The cooks at Sips Bistro and Wine Shop use locally acquired and organic ingredients where possible in their classic menu of small plates, varietals, and espresso drinks. The intimate bistro setting—rendered warm by colorful murals of pastoral settings and elegant wood wine racks—hosts guests as they try refined eats such as a chicken, brie, and caramelized onion quesadilla, or a brined and herb-crusted bone-in pork chop. During wine flights, vino sippers may choose their own drinks from a temperature-controlled wine bar or the frigid palms of a grape-eating sprite. The company also occasionally hosts events such as champagne Sundays and special tastings.
After immigrating to America early in the 20th century, Emilio Guglielmo saved up for years before he was able buy a plot of land for his winery in 1925. In the years since, three generations of his family have run the vineyard and kept its Old World style alive. Large wooden beams, stone walls, and terracotta tiles surround guests in the tasting room, where they can sample carefully selected vintages. Each year, the winery produces nearly 40,000 cases, including the award-winning 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon and Estate Petite Sirah, each of which took home gold medals in San Francisco’s International Wine Competition.
Diners seated in what used to be the Frasinetti's east cellar sate themselves on handcrafted Italian lunch and dinner dishes, surrounded by huge vats evoking the 112-year-old winery’s storied past. Dinners commence with starters such as crostini slathered in grilled brie and red-pepper chutney ($10) or steamed clams in white-wine sauce ($9). Next, certified non-android servers bring out entrees such as seafood manicotti, a mix of salmon, scallops, and crab packed in pasta ($15). Pine-nut-gorgonzola butter adds a zesty twist to the 12-ounce center-cut prime rib ($25), and the regal Atlantic salmon rests on a bed of mushroom risotto ($19), like an eccentric rice baron.
Val Du Vino Winery resides in a nearly 100-year-ol barn at the west end of Murphys's Main Street. The boughs of ancient oaks shade the property, adding to the winery's bucolic beauty. Its quaint exterior conceals a lovingly restored interior with plenty of modern amenities, such as a recently refurnished tasting room and an impressively equipped kitchen. That kitchen serves as the playground of Jeannine Hebel, co-owner, operator, and resident chef at the winery. Drawing on her training in French cuisine, she makes new menus to suit every event that comes through, from simple tastings to full-blown weddings.
The other half the winery's duties––the winemaking itself––belongs to Jonathon Phillips. Phillips selects his grapes by hand from the crops of local vineyards, producing wine only in small batches because he can only carry so many grapes, probably. He shares these creations with visitors as long as stocks last, though members of the winery's wine club are always first in line to get a taste or buy a bottle.
Saunter into Velvet's world of flavors to savor breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a relaxed, informal dining environment. The venue's menu is made of much-loved entrees such as chicken-fried steak ($10.99), specialty sandwiches that include tuna melts ($8.99) and vegetarian croissants ($9.99), and a complete breakfast club of omelettes, pancakes, waffles, and oatmeal (view the three-part morning menu here, here, and here). In accordance with its name, the creamery is also responsible for a delicious caboodle of premium ice creams and sorbets, which are called into existence right before your eyes. Try a dollop of roasted butternut squash, or busy your licker with the restaurant's cult classic, a triple Belgian chocolate flavor infused with D'Art port wine.