F&W’s guide to the best of Mendocino County, Santa Ynez Valley, Monterey and Carmel.
More of California Wine Country’s Best
Places to Eat in California Wine Country
Paysanne (Mendocino County)
At her sunny new sweets shop, Melinda Ellis turns out blood orange ice pops, chocolate shortbread and ice cream sandwiches on gingersnaps. 14111 Hwy. 128, Boonville; 707-937-1831.
Uneda Eat (Mendocino County)
Longtime caterers Jill and Rob Hunter run this family-style restaurant in Point Arena. Their menu changes daily, with dishes like vadouvan-braised chicken and pasta with romesco, ricotta and foraged mushrooms. 206 Main St., Point Arena; 707-882-3800.
The Madrones (Mendocino County)
This food-wine complex has a cheese shop, tasting rooms for four wineries, guest rooms and classes on canning and foraging. 9000 Hwy. 128, Philo; 707-895-2955.
Restaurant 1833 (Monterey, Carmel & Carmel Valley)
In a 19th-century adobe building, chef Levi Mezick serves luxe comfort food, crusting bone marrow with horseradish and truffling a whole chicken. The restaurant’s version of a family-style dish: whole roasted foie gras lobe for $150. 500 Hartnell St., Monterey; 831-643-1833 or restaurant1833.com.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Restaurant (Monterey, Carmel & Carmel Valley)
Napa star chef Cindy Pawlcyn has upgraded the menu at the Aquarium’s 68-seat restaurant (and at the 200-plus-seat café). She steams sustainable mussels, for instance, in coconut curry sauce. 886 Cannery Row, Monterey; 831-648-4870.
Salumeria Luca (Monterey, Carmel & Carmel Valley)
L’Auberge Carmel inn’s lovely new deli sells house-cured meats, fresh breads and sandwiches to go. Dolores St. at Ocean Ave., Carmel; 831-625-0264. Courtesy of La Bicyclette
« La Bicyclette (Monterey, Carmel & Carmel Valley)
This offshoot of the popular Casanova uses a wood oven to turn out glorious pizzas and roasted local bass. Dolores St. at Seventh Ave., Carmel; 831-622-9899.
Places to Stay in California Wine Country
Blue Door Inn (Mendocino County)
Guests at downtown Mendocino’s stylish new B&B, Blue Door Inn, have lots of reasons to leave their cozy rooms, like tastings of Navarro Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc during the daily wine hour and manager Steven Smith’s excellent two-course breakfasts. From $175; 10481 Howard St., Mendocino; 707-937-4892 or bluedoorinn.com.
Carmel Valley Ranch (Monterey, Carmel & Carmel Valley)
After a $40 million renovation, the Carmel Valley Ranch now has 139 revamped suites and a new outdoor yoga platform on a hilltop. The two-acre garden provides produce for cooking classes. Doubles from $250; 1 Old Ranch Rd.; 831-625-9500 or carmelvalleyranch.com.
Vision Quest Safari B&B (Monterey, Carmel & Carmel Valley)
There are four new safari-style bungalows at this quirky B&B, run by the couple who own the wildlife sanctuary next door. An elephant (plus a staff member) delivers breakfast to your door every morning. Doubles from $175; 400 River Rd., Salinas; 800-228-7382 or visionquestranch.com.
Wineries, Wine Shops & Tasting Rooms in California Wine Country
Parducci Wine Cellars (Mendocino County)
Parducci recently opened a tasting counter at the Real Goods Solar Living Center, a green-energy educational center and housewares store. 13771 S. Hwy. 101, Hopland; 707-744-1857.
Elke Vineyards (Mendocino County)
This little shack is possibly the world’s smallest tasting bar. Stop by for Mary Elke’s hard-to-find sparkling wines and Pinot Noirs. 12351 Hwy. 128, Boonville; 707-246-7045.