Douglas Keane’s Napa and Sonoma Picks
My favorite restaurant in Napa. The French country food is straight-up simple and great—they make a delicious croque-monsieur—and the place is located right on the Napa River, so you can sit outside. My wife and I drive over there on Sundays even though it’s over an hour away. 540 Main St., Napa; 707-252-8115 or angelerestaurant.com.
Barndiva and its home shop next door have a great, urban sense of style and design. I love going after work for a glass of Champagne or a beer— my favorite is Lagunitas Brewing Co. Pale Ale from Petaluma—but I usually get there too late to eat anything (it’s open late for around here, but that means only midnight). My wife always orders an All Dave All Night—an orange-vodka cocktail with elderflower syrup—but she gets embarrassed saying the name. 231 Center St., Healdsburg; 707-431-0100 or barndiva.com.
Hana Japanese Restaurant
It’s located in a little strip mall near a bowling alley, so you think, Uh-oh. But their fish is really great; their toro is superfresh. They serve mostly traditional sushi, along with a few avant garde rolls with foie gras. I buy the fish for my restaurant from the same source they do—that’s how I heard about the place. 101 Golf Course Dr., Rohnert Park; 707-586-0270 or hanajapanese.com.
J Vineyards & Winery
Their Bubble Room is the best tasting room in all of Sonoma County. The people there explain food-and-wine pairings: They’ll bring out five little tastes—like gougères, ham tartlets, mini quiches, blue cheese—and tell you what to pair with each, and why. And I adore their sparkling wine. 11447 Old Redwood Hwy.; Healdsburg; 707-431-3646 or jwine.com.
My favorite place in Healdsburg for breakfast. It’s almost like a truck stop, but they make their own biscuits and gravy and nice, fluffy omelets (I hate overcooked omelets). In the summer they have heirloom tomatoes. 165 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg; 707-433-8263.