At Roudon-Smith Winery, winemakers surrounded by unique murals create barrels of rich reds and refreshing white wines using high-quality grapes from the Santa Cruz Mountains and other regions of California. Whether crafting an elegant pinot noir or a richly colored zinfandel, the winemakers follow a philosophy of minimal intervention, seeking to preserve the essential qualities of the fruit.
Cuisine Type: Mediterranean/Greek
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 25–50
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Lamb
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Tucked between the Saratoga Mountains to the west and San Jose to the north east, Santorini Wine & Beer Garden exposes diners from the surrounding city to the wines of the vineyards that dot the area's foothills. The wine list highlights the array of microclimates that lend the area's varietals their distinctive flavors along with the families who have tended the wineries for generations. Wine tastings unfold out in the restaurant's impossibly charming wine garden, where a duo of acoustic guitarists, a central fire pit, and booths covered with trellises lend to the quaint and cozy ambiance.
To soak up the libations, the bistro also serves a selection of Greek tapas, including feta marinated in olive oil and grape leaves stuffed with seasoned rice, tomatoes, onions, and red peppers—a gluten-free option. Larger entree helpings take the form of grass-fed lamb shank imported from Santorini and chicken souvlaki.
Hult's Restaurant's owners and chef come from diverse backgrounds. Alexander Hult worked in his mother's restaurants between seasons as a professional hockey player. His wife, Sarah Chapman-Hult, is a vice principal now that she's passed on the title of Miss Nevada USA. Chef Jose Esparza learned the art of cooking from his grandmother and mother, along with the chefs he worked alongside at restaurant's such as Viognier and Madera. And together, they share a passion for farm-to-table fine dining.
The trio and their staff bring this ecologically conscious cuisine to tables for dinner and weekend brunches. Chef Esparza creates a series of seasonal tasting menus, simply titled, Air Water Land Earth. Each menu includes five courses, with Land focusing on red meat, Air on poultry, Water on fish, and Earth showcases vegetables. Those looking to order off the menu can try his signature dishes, include octopus carpaccio with avocado puree and jalapeños and the Wagyu beef ribeye with corn puree and grilled asparagus.
The Chefs at Pedro’s Restaurant & Cantina tantalize taste buds with a menu of authentic Mexican comestibles. Launch feast fiestas with a trio of mini handmade sopes chock-full of veggies, chicken, or beef and sprinkled in cotija cheese ($8). Patrons can stick with traditional entrees including chile verde, sautéed pork cutlets and chilies ($14.50) or can venture into new territory with special dishes, such as the steak de la casa’s grilled USDA Choice yew york steak disguised in adobo sauce and served with its partner in crime, the cheese enchilada ($24). Mix and match burritos, enchiladas, tacos, beef tamales, or chile rellenos with the combo option ($11.25 for one item; $13.25 for two; $15.25 for three), which comes with a choice of two sides, such as refried beans, spanish rice, or a palm reading by the wait staff. Pedro’s Restaurant & Cantina dazzles eyes with adobe-esque walls, outdoor seating, a plethora of plant life, and eclectic artwork.
James Carver is something of a werewolf enthusiast. On the James Carver Moonlight Preserve, he collects, studies, and protects these endangered specimens of lycanthropy. Visitors get to see the creatures at all stages of their life cycle, from first full-moon transformations to settling in at a soul-crushing job at the bone factory. At Carver Castle, tour groups learn about werewolf biology and view the involuntary experiments that herald the next stage of lycanthropic evolution. But, should interlopers stray from the tour's path, they could find themselves as the facility's real endangered species.