Wine, Dine and Stay at the Vintner’s Inn
While the farm-to-table movement is very in vogue in culinary circles at the moment, it was not always so – not even in produce rich locales like Sonoma County where it made, and continues to makes, perfectly good sense. However, Chef John Ash changed all of that.
More than four decades ago, Chef Ash opened his namesake restaurant in Santa Rosa, in effect debuting what has been hailed as the first restaurant in Northern California wine country to focus on local, seasonal ingredients especially selected to complement the wines of the region. For his efforts, Ash is often referred to as the father of what is widely thought of as Wine Country cuisine.
Fittingly, Chef Thomas Schmidt carries on the tradition begun by his predecessor at John Ash & Co with a celebrated menu culled from the restaurant’s own onsite garden as well as more than 30 farmers and food producers in Sonoma County.
The result is an authentic taste of Wine Country that attracts locals and tourists alike. A particular favorite is the Chef’s Tasting Menu, which obviously changes, but generally always includes regular standouts like the Tuna Tartare Stack and Pan Seared Scallops.
Elsewhere in the tastefully decorated space, the Front Room Bar & Lounge invites guests to take a seat in its rich cozy environs where mohair, chenille, and soft-rubbed leather dominate. Mingle like a local over a deep bench of regional wines or a signature cocktail at impressive mosaic inlaid bar or in front of the massive stone-cut fireplace and glass-enclosed wine cellar.
Turn the evening into a perfectly wonderful getaway with stay at the restaurant’s parent property, the 44-room Vintners Inn set on 92-acres of lush vineyards in the Russian River Valley, just 60
miles north of San Francisco, offers leisure and business travelers alike a central location to relax, rejuvenate and explore Sonoma County’s spectacular vineyard, coastal, and mountain destinations.