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Finest Restaurant period in Grass Valley/Nevada City

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We are new up here. We are having guests visiting that are epicurean chowhounds. We wish to satisfy their appetites but in truth, impress them as well. Is there a clear number one regardless of food type? We are a small communities but saw some messages posted for similar size Placerville, CA so we hope there may be people, perhaps from the Sacramento area, that have a favorite up here. Penn Valley Pete

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  1. t
    torte basilica

    Citronelle in Nevada City - wonderful menu, wine list, usually great service. Have always been very happy there. For a fun excursion, so visit the Rennaissance winery & do the tour / have lunch there - v. memorable!

    8 Replies
    1. re: torte basilica

      Sounds like you are describing Ceroni's (309 Broad St.) the only Citronelles I'm aware of are in Santa Barbara, DC and Las Vegas. Ceroni's has been consistently great over the years, another favorite of the locals (have yet to try) is the Country Rose at 300 Commercial (1 block off Broad across from Friar Tucks).

      1. re: PolarBear
        torta basilica

        It is Citronelle on Broad Street - not associated with Michel Richard's, but still excellent.

        1. re: torta basilica

          can you talk a little about the food there? we're in grass valley visiting my brother at least once a month and are nearly always dismayed at the quality of food we find there. we're seriously thinking of building up there--but i'm not quite ready to give up my sf cuisine choices!

          we've walked by citronelle many times when having coffee in nevada city and have always thot the menu looked interesting.

          1. re: Rochelle
            torta basilica

            I know what you mean about the restaurants up there, but I think this will pleasantly surprise you.

            My apologies to all - it is Citronee, not Citronelle, at 320 Broad Street (try to get a window table - only 2 - great people watching). (530) 265-5697. Robert Perez is the chef (used to be chef at Auberge du Soleil). They serve Meditteranean-type food - ie braised lamb with delicious risotto, I remember my brother having some wild portobello mushroom/polenta/goat cheese/wine sauce/etc creation that was delicious. Excellent meats and fish and I remember their house specialty dessert is absolutely delicious & can be shared 3 ways. Very nice wine list - Rombauer - yeah! Sometimes waiters can be a little overly familiar, but in general, just nice kind service. Oh, and good bread - very important!

            Nevada County is not going to begin to compare to SF cuisine, but... it is so beautiful & open & people are so nice. I just love it there & would move if my husband didn't need to be close to a major airport. Check out Lake Wildwood off of 49, unless you want a whole lot of land.

            Our kids love staying at the Holbrooke - I think the Grant suite - is always a kick & the bar there is fun. For lunch & take-away, Cirino La Cucina is really surprisingly good. I'm not as impressed with the Cirino's in NC, but also like the New Moon Cafe there.

            For a great burger & better pie, visit the Happy Apple Cafe in Chicago Park - family run & delicious white & regular peaches/nectarines in season.

            Definately don't miss the Saturday Grower's Market at the fairgrounds or Music in the Mountains during the summer.

            Also visit the Rennaissance winery & have lunch there (resvs required). Very beautiful, interesting & controversial group living & making excellent wines there - worth a full day! Gorgeous gardens, statuary, winery, etc - just don't ask too many questions!!

            Make reservations at Citronee - I'm sure you will be very happy & return often!

            1. re: torta basilica

              thanks so much for all the good info! we'll definitely make good use of it!

        2. re: PolarBear


          Citronee Bistro & Wine Bar
          320 Broad St, Nevada City, CA 95959

        3. re: torte basilica

          Diego's in Grass Valley is definitely at the top of the list as well. Very down to earth and simple South American dining, but as fresh and delicious as it can get. Service has always been exceptional, and the atmosphere is very comfortable and unique (in a very cool way). Every time we are there, we have a great experience. Its on Colfax Ave near downtown GV......530-477-1460. We have also heard live acoustic guitar there on the weekends. Their panqueque is incredible! (pronounced pancakaay)

          1. re: hungerforce08

            Rolled into GV @ 1 pm last Thurs, daily special was fish tacos, simply out of this world, Lady PB, the most severe critic of a la plancha style, proclaimed them the best we've found to date. We did splitsies so I got one and have to concur totally.

            We also shared the pork panqueque, a Chilean dish that we both loved. Done burrito style, but think crepe, instead of tortilla. I would have preferred some of the veggies (esp. bell peppers) to be grilled more thoroughly, but a minor quibble.

            For dessert we shared a Celestino, sheer decadance, you can read the description here, along with the other menu items:


            We also scored a tres leches cake and a slice of key lime pie to take back to our room in Nevada City. Dessert heaven for a few nights.

            Great space, really nice folks, much to explore.

            217 Colfax Avenue (not Hwy) next to the school facility, just E of 49
            Grass Valley

        4. I haven't been here, but have been meaning to visit just as soon as I find myself in your area.

          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1 Reply
          1. re: MarkB

            I used to be in that area a good bit and there is a great little Vegetarian Market / Cafe type place (deffinitely not bottom end, but not super fancy either) called Earth Song. Don't know the address, but its in Grass Valley somewhere.

          2. Villa Venezia in Grass Valley.

            Beautiful place, and old victorian home with great food and excellent service. Great wine list. Tuscan style Italian. House made bread.

            Next up I would say Kane's in Grass Valley. Long menu, not really an epicurian delight, but it is my favorite place in GV. Wood fired pizzas, Italian dishes, steaks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bennyboy1

              a couple of other threads about the area...http://www.chowhound.com/topics/332252
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/509324 And there are links to otehr threads....The seond one is the most up to date...

            2. I would have to say that are best restaurant period was between 6/79-12/82!
              Most are gone now in favor of the hoitsee/tootsiee places.

              1. My Dad says there's a new restaurant in town that's pretty good.
                Menu looks good.

                The Holbrooke Hotel is in historical old town Grass Valley. I guess you can say "historical" now since they took out half of older Grass Valley along Bank Street and put in the Holiday Inn Express.
                The Holbrooke is fun, the menu inviting, and fitting in the environment. I can't compare it to Kane's because I haven't been to Kane's myself. But, I liked The Holbrooke as one of the better places to dine in Grass Valley.
                Click on the link at this site

                I put that link because there is also a parking guide link on it.
                Park in the back lot of the Holbrook Hotel instead of on Main Street and eat on the patio if it's warm. Mayeb someone will play the piano.

                And, for a real treat of the neighborhood for breakfast, go to the Happy Apple. (Unless they are staying in a bed and breakfast). It's not San Fancisco chic, but it sure is nice and good.
                The Happy Apple Kitchen
                18532 Colfax Hwy, Grass Valley
                Tel: (530) 273-2822

                5 Replies
                1. re: kc girl

                  Yeah Happy Apple!! Great now, but wait til peaches are in season again...

                  1. re: torta basilica

                    I don't understand. I thought peaches are still available on the trees this year. So.Cal.? http://www.allthatwomenwant.com/peach...

                    Hey, local torta. We gotta get together after all these years. Any address? I just put you on my "... I read" list. Road trip or caravan soon. But, I need to go to downtown Sac first.

                    I've really only been to Happy Apple for breakfast, but I guess peach pie for breakfast would be real nice. Daddy likes pie for breakfast alot. At home here, I make chunky applesauce (homemade) with spiced ricotta topping baked in a ramekin for breakfast. That's my happy apple.

                    I thought peaches were in season now, but Dickey Farms, Georgia, says it's over. http://www.gapeaches.com/ Who knew?

                  2. re: kc girl

                    Holbrooke Hotel on the verge of closing as of this week, unless a buyer surfaces; reported in the news. We've had some good lunches there.

                    1. re: toodie jane

                      The Holbrooke is staying open. Something about a lease with the option to buy . . . That hotel is a landmark and I bet people will do whatever they can to keep it alive. It's open for loding and restaurant, just like before.

                      1. re: kc girl

                        Have never tried their restaurant, what do you recommend, kcg?

                  3. Just learned from a visit this weekend, Stonehouse and Country Rose (both in Nevada City) have closed.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: PolarBear

                      Too bad. Not suprising but too bad. Not sure why Stonehouse cannot seem to keep a winner there. Must be the location or the high rent on the building. I loved it when it was the brewery....

                      1. re: bennyboy1

                        I agree, iirc Country Rose was in business when we first started frequenting the area some 30 years ago. The old Kirby's Creekside seems to suffer the same as Stonehouse, can't believe it's just because they're on the "wrong" side of 49, what is it now, a Mexican place? I never hear any locals mention it nor see any posts on this board.

                        1. re: PolarBear

                          Well to be fair, there are many places that do the things that Country Rose did just as well in the area.

                          And Kirby's was great, but the last few times I went everything seemed to have slipped quite a bit. Especially the service.

                          And the place that replaced it (Dos Banditos) does pretty well now. Nobody posts about it because it is Mexican food and not particularly extraordinary, but the best in the area. That they do lunches and have live music at night helps them out too.

                    2. I know this thread is from years back - but wanted to update and second Citronee. Went there tonight while on a work trip here and it was very good. Had the hambuger which was hard to choose because the menu had a lot of good options-- but it was delicious. Dessert- financier which was also fantastic. Would definitely return.

                      1. Since this thread has been bumped recently, I'll add a tip from a local that Lefty's in Nevada City does some good innovative takes on burgers, specifically the Stinky or something like that, gorgonzola cheese and sauteed garlic. He also reported that his wife (extremely picky eater) had what she described as the best salmon she has ever had for dinner there one night. It's in the old Citizen Pizza location, iirc.