Bernard's Wine Gallery, a wine store with thousands of old and rare fine wines for sale, welcomes both wine neophytes and grizzled oenophiles to sip from its fine vat of liquefied vinefruits. Bernard Rosenson, who owns Bernard's Wine Gallery with his wife Cynthia, also owns Coquelicot Estate Vineyard, the organically farmed vineyard featured in this tasting. Six Coquelicot wines preside in the elegant tasting room, including the 2006 Bordeaux Blend, which won a gold medal at the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle wine competition for its dark, complex taste. Guests will swirl and sip in luxury, blissfully whisking away memories of Twilight Zone episodes where clubs of giant wine bottles attended a human tasting. Tastings run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Greg Daniels' introduction to the culinary world wasn't a romantic one: he started working at a fast food restaurant at age 15, followed by a stint as a bartender. Nevertheless, these jobs ignited a passion for cooking that would guide his entire life. The Le Cordon Bleu graduate now works as the executive chef at Haven Gastropub, where he has designed a menu of gourmet American and European comfort foods inspired by his travels to England, New York, and San Francisco.
The eatery is an across-the-pond extension of the gastropub movement, which began in London in the 90s. Gastropubs differ from traditional pubs in that they specialize in high-quality eats and permit only the most beautiful drinking songs. Haven, for example, serves lamb burgers on rosemary brioche buns, fries sprinkled with house-made truffle salt, and whole roasted suckling pigs.
Of course, the "pub" part of Gastropub still implies a lively bar. Bartenders pour more than a dozen draughts as well as a selection of bottled beers, red and white wines, and craft cocktails blended with house-made mixes.
Nestled inside the Bonaventure Hotel, experienced masseuses maintain 10,000 square feet of pure serenity spread across 11 treatment rooms. Cordoned off into sections for men and women, the facility flaunts amenities such as hydro-jet showers with seven pulsing showerheads and saunas fogged with soothing vapor instead of fog machines stolen from middle-school dances. Bonaventure Club plucks massage techniques from all over the globe, including Thailand where therapists stretch frames with their hands, knees, and feet to amplify the client's flexibility and energy. Pre- or post-treament, clients can unwind in a relaxation lounge stocked with Perrier water, jasmine-rose tea, and snacks, while flipping through magazines or watching a big-screen TV.
Eighty-one-thousand vines grow across Malibu Family Wines' 90-acre vineyard, producing eight varietals in total, including cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, and malbec. Once bottled and corked, many of the vineyard's Semler and Saddlerock wines end up at the tasting room in Los Olivos, a homey space with indoor and outdoor seating, occasional live music, and a large wooden tasting bar where customers are free to smell, sample, and swirl away. Those who enjoy the wines can rejoice knowing there's more where that came from?the vineyard expects to increase its vine total to 100,000 in the near future.
Fab’s Corner Cucina strives to bring Mediterranean home cooking to California. Ever since the restaurant was founded in 1981, the chefs have fully committed to forging a menu of familiar Italian comfort foods that wouldn’t look out of place in an Old World trattoria. Oven-baked pizzas arrive at the tables laden with everything from ricotta cheese and sage to roasted chicken and red bell peppers. Additionally, the chefs create a number of homestyle favorites, including pastas glazed with hearty sauces as well as an array of familiar chicken and veal entrees.
Beyond the menu, the Zagat-rated restaurant aims to make patrons feel at home with its cozy, inviting decor. High-backed burgundy booths line one entire wall of the dining room, each of them featuring a faintly glowing pendant lamp as well as a piece of artwork or a photograph of the restaurant’s tax returns. These warm tones complement the space’s deep crimson walls and light, earth-toned accents.
The bartender receives an order selected from the chalkboard menu and turns toward the sky-blue backsplash of the wood-framed bar, grabbing the desired vintage from a selection of international wines that includes New and Old World-style bottles from both hemispheres. Above the bar, angled mirrors reflect the crimson walls that give The Red Room Food and Wine Bar its name, revealing dark wood tables where diners clink glasses of robust and jammy reds that can stand up to entrees of seared lamb chops and braised short ribs. Bubbly fermentations from France and Napa Valley accent crisp arugula or kale salads, and delicate, airy whites from Oregon and Argentina pair perfectly with edible bubble wrap. In the kitchen, chefs forge Mediterranean and continental small plates to accompany the bacchanalian pours with cured meats, roasted vegetables, and herb-crusted flatbreads.