Vine Tastings ripens appetites with a full menu of boutique Sonoma County wines and small appetizer plates for pairing and singular enjoyment. The friendly wine bar carries anywhere from eight to 10 different vino vintages from small local wineries, available by the flight, glass, or bottle. Guests can sip, swish, or slam dunk a variety of inebriating grape derivatives, such as the Branham 2007 chardonnay from Russian River Valley ($8 per glass), the Deux Amis 2007 pinot noir from Donnelly Creek Vineyards and Anderson Valley ($7 per glass), and the Et Cetera 2008 Sonoma County merlot ($6 per glass), or choose any three 2-ounce tastings for $10. Pair tipples with delicious charcuterie plates, or cheeses.
After spending years cooking around the country, and working under the tutelage of Chefs Dan Lewis and Charles Bailey, Leo V. Tocchini was excited to move to Windsor. After discovering that his new town didn’t boast the same high-quality, slow-roasted eats he loved most, Leo decided to open his own barbecue joint with a menu composed of family recipes he learned as a 10-year-old. Amidst grills full of patiently smoldering charcoal and pots simmering with Leo’s signature sauce, Jaded Toad BBQ & Grill was born.
Leo crafts the slow-roasted slabs of ribs, fried frog legs, and whole roasted chickens on his Louisiana-inspired menu from scratch each day, refusing to use shortcuts such as microwaves or robots trained to pull pork. He tops tables with saucy piles of meat in the dining room, front patio, or beer garden, which boasts 10 beers on tap and 16 additional bottled varieties, as well as multiple fire pits and picnic tables.
From the simple, understated confines behind Bistro M's bright French doors, Parisian-born pastry-punchers pound out traditional Gallic gastronomy. Night-shift noshers can cloak themselves in the warm light of the chandeliers while rhapsodizing on inviting entrees such as trout almondine ($16) and braised pork shoulder with butternut-squash gratin ($21). Otherwise, seek pearls and spark plugs amid the raw, barbecue, and Rockefeller shell-meat of the full oyster bar ($1.75 each). Bistro M also assuages mid-afternoon belly temblors with a storehouse of lunch and brunch provisions. Set upon a refined feast with the croque madame's seared ham and fresh fried-egg chapeau ($11), or unmask hunger and robot invaders masquerading as sandwiches with the honesty of the open-faced vegetable and brie tartine ($8).
Situated at the Vintners Inn beside 92 acres of vineyard, John Ash & Co. takes pride in its ability to marry a meal's delicate flavors with the most complementary wine varietals. The upscale eatery, a 2010 Open Table Diner's Choice winner, features homegrown fruits, vegetables, and herbs from on-site gardens, as well as a long list of locally sourced ingredients that, much like the four cardinal directions, change from season to season. The dinner menu offers delectable main courses, such as kabocha pumpkin ravioli spiked with pickled mushrooms and parmesan ($16) or pan-seared sturgeon served with roasted red beets ($34), and lunchers can snack on pizza margherita ($13) or fill their emptiest stomach with nine ounces of New York steak ($21).
Chefs at The Locals begin their day in the early morning, poaching eggs, flipping cinnamon-walnut french toast, and dousing buttermilk pancakes in real Vermont maple syrup. As the sun rises higher in the sky, they turn their attention to juicy grass-fed Angus beef burgers, house-roasted turkey sandwiches, and salads showered in chicken and bay shrimp. While chefs are hard at work in the kitchen, diners relax with glasses of wine, beer, and specialty cocktails out in the warm and casual dining room, enjoying live performances from local musicians or that little kid who's mastered the art of the nose-spoon.
Subway’s health-minded approach to fast food has impressed counter-fare consumers since 1965, earning the company accolades including a recent No. 1 ranking on Entrepreneur magazine’s list of top submarine-sandwich franchises. Founder Fred DeLuca opened the first Subway with hopes of paying his way through medical school; nine years after joining forces with friend Dr. Peter Buck, the duo’s fledgling business had already expanded to 16 stores. Today, Subway has become a ubiquitous presence throughout the United States, 98 countries, and two solar systems, with its sandwich assemblers topping fresh-baked breads with crisp vegetables, deli meats, and cheeses.
After a UFC fighting career that included travels to Japan, Brazil, and Vegas (for a middleweight title bout), David Terrell decided to come home. A graduate of Piner High School, Terrell found and refurbished an old warehouse and created Norcal Fighting Alliance. The 4,000- square-foot fight school features a bustling crop of amateur and professional fighters who train alongside everyday students and first-timers. Terrell even offers classes for kids, particularly those who have been taking too much lip from their teddy bears. Instructors lead morning and evening sessions in jujitsu, advanced grappling, and boxing, along with noncombat women’s cardio-kickboxing sessions.