The Savvy Traveler
Wine Country After Dark
Part Deux: Sonoma
Who knew that Sonoma County, long prized for its wines and produce but never its nightlife, was so hip? Surprise, surprise: it turns out that Napa’s wine country cousin has plenty to offer in terms of après-tasting festivities, just so long as travelers know where to find them. Speaking of which, get ready for some diversity: the following list of eclectic hot spots spans everything from haute cuisine havens to dive bars, karaoke joints and hip hotels. Leave it to a region known for marching to its own beat to produce such a progressive menu of night spots du jour.
With an evocative name like The Girl & the Fig this place was destined
to be hip. Chef-owner Sondra Bernstein’s outrageously popular restaurant
pays homage to Cal-French cooking with wine country warmth thrown in for
good measure, and the combination strikes a fabulous balance between avant-garde
and homey. The food is delicious (proof: the spot’s even got its own namesake
cookbook), and, like Bouchon in Napa, The Girl & the Fig makes an ideal
destination for lively diners looking for a culinary oasis with a little
hipster scene thrown in for good measure. Hint: the patio’s where the action
Hankering for a little more action after your meal at The Girl & the
Fig? Then head back over to the Plaza for a nightcap at local institution
Steiner’s Tavern. You might call Steiner’s the melting pot of Sonoma nightlife,
which is quite possibly why it’s also the most lively bar scene in town.
A merry band of bikers, locals, tourists and misfits share barstools and
stiff cocktails at this spot that’s part sports bar, part pool hall and
pure Sonoma. For serious nightlife seekers only.
This four-year-old restaurant features California- and tapas-inspired bistro
fare alongside a lively bar scene that might, if you blinked, lead you to
believe you’re back in the city. Stylish locals linger at the attractive
nickel-plated bar and flirt over a smart wine list and good-quality imported
spirits. The burger and a nice selection of oysters are solid bets if you
get the urge to nosh while knocking a few back.
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