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Dining Guide for the Top Restaurants at Graton Casino in Rohnert Park

Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park, Sonoma County

Jackpot! Grab a Preferred Card at Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park, and you’ll earn reward points for your slot play, video/live poker, and table game action. And you’ll want those points - lots of them - since they’re redeemable for (among other prizes) dining at the casino’s 13 restaurants.

At the spectacular 320,000 square foot, $825 million casino, which is the newest and biggest casino in the San Francisco Bay Area, at Highway 101 and Wilfred Avenue/Golf Course Drive West in Rohnert Park, Sonoma County, food is as important as gambling, notes casino general manager Joe Hasson.

“The restaurants are an essential ingredient in attracting and entertaining people, and giving them a reason – more than gambling – to come back often,” he said.

Certainly with the casino’s Wine Country location in the heart of some of the world’s best food and wine production regions, eating cannot be an afterthought, either in quality or diversity. Last year the world-class Green Music Center opened in Rohnert Park, just a few minutes away from the new casino.

For that reason, there is no generic buffet, or $5.99 prime rib dinner special. Many of the restaurants are local, as are their purveyors and staff. In fact, all the restaurants were handpicked by the Graton Casino owner, Graton Rancheria Federated Indians, led by tribal leader and chairman Greg Sarris.

At the same time, experiences are reasonable. The eateries tend to offer the same menu prices as at their out-of-casino locations, with bargains ranging from $1.50 pastor and cochinita pibil tacos at La Fondita, to a monster slab of lasagna layered with tomato meat sauce, Italian fennel sausage, mozzarella, ricotta, garlic and Romano for $9 from Slice House.

Taking the spotlight are Douglas Keane (the former Cyrus and current Bravo’s Top Chef Master), Tony Gemignani (Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, Capo, Tony’s Coal Fired Pizza), and Martin Yan (M.Y. China).

But beyond the big names, there are plenty of notable destinations, too, like the casino-owned 630 Steakhouse, the full-service Daily Grill, and a 24-hour, 500-seat Marketplace featuring nine more casual eateries including Keane’s eatery.

For an overview of what to expect, and what to eat, here is a look at the full-service restaurants, complete with menu links.

M.Y. China – This glamorous salon is an offshoot of celebrity chef Martin Yan’s enormously popular San Francisco destination, featuring an exhibition kitchen with wok dishes, hand-pulled noodles and dim sum. Set over two stories, it features a glitzy bar, multiple separate dining areas and the busy kitchen on the first floor, with a second floor dining loft accented by a huge dragon mural. Mixing entertainment with world class food, the professional “noodle pullers” offer dizzying theatrics like the famous Dragon Beard la mien, of 16,000 strands pulled angel-hair thin from one long twist of dough. One don’t miss dish is the Juicy Dumpling Trio brimming with two dumplings each stuffed with wild boar, pork and crab, and pork and black truffle, all soaking in rich broth ($18).

Tony’s of North Beach  – Chef-owner Tony Gemignani is an 11-time World Championships of Pizza Makers winner, and he takes his ‘za seriously. That means he has eight kinds of pizzas made in three different kinds of ovens, including Napoletana (baked in a 900° wood-fired oven), classic Italian/Americana (like a pepperoni, salami, sausage, bacon, linguisa, mushroom combo, $20), 16-inch New York style, thick and rectangular Sicilian style, cracker crust (650° in a brick oven), or California style. There is also Roman style, as a trio of separate pies all joined together on a giant wood cutting board. Don't miss the gluten free pies, either, including a vegetarian model ($18). For other appetites, there are family-style pasta dinners, giant meatball subs, and big salads. Oh, those meatballs – they are marvelous, in tennis ball size rounds, all dense and moist and meaty and swimming in rich tomato sauce.

The Daily Grill  – This fun spot is a West Coast chain featuring American comfort food with Mediterranean accents, and let’s just say this: chicken potpie. The glorious potpie is as a big as a hubcap, and sumptuous with lots of poultry, veggies and savory thick gravy between golden rafts of puff pastry. We’re fans of the meatloaf, as well, loaded with mushrooms and rounded out with creamy spinach mash ($15.75). For the setting, think upscale bistro, with a long, welcoming bar in front and quieter dining in the back. Somehow, the chef has managed to pack a lot of goodness into 600 calories or less, too, with a Simply 600 menu that tempts with dishes like crab stuffed salmon ($28.50), and herb chicken caprese draped in mozzarella ($18.75).

630 Park Steakhouse – Owned by the casino, this posh place brings the high style of Las Vegas, featuring a backlit bar in the front room and a wall of fire in the back. The meat is Prime grade Midwest and California raised, and wet/dry aged for a minimum of 28 days. Yet there’s plenty of local flair, too, from Sonoma County dairy, to cheeses, chicken, lamb, produce and of course, wines. For opulence, it’s hard to beat the 12 oz. California Wagyu ($48) slathered in gorgonzola crust ($8), alongside au gratin potatoes decorated with Hobbs bacon ($10) and roasted wild mushrooms ($12).

Details: Graton Resort & Casino, 288 Golf Course Drive West, Rohnert Park.

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