Building on an idea that first fruited in the Burgundy and Bordeaux regions of France, Mountain View Winery became one of California's first négociant wineries in 1978, its winemakers concocting vintages by curating, blending, and aging a harvest of grapes from rigorously vetted vineyards. Owner Angelo Pera strives to deliver a compelling product by partnering with organic growers and packaging companies and indoctrinates new or interested customers during spirit-sampling symposiums. Throughout tastings, visitors glean each grape's origin, method of production, and propensity for carpet staining.
"Rustic, yet refined" can describe both Social Club Restaurant & Bar’s ambiance, characterized by wooden beams, hanging chandeliers, and large windows, and its offerings on various menus, crafted with care by executive chef Bob Simontacchi. As Bob's kitchen staff prepares salt-cod fritters, smoked-gouda mac 'n' cheese, and their special fried chicken, bartenders pour single-malt scotches and selections from more than 50 bottled craft beers. On Sundays, the restaurant buzzes with conversation fueled by sangria and bellinis at brunch and live music after 6 p.m.
Traxx Bar & Grill is nestled in the riverside town of Petaluma, and its selection of beer, wine, and spirits from a full bar keeps libations flowing to palates in a stream as inexorable as a river. Chefs stack 13 specialty, half-pound beef burgers with toppings such as avocado, pico de gallo, and grilled pineapple, and adorn fries in hot sauce and parmesan cheese. A kids' menu of cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, and hot dogs accommodates young lads and lasses, and drafts of craft beers and goblets of locally acquired Sonoma-county wine water the craws of of-age diners. Colorful knickknacks, street signs, and sports pendants beam down from the walls onto a seating area of barstools and tabletops, where model airplanes and bongo drums dangle from the ceiling. Multiple flat-screen TVs, meanwhile, glimmer with rousing sports games and gripping car commercials featuring sedans that can yodel.
The chefs at Flamez Bar & Grill never complain about their jobs not being exciting enough. From breakfast through dinner, they must battle ribbons of fire into submission as they grill sausages, flip half-pound burgers, and blacken chicken to perfection. Though they may suffer a singed eyebrow every now and then, they find solace in the steady stream of regulars who gather around the restaurant’s tables to feast on their signature melts, new york steaks, and pulled-pork sandwiches. The warmth of the kitchen extends to the dining room, where glasses filled with Lagunitas beer clink together and servers pour thick, cold milkshakes over plates of hot wings that have spontaneously caught fire.
At Beyond The Glory Sports Bar & Grill, chef Jesus Martinez crafts a menu of bar-fare favorites. Open-face pulled pork sliders ($9.95) wink at diners and whet appetites for main entrees such as the California burger with layers fresh avocado, mushrooms, pepper jack cheese, and pesto mayo ($12.95). Replete with grilled steak, black beans, and chipotle ranch, the fiesta wrap packs stomach piñatas with southwestern flavors ($12.95). A variety of desserts, including the hot fudge brownie sundae ($5.95) and J.M. Rosen's New York–style cheesecake ($5.95) cap meals, while a full bar decants 16 tap beers and myriad red and white wines. More than a dozen flat-screen televisions keep customers abreast of the latest sporting contests and a video game room offers entertainment during commercial break or quarter-time shows.