La Huaca Restaurant's chefs prepare elegant presentations of Peruvian cuisine in a sleek space outfitted with imaginative decor. Waiters hustle dishes of citrus-infused ceviche made with fresh fish, shrimp, or octopus past shelves of glass jugs filled with rainbow-hued liquid, and carry glasses of Peruvian wine to tables set along a wall of knotted ropes. The pachamanca tres carnes pairs a medley of slow-cooked chicken, beef, and pork with Andean tubers and a Peruvian corn cake, and the lomo saltado seasons pieces of filet mignon with a sauce made from pisco, a South American brandy made with grapes too bold to become mere jelly. The smooth-tasting liqueur also makes its way into the dessert menu and steeps into the rich layers of the tres leches sponge cake.
With ingredients grown at local farms and in Maranello Restaurant's own garden, Chef Gabriel Glasier brings life to a mixture of traditional, regional, and contemporary Italian recipes drawn from the old world’s tastiest corners. His farm-to-table dishes change seasonally, with weather-appropriate items such as butternut squash ravioli and grilled Scottish salmon with cauliflower spaetzle gracing tables only when the time is right. Gabriel also tops hand-tossed pizza with grilled chicken and fire-roasted tomato sauce and crafts desserts such as a flaming s'more with homemade marshmallow and chocolate cashew butter cream.
To help wash down each hearty helping, mixologists behind Maranello Restaurant's antique 1920s bar whip up signature house cocktails, pull pints of draft beers, and pour reds and whites imported from Italy and made at small, regional California wineries. No matter the date on t he calendar, guests can savor their feasts at the bar, in the main dining room, or inside a covered, heated patio that maintains a constant outdoor vibe with abundant plants and tranquil fountains rather than roaming bears.
The Cellar's two rustic, Tuscan-esque oases pour out ambrosial liquids and arrange tasteful dishes with elegant flair. Craft a platter for two or four of your choice of cheeses, nibbling at the subtly piquant manchego or swapping stories about crying at the opera with the cultured triple-cream brie. Whether by the bottle or by the glass, the bright and lively Raymond sauvignon blanc inspires energetic conversation, and the deep purple of the Crios malbec turns teeth a stately royal hue.
Great things often come in simple packages. That's the philosophy behind Fields Family Wines, where wine-making is a rustic process done by hand in small batches, using grapes grown onsite or sourced from other local vineyards. This minimalist approach results in 10 wines that possess notes ranging from rich currant and plum to the crisp pucker of pear and ginger. The flavors come alive when the wines are uncorked at the sleek, contemporary bar in the downtown tasting room or poured straight from the barrel and into guests' mouths at the winery. The downtown location features live music and paintings by local artists, whereas the picturesque winery hosts in-depth tours and games of bocce ball.
Chef Greg Johnson transfigures time-tested favorites into creative dishes at the award-winning Zinsvalley Restaurant. Diners can steal away for an exotic midday lunch of coconut yellow curry, which bathes baby bok choy, yams, shitake mushrooms, snow peas, and jasmine rice together in a bath of yellow coconut milk curry ($14), or field imaginary fly balls while noshing on the Wagyu beef hot dog with a piquant kick of jalapeño jam and pico de gallo ($11). At dinner, gourmands can sip local small-production vintages while elegantly slurping shrimp linguini ($16) or the chef's signature steak frittes, which pairs grilled Kobe Bavette with chili-rubbed fries and watercress ($24).
The oenophiles at Napa Valley Toffee Company satiate cravings for local flavors with tastings of Napa-produced wines and luscious homemade chocolates. Synchronized sippers can indulge in a hodgepodge of five red and white nectars, each harvested from Napa-grown grapes, bottled by local wineries, and approved by the California Raisins. Though wine flights vary by tasting, guests can expect to nourish their palates with gulps from small case lots and nibbles from local vendors, such as Napa Farmhouse 1885, and Verve Coffee of Santa Cruz. Before heading home to wash off purple handlebar mustaches, sippers can treat themselves to $20 worth of goodies from the shop, where bottles of 2009 sauvignon blanc ($20) and Rescue Red ($15) hobnob with eight-ounce boxes of house-made chocolates ($11) and Drink the Leaf loose-leaf tea.