Sonoma - Napa News
Romantic gourmet restaurants found in Sonoma Valley25 Sep 2013 5:12 PM
As one of the most picturesque areas of California, Sonoma is often where many couples choose to visit when celebrating their enduring love and commemorating important milestones. Aside from the city's historical significance, favorable weather and breath-taking scenery, its vibrant nightlife and established culinary scene make it a premier destination for sweethearts, young and old.
Accordingly, many of the restaurants in the hip metropolitan area have become hot spots for affluent travelers planning a special trip, as well as Sonoma County real estate owners looking for a memorable night out on the town. Those who find themselves within city limits - and with an appetite - should make an effort to visit these two gourmet eateries, or risk missing out.
John Ash & Co.
Located within the legendary Vintners Inn on Barnes Road, this restaurant is a wine country classic. Neighboring 92 acres of vineyard, diners can enjoy not only a savory meal crafted with locally grown produce, but also a perfect pairing of one of the establishment's 600 available wines.
"Wine country cuisine came very naturally. It has always been about great local seasonal foods with an eye to the marriage of wine," said chef John Ash, the business' namesake and proprietor.
These days, executive chef Thomas Schmidt helms the kitchen, but makes a point to perpetuate the ideals set in place by his predecessor. During a dining experience, patrons can sample the likes of zinfandel braised lamb shank as well as roasted Alaskan halibut. A beloved business of many area celebrities and successful business owners, a visit offers guests the chance to dine among the rich and famous.
Duck Club Restaurant
Though this eatery's moniker may evoke visions of down-home, back-country recipes and fashions, its luxurious atmosphere and high-end aesthetic routinely exceeds customers' expectations. Located within the Bodega Bay Lounge, on the familiar Coast Highway One, this restaurant is the epitome of fine dining. While overlooking the Sonoma Valley and miles of coastline, diners can enjoy choosing from a multitude of exquisite dishes made using seasonal ingredients and sustainably farmed produce.
Offering extensive breakfast, dinner and dessert menus, as well as a long wine list, this eatery caters to the area's elite clientele at all hours of the day. Executive chef Jeff Reilly effortlessly combines his culinary training and affable personality with each offering, producing creative meals with intricate flavor profiles. Popular choices are the grilled Black Angus filet mignon, sesame crusted bodega bay king salmon and Bellweather Farms ricotta gnocchi.