Organic. Fair trade. Sustainable. Microroasted. Plenty of adjectives describe the coffee at Pound The Hill, but the staff is most concerned about one in particular: delicious. They partner their carefully curated brews with breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Breakfast sandwiches—such as the Italian Elvis, smothered with Nutella, bananas, and honey—segue into lunchtime ones piled with veggies, feta cheese, pesto chicken salad, and pulled-pork barbecue. At dinnertime, chefs switch sandwich bread for small plates and entrees, such as organic chicken breast stuffed with blue crab. The restaurant also hosts daily happy hours, which happens to be what clowns call each credit they need to graduate from clown college. During this time, guests sip wine and beer while noshing on discounted appetizers.
Sonoma’s wine list presents guests with a California-centric selection, but the food is almost exclusively locavore. Ingredients from area ranchers, growers, and fishermen are used to build such dishes as wine-braised beef cheeks. And if you finish your meal before you finish your bottle, you can take the leftover wine with you.
Open City hosts a broad cross-section of patrons, from local hipsters and neighborhood families to conventioneers staying at the nearby Marriott and Omni hotels. Freelancers and students leisurely sip coffee and use the free Wi-Fi, and while the café is open all day long, the most popular meals here are breakfast and brunch. Look for omelets, scrambles, buttermilk or multi-grain pancakes, french toast, mimosas and everything else you might crave before noon, all served with a seriously relaxed vibe. While breakfast is served all day, those dining later might want to indulge in one of the homemade salads or sandwiches, or fawn over a cup of coffee – served with animal crackers on the side. No matter what your order, the big, yawning space will make you feel right at home, thanks to an abundance of natural light. Or, soak it all in from their sidewalk patio space.
The shelves of wine bottles at Dickson Wine Bar stretch all the way to the ceiling. Which is a lot of stretching since the dining room encompasses two tiers, including a cozy second-floor bar and interior balcony. Lights behind the shelves filter through the standing and supine bottles, highlighting the vivid tones of varietals gathered from around the world. When not admiring the view from the expansive front windows, guests admire a menu of small plates that includes cheeses, charcuterie, and flatbreads, along with three types of bánh mì sandwiches. And, for the adventurous drinker, there is even a menu of wine-based cocktails, such as the hard palmer, made with earl grey vodka, lemonade, and prosecco, or the dead sea, mixed with spiced rum, red wine, and ginger beer.
Maple sits on a recently gentrified street in Washington’s Columbia Heights neighborhood. The intimate wine bar and bistro serves stylish Italian dishes to a wide swath of locals and in-the-know tourists, including a bruschetta combo appetizer that’s perfect for kicking off any meal. Celebrated main dishes include a lamb ragu with tagliatelle, featuring port-braised lamb, olives and parmigiano reggiano cheese, while rotating daily specials are posted on the chalkboard-covered back walls. And why is a place specializing in Italian cuisine called Maple? A slab of tiger maple wood provides the centerpiece for the restaurant design, transformed into a bar running the length of the space. Keep in mind, Maple’s limited hours means they’re only open for dinner and Sunday brunches.
When the sun hits the patio’s terra-cotta roof just right, and you’ve had just enough Sierra Cantabria, you’ll forget for a second that you’re not at a villa in Spain. As servers present wines from a selection of more than 100 international varietals, guests listen to flamenco music and the soft clacking of bocce balls on the patio’s sandy court.