Here in Sonoma Wine Country, the living is easy — unless you want to eat out late at night. It’s true that many restaurants here close before 10; it’s just part of our relaxed, bucolic lifestyle. Check our tips on nightlife in Sonoma County.
But more and more, the youngsters are coming in, looking for an interesting nightlife, and chefs are happy to please. Get in the groove with these wee hour adventures:
5 p.m.-2 a.m. nightly
139 Petaluma Boulevard N., Petaluma, 707-776-4631
Sure, it looks like an old saloon. It can be a little hard to find, at the intersection of American Alley and Putnam Plaza, just across from the Petaluma River.
But these global tapas are worth hunting down. The Niman Ranch empanadas speak of Spain, the truffled asparagus with shaved Broncha cow-goat milk cheese and fried farm egg is purely California, and sweet and spicy pork belly over brown rice cake with pickled shallots is a taste of Asia.
Still hungry? How about Mediterranean spicy lamb meatballs in sun-dried tomato sauce, or French escargot with cremini mushrooms in puff pastry with garlic parsley butter and bourbon deglaze?
Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa
11 a.m. to midnight daily; kitchen closes 11 p.m.; last call 11:30 p.m.
725 4th St., Santa Rosa, 707-545-2337
The home of the international phenomenon Pliny the Younger (and Elder) keeps the party going with live music, a rainbow array of ever-changing microbrews, and marvelous munchies.
Feed that craving with beer bites (crispy dough topped with mozz, garlic, and marinara; a very Sonoma County charcuterie plate; crispy baked wings; piled high pizzas; and an excellent meatball sandwich.
Jack & Tony’s Whickey Bar, Santa Rosa
11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
115 Fourth St. (Railroad Square), Santa Rosa, 707-526-4347
The Whisky Bar boasts more than 400 different kinds of Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, American and Japanese whiskies. To eat alongside, the upscale pub-steakhouse impresses with local specialties like Dungeness crab bisque, chilled oysters on-the-half-shell, and pan-roasted chicken tossed with hand-rolled pappardelle pasta in mushroom Alfredo.
Lots of people like to eat at the bar, featuring its own menu for bites like deviled eggs, garlic-Parmesan fries, and a hefty Carolina pork sandwich with coleslaw and fries.
Adel's, Santa Rosa
6 a.m. to midnight daily
456 College Ave., Santa Rosa, 707-578-1003
Super nachos! French dip! A hot corned beef sandwich! Who doesn’t love that, especially after consuming a couple of beers? It’s no coincidence that this diner is just a half-mile from Santa Rosa Junior College.
The specialties are cheap prices, big portions, and good food to fill a growling belly. The Western cheeseburger of flame-broiled Angus beef is a favorite, smothered in crisp bacon, cheddar and jack cheeses, grilled onions, and homemade BBQ sauce.
And chicken Marsala is a downright feast, bringing a double chicken breast sautéed with fresh mushrooms, garlic butter, and Marsala wine, served with vegetables, choice of potato, garlic bread, green salad, or a bowl of the soup of the day. Finish with a banana split, and go home happy, happy, happy.
Murphy’s Irish Pub, Sonoma
11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday
464 1st St E., Sonoma, 707-935-0660
This is a pub indeed, featuring live music, and plenty of beers like Guinness and Smithwick’s, plus whiskies galore.
But when the stomach is rumbling, the food sure hits the spot, like frickles of Guinness-battered fried pickles dunked in “sri-rancha” sauce, a corned beef Reuben, and bangers and mash in onion gravy. The pepper jack tater tots are fun poppables, while the savory pie of the day (think meat and gravy, yum) is a sit-down affair.
Taps Restaurant & Tasting Room, Petaluma
4 p.m. to midnight Monday and Tuesday; 11:30 a.m. to midnight Wednesday and Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 1: 30 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to midnight, Sunday
54 E. Washington St., Petaluma, 707-763-6700
The small-batch beers are a treat anytime. And what a delicious recipe for those midnight hunger pangs: a chilled Stone Brewing Company smoked Porter beer spiked with chipotle peppers, plus snacks like feta bruschetta or fiery spicy chicken wings, or a hearty bliss-on-a-bun burger made with bison and pork belly alongside a pile of hush puppies.
Written by Sonoma Insider Carey Sweet.