Hand-painted signs greet passersby at Schellville Grill's cozy roadside shack, hinting that homemade meals await inside. Though the restaurant's façade emanates a rustic vibe, the kitchen teems with formal expertise from the Culinary Institute of America, owner Matthew Nagan's alma mater. Here, Matthew rubs beef tri-tips in a mélange of dried chipotle, natural smoke flavor, and hand-ground black pepper, marinates them for 24 hours, then grills them over hot coals, hickory chips, and dried wine vines. This sweet and spicy meat stars in several house specials, including a ranchero quesadilla and a sandwich that's lured Food Network's Guy Fieri to Matthew's smokehouse.
On a flower-lined patio, diners pair live music and local wine with gourmet sweets from Matthew's sister, Emily. Available in flavors such as chocolate zinfandel and espresso cinnamon, whole cakes can be ordered for pickup or enjoyed at private parties in the restaurant's dining room or safe deposit box.
Romeo’s Pasta & Pizza's pie slingers orchestrate medleys of toppings atop sourdough crust, which is crafted fresh daily on the restaurant premises. Pore over the menu of create-your-own pizzas and specialty creations, such as the roasted vegetable pie, which sports zucchini, red onions, sweet peppers, and feta. On the playground of the meat combination pizza, canadian bacon, pepperoni, salami, and sausage huddle up for a game of two-hand touch against diner's taste buds. Diners quaff soft drinks, domestic or premium beer, or Salmon Creek white zinfandel and pinot noir to cleanse the palate without having to glide open-mouthed down a slip ‘n’ slide.
Wild Goat Bistro, winner of the Petaluma People's Choice Awards' Best New Restaurant 2010, plays host to fresh, local ingredients and wines from around the world. Enjoy a glass of Louis Jadot Chardonnay 2008 ($9) as you imbibe oven-roasted prawns, which slow dance with garlic breadcrumbs and melted mozzarella in a summer rain of butter and wine ($8.50). The 10-inch Neapolitan-style pizza—the bistro’s house specialty—cradles an orchestra of ingredients with a thin, crispy crust. Guests can commission the chefs to sculpt one in Mediterranean style—artichokes, mushrooms, kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, red onion, and mozzarella over pesto sauce ($12.75)—or in the meaty form, known as the Fog Lifter—spicy fennel sausage, applewood smoked bacon, pepperoni, and mozzarella over tomato sauce ($12.75). Any pizza, except for the That'sa Meatball, can be made with gluten-free crust.
Though a typical sports bar’s main draw is usually its arsenal of flat-screen TVs, things run a little differently at Seasons Pizzeria Sports Bar & Grill. Nine 42-inch sportscasting screens do hang from the eatery’s walls, yet the real entertainment comes from the open kitchen, where acclaimed chef Glenn Cybulski hand-tosses thick California–style dough in front of diners' eyes before sliding it into a wood-fired oven imported directly from Italy. The chef cooks up a list of predesigned pies, from a crispy neopolitan to the meat-packed Carne, but also leaves some of the innovation to customers, customizing create-your-own pizzas topped with fixings such as canadian bacon and artichoke hearts. Aside from spinning out the decadent dough, the head chef also lends his talents to hand-pattied burgers, locally caught seafood, and slow-roasted barbecue slathered in homemade sauce and butterfly kisses.
The 26 pizza toppings, ranging from classic pepperoni and mushroom to the more exotic linguiça and eggplant, immediately catch they eye; they serves as a reminder that Caprara's Pizzeria means business when it comes to pizza. One such signature pie is Joe's Combo featuring Italian sausage, pepperoni, fresh garlic, black olives, and mushrooms. Rounding out the menu are juicy burgers and hearty pastas in pesto and meat bolognese, all available for dine-in or delivery.
A joint effort between two married couples, Chianti Cucina sees its creators pooling their varied talents together for an elegant dining experience. One of those talents just happens to be interior design, courtesy of part-owner Bonnie Robertson. The dining room exudes warmth, thanks to her vision of a floor-to-ceiling wine rack, community-table seating, and large mirrors framed with wood rescued from a Montana barn. Her husband, Mark, owned a restaurant in his native South Africa, making him the perfect complement to the eatery’s other half, longtime Bay area restaurateurs Ed and Josephine Pizzuti. Together, the couples have established Chianti Cucina as a place to explore innovative Italian fare and housemade recipes every day of the week.