Cook St. Helena
Within the narrow confines of Cook, owner-chef Jude Wilmoth, who previously helmed the kitchen at St. Helena's Tra Vigne, prepares casual Northern Italian cuisine using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The bright white walls of the snug space—it features only 31 seats, including a diner-style, walk-ins-only counter near the entrance—contrast the dark wood floors, and unique decorative elements like the sculptured animal head, rustic tin mirror, and gourd-shaped pendant lights give the dining room a fun, quirky edge. Dishes like Cornish game hen with butternut squash and braised short ribs with scallion-whipped potatoes find their way onto Wilmoth’s seasonal menu, and the concise wine list focuses on focuses mainly on local vintners.
AS FEATURED IN...
From the From the May 2008 Food & Wine Go List
This whitewashed restaurant has attracted a fashionable crowd ever since it opened about a decade ago. The menu adds subtle but smart twists to Mexican seafood dishes—for instance, topping raw-tuna tostadas with chipotle mayonnaise and serving snapper with a red salsa on one side and a green one on the other.
We loved: Mussels in spicy chipotle broth.
Insider tip: Contramar is only open for lunch; it’s best to arrive between 1:30 and 2 p.m., just as it opens, or at 5 p.m., when the crowds have thinned.