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Apr 27, 2009 04:01 PM

Like Blue Hill at Stone Farms

My wife and I are heading out to Sonoma/Napa for a week in early May and are looking for a restaurant which showcases local food and a wine list with producers who respect artisanal techniques, ingredients come from nearby farms. (Like Blue Hill in NY, if you've been) We've done research but now to the experts. I would greatly appreciate some suggestions.

Thank you.!!

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  1. I'm sure you've noticed from your research, but Blue Hill was really following in the foot steps of Napa/Sonoma with their approach. Using local ingredients is just what's expected. Farm fresh isn't a novelty there, and many places have their own gardens, etc.
    So finding a place like Blue Hill gives you many options, but if you're trying to duplicate the Stone Farms experience and dine on a farm itself, that's another story. Sonoma/Napa/Yountville/St Helena are mostly vineyards....but once you clarify what you're after I bet you'll get good suggestions.

    1. Late:

      Without canonizing local/local places, you might want to consider:

      * Chez Panisse/Cafe: Berkeley -- the temple, but not in Napa/Sonoma
      * Redd: Yountville; slick, minimalist, delicious
      * Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, St. Helena: relaxed local place
      * Go Fish: Cindy's seafood place in St. Helena: local, fresh oysters and seafood
      * Farm: in Napa, emphasizing local ingredients with local wine list
      * Ad Hoc: Yountville prix fixe concentrated on local stuff

      Let us know where you go and where you enjoy.

      1. The French Laundry has its own garden.

        I think Chez Panisse still gets the cream of the crop, though there are scores of restaurants in the same mold of market-driven menus that change daily, e.g. Ad Hoc in Yountville. Here are some lists that might be helpful:

        4 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Do you include the Estancia link because restaurants that carry it (grassfed beef from Uruguay) tend to care about ingredients and most other items on the menu would be local?

          The French Laundry garden doesn't provide all of the French Laundry's produce, and a lot of the produce on the menu are things like Hearts of Palm imported from Ecuador.

          The one place that I would recommend in Napa that is obsessively local is Ubuntu, which does get all or almost all of its vegetables from its own farm, though the restaurant does not serve meat.

          1. re: SteveG

            I'd agree that Ubuntu is both fantastic and obsessively local, but disagree that most of the vegetables come from their own farm. They highlight the items that come from their farm, and it's far from "most."

            It is a fantastic restaurant, though. Very Blue Hill in some ways - when I just think about the food at both places, the similarities are obvious. The experiences are different, though.

            1. re: SteveG

              Yeah, many of the places on Estancia's list are pretty local-centric.

              1. re: SteveG

                I second Ubuntu. Actually, the sous chef there is a previous cook from Blue Hill at Stone Barns (who I met back in my extern days!) It is a delightful place with stunning food. Don't let the "vegetarian" classification scare you away.

            2. Farmhouse Inn in Forestville (in Sonoma) might be a great place for you to check out. Plus it's a great jumping off point for wineries in Russian River Valley area.

              Farmhouse Inn
              7871 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436

              1 Reply
              1. re: carfeng

                Seconding Farmhouse Inn in the beaten (Napa Valley) track, excellent food (Michelin star), country orientation. Not far from Merry Edwards winery. Not as fancy as Blue Hill, but just as skilled. Let the sommelier guide you on the wines...excellent choices that you haven't had before...have some local wines, but don't limit yourself to them.

              2. Brix in Napa has its own garden which you can view just outside the restaurant.