A Taste of Sonoma County at Geyserville Gun Club
The rustic bar and lounge is advertised as a 'working man's bar,' but being that this is Sonoma Wine Country, the food and drink at the Geyserville Gun Club Bar & Lounge are crafted with boutique, local ingredients and the menu is inventive, focusing on fresh fish crudos, Latin and Asian street food, craft cocktails, and local and international wines and beers.
Add to that the stylish setting of hardwood floors, aged brick walls, a long, antique wood bar, and fresh flowers, and this is nice 'work' for those who get it.
Of course we knew it would be great. The spot comes to us from chef Dino Bugica, who also owns the marvelous Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria next door.
The look: Channeling a European chic vibe, a brick and stucco wall is hung with black and white art of Sophia Loren, the ceiling glitters with a glass elk antler chandelier, and the hardwood floor is anchored by a long, polished raw wood bar. I love the dark moodiness, even if the low light makes reading the menu a challenge.
To eat: A small bites menu keeps things playful, like the GGC Tijuana Dog with the frank wrapped in bacon and smothered in jalapenos, fried onions, pickled pineapple, cheddar, pico de gallo, and secret sauce ($12); or the Korean tacos stuffed with marinated beef and pork, shrimp, kimchee, white cheddar, cilantro, sesame, and kewpie mayo ($8). The recipes are busy, but the flavors come together, particularly when paired with a potent cocktail.
But still, there's elegance. We scoop up creamy burrata served with fried artichoke, bottarga (salty cured fish roe), black garlic drizzled in local olive oil, and agrodoice ($18). I also love the richy, deeply flavorful Tokyo stew brimming with beef belly, duck egg, spring onion, steamed rice, miso, and sake with a side of colorful pickles ($14). It's so sumptuous I can barely share any with my companions.
You can't have a bar without a great burger, and the GGC model delivers a juicy sandwich of grass fed beef, American cheese, caramelized onions, pickles, and secret sauce alongside crispy French fries ($14). Vegetarians will appreciate The Impossible Burger, too, a surprisingly satisfying, beefy textured, vegetarian patty dressed in caramelized onions, pickles, and secret sauce ($18).
Just don't get too attached to a particular dish. Chef Bugica is a highly creative guy, and changes the line-up frequently.
To note: Late night noshing in Geyserville? It's true. The Club is open until 10:30 p.m. weekdays, midnight Friday, and 12:30 a.m. Saturdays.
Dessert: How clever is cold pizza? Yes, that boozy-inspired hangover cure is served as pepperoni or cheese ($5).
To drink: Cocktails are the specialty, like a tasty Kimono Dropper of Square One cucumber vodka, Gusto Di Amalfi Mandarino, shochu, yuzu, lemon, sesame, and soda ($12). Or treat yourself to a bottle of 2014 Failla Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ($70). For something exotic, try a Japanese Koshihikari Echigo beer ($10).
Details: Geyserville Gun Club Bar & Lounge, 21025 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville, 707-814-0036.