Pro Picnicking: 7 ways to raise your picnic to an 11

If summer in the Bay Area means one thing, it’s getting outside as much as humanly possible. Of course, this means eating outside, too.

San Francisco

San Francisco’s best under-the-radar desserts

You can’t throw a James Beard award in San Francisco without hitting a restaurant that could serve you up an amazing meal at the drop of a hat. But let’s not forget what comes at the end of every meal: Dessert.

San Francisco

5 group dinners that won’t cost you an arm and a leg

The best thing about group dining—aside from getting to share a meal with a large collection of friends and loved ones—is that more people means more food to taste. Of course, you do have to play it a little smart in these situations, or you could still end up breaking the bank. Here are five favorite SF spots for special occasion group dining that won’t force you to drop such serious coin.

San Francisco

7 SF markets for all your culinary needs, from essential to esoteric

Part hang-out and gathering place, part grocery store and coffee shop, the history of small markets in this gold rush town is a long and storied one. Here are seven of our top picks for places that carry everything you need and crave.

San Francisco

$25-and-under steaks that are a cut above

There is no shortage of stellar, classic steakhouses in SF, and unfortunately, many are also fantastically expensive. But if you steer clear of the big-ticket cuts and hunt out lunch and brunch deals, there are plenty of affordable, $25-and-under steak options to be found around town, too.

San Francisco

Will drive for food—8 places worth the gas or electric charge

There are plenty of real-deal destinations not too far from SF—discover a hidden gem or a beloved local spot that’s virtually unknown to city dwellers. Either way, adventure awaits.

San Francisco

How to indulge in the omakase experience on a perfectly sane budget

The appeal of omakase is easy to understand, but the result is often a tab that stretches comfortably into the triple digits. It doesn’t have to! be that way, however—here are seven SF spots where you can get awesome omakase for $100 or less.

San Francisco

5 restaurants that should have a Michelin Star

These five restaurants have received no shortage of accolades and award nominations themselves, but none of them have received a Michelin star yet—and we think they’re all especially deserving of it.

San Francisco

7 restaurants where you want to eat at the bar

Eating at the bar, you get all the perks of a table without the fuss of a reservation. Even better is when the bar delivers its own set of specials, priced just right for one or a crowd.

San Francisco

Vegetarians get stoked for four courses at Cha Ya & more...

At this point, it’s a novelty to find a restaurant that doesn’t offer at least something vegetarian, but we went a step further, finding you the best straight up vegetarian prix fixe and tasting menus in town that are also sensitive to the old wallet.