I will spare you restaurants in Marin, as you will have much to do. =) Okay okay..

 

Marin!!

 
Picco, Le Garage, Murray Circle, Buckeye & Bungalow, Tiburon Tavern with a new chef…. I will append this,  because I am forgetting a bunch.

 

San Francisco

Rich Table in Hayes Valley.

Definitely: State Bird Provisions (get there by 4.15p with good topics of conversation, and wait the hour 15 to be one of the first sat for dinner. Opens at 5.30p, but lineup starts at least by 4p. Absolutely delightful, and worth the wait.

Range in the Misson – *awesome* bar and dining room, A+ menu of contemporary American

Slanted Door in the Ferry Building – Viet / Asian Fusion

Nopa with it’s simple fare and community table, great neighborhood atmosphere.

The Cavalier in Soma by Moscone, in Hotel Zetta. New take on English / Euro pub food. It’s INCREDIBLE.

Foreign Cinema – a wonderful brunch, great dinners. American

Over the Top fine dining multi course and wildly expensive:
Gary Danko – a must for the “nice” dinner
Saison – the most expensive restaurant ever, and people are in jeans and tshirts. The value is not here.
Benu – asian fusion and overly modern
Coi – non-classically trained chef overwrought with insecurity works out his issues in about 13 courses.

 

SONOMA:

Fremont Diner:
http://www.thefremontdiner.com/menu/
Modern take on *awesome* diner food with the best ingredients and low key atmosphere on dusty side of road on way to Napa

Downtown Sonoma:

The Girl & The Fig:
http://www.thegirlandthefig.com/#!menu/c1k6d
This is like a more affordable Bouchon.

 

NAPA:

Don Giovanni
http://www.bistrodongiovanni.com/
One of our personal favorites. More local and casual., great food, unpretentious.

Angelie
http://www.angelerestaurant.com/
Nice little causal French restaurant. Another favorite.

Press
http://www.pressnapavalley.com/
Have always had a good experience here.

Brix
http://www.brix.com/
Another favorite over the years. Their weekend brunch is a buffet, but fanastic and fun.

 

YOUNTVILLE

Bouchon
http://bouchonbistro.com/
My wife and my all time favorite, especially for a lingering lunch.

Bistro Jeanty
http://www.bistrojeanty.com/
Close to where you are staying, country French. Another favorite. Casual

Redd
http://reddnapavalley.com/dinnermenu.html
Elegant, beautiful front room, fantastic menu

French Laundry
http://www.frenchlaundry.com/

Can’t say enough about this one but getting in is very difficult. Hackertable should be able to score a table. Over the top, 15 course, and worth it.

 

St. Helena

Terra
http://www.terrarestaurant.com/
quaint, adorable, great building, fantastic quality product without pretension.

Calistoga (a blue collar St. Helena)

Sol Bar
http://solagecalistoga.com/wp-content/files_mf/officialdinnermenu35.pdf
It is dark at dinner, but a nice room….

Jolie
http://www.jolerestaurant.com/Menu/Dinner/
like a simpler Terra.

Farmer & the Fox
http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-farmer-and-the-fox-restaurant-saint-helena
the one I mentioned… a must.
—-

MORE Restaurants… http://www.sfchronicle.com/top-100-restaurants/
I hadn’t looked, but I nailed my list. LOL.

—–
Winery help:
I get real nervous suggesting wineries. I go more the WV style family run juice makers rather than the amusement parks. But those big spectacle wineries are a hoot.
http://napavintners.com/wineries/wineries_cabernet_sauvignon.asp

A very simple map: http://winefolly.com/review/napa-wine-map/

“ST” = Silverado Trail

Rams Gate is an absolutely stunning winery experience. Very classic, but brand new, and easy to access on way up to wine country (right near Sears Point – first winery you will see on left at top of a hill)

Just past Sonoma, but considered Napa: Domaine Carneros on the way in is a stunning chateau, with a great sparkling tasting… yeasty and some taste a bit old world.

If you go to the Sonoma Square, try the sparkling tasting room Bryter, right next to the Westwood tasting room. Both are phenomenal. Former is bubbles, latter is Pinot.
St. Helena: Schramsberg is a great sparkling tour.
ST: Van Der Heyden – great late harvest cab, and some great cab filled chocolates. It is wildly unassuming, picnic benches and a shabby tent, with small, tiny tasting room
ST: Pine Ridge w/ great caves
ST: Rombauer is stunning and classic, but their merlot is too jammy for me. Worth the trip overall.
ST: Clos Du Val – stunning and classic.
ST: Duckhorn – love these wines
29: Ggrich
29: St. Supery
29: Whitehall

 

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