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The Thomas
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The Eater California Wine Country Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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The Thomas
| Photo: Facebook

This week we return to California Wine Country and select 15 newish locales that have been garnering serious buzz. This time around, we've been fortunate enough to consult with Press Democrat writer and Bite Club Eats reviewer Heather Irwin, who shares her picks for the hottest drinking and dining California Wine Country has to offer.

Among the map's offerings this time around is an intensely seasonal and locally sourced restaurant from an Ad Hoc alum (Backyard), some re-invented spaces that are hotter than ever (Three Squares, Cindy Pawlcyn's Wood Grill & Wine Bar) and a late-night bar that's a favorite with industry insiders (Speakeasy). There are also some seasonal cocktails that Irwin describes as "drinkable works of art" (Goose and Gander) and a restaurant run by New York-based AvroKO Hospitality (The Thomas).

Here now, the Eater Heatmap to California Wine Country:


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cindy Pawlcyn's Wood Grill and Wine Bar

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[Photo]

2. Goose & Gander

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1245 Spring St
Saint Helena, CA 94574
(707) 967-8779
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Seasonal cocktails are the biggest draw at St. Helena's former Martini House restaurant. Bay Area mixologist Scott Beattie's cocktails are kitchen-sink affairs with shiso, galangal, pickled veggies, and artisanal boozes that become drinkable works of art. Duck fat fries, polenta cakes and grilled burgers, and roasted bone marrow set a solid base for continued sipping.[Photo]

3. The Thomas at Fagiani's

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813 Main Street
Napa, CA 94559
(707) 226-7821
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A downtown Napa bar that stood empty for decades got a multi-million dollar facelift to become one of the town's hippest hangouts. NY's AvroKo group (Public, Saxon + Parole) brings serious chef power with Brad Farmerie, who created a locally sourced, casual menu of burgers, roast chicken, and grilled Montery Bay squid along with a stand-out cocktail program.[Photo]

4. Speakeasy

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139B Petaluma Blvd N
Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 776-4631
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A favorite of industry folks, late-night revelers and anyone with serious munchies after midnight, this tiny bar and patio proffers calories-be-damned comfort food until 2 a.m. Best bets include lobster and bacon mac, Croque Madame, pork belly tacos and jalapeno poppers that come with a warning and a glass of milk.

5. Spinster Sisters

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401 South A St.
Santa Rosa, Ca 95401
(707) 528-7100
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A little bit of NYC in Sonoma County, chef Liza Hinman heads up the kitchen with wine guru Giovanni Cerrone and Eric Anderson (a local who’s involved with Prune NYC) working behind the scenes. The menu is broken into a series of sections: Bites ($2-$4) are exactly that; Charcuterie and Cheese Plates ($6-$16); Veggies ($5-$7); Small Plates ($7-$14) and Large Plates ($14-16). Each works beautifully as a single sonnet, or together as an epic poem.[Photo]

6. Pizzando

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Healdsburg Ave
Healdsburg, CA 95448

More than a pizzeria and less than a white-tablecloth experience, Pizzando hits the sweet spot in between with impressive appetizers like oil-poached albacore; slow-braised pork shoulder with pickled plums, and caraway roasted squash draped with lardo (all $9).[Photo]

7. Bravas Bar de Tapas

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420 Center St
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 433-7700
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The Spanish-inspired menu is with brassy, bold flavors that leave no question that you’ll need a breath mint or two before getting familiar with friends or co-workers. Dishes include small plates of sardines, Iberico ham, calamari, quail with lavender, and heartier dishes grilled on a plancha. A new outdoor patio and bar beg for summer sangria sipping.[Photo]

8. Ravenous Cafe & Lounge

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117 North St
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 431-1302

This hobbit-hole of a restaurant has only a handful of tables and barely a galley kitchen, but somehow manages to turn out rustic-luxe, farm-to-table eats including roasted tomatoes with fresh balls of mozzarella, basil pesto and pine nuts, crab cakes with cilantro aioli and roasted eggplant, fresh fish tacos, and mascarpone cheesecake with swirls of lemon curd.[Photo]

9. Parish Cafe

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60A Mill St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 431-8474
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With all of the easy of The Big Easy, Rob Lippincott’s New Orleans cafe draws you in with homey charm, Southern comfort and a menu that’s pure French Quarter. Open for breakfast and lunch Wednesday through Sunday, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more authentic Louisiana cooking this side of the mighty Miss.[Photo]

10. Cafe Lucia

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235 Healdsburg Ave
Healdsburg, Ca 95448

Tucked well back from the street, brother and sister team Manuel and Lucia Azevedo have brought the "Nova Cozinha Portuguesa" - or new Portuguese cuisine - of Manuel's highly acclaimed La Salette restaurant in Sonoma to their northern neighbors. Many of the dishes will be familiar to La Salette regulars, including richly flavored Portuguese nose-to-tail "task" or tasting plates of tripe stew, blood sausage, pig’s feet terrine and sardine pate.[Photo]

11. Backyard

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6566 Front St
Forestville, CA 95436
(707) 820-8445
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This restaurant sources, literally, from chef-owner Daniel Kedan's own backyard culinary gardens and those of his ranch and farming neighbors. The Ad Hoc alum opened his small community-focused restaurant with a relatively simple menu that relies on seasonal produce, foragers and whole-animal butchery as its foundation.[Photo]

12. Three Squares Café

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205 5th St. Suite B
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 545-4300
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Josh Silvers transformed the former Syrah Bistro once again into Three Squares, re-envisioning it as a casual breakfast, lunch and dinner spot with a mix of homey comfort classics and a few "healthier" options after the chef-owner lost more than 30 pounds in 2012.[Photo]

13. Glen Ellen Star

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13648 Arnold Dr
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
(707) 343-1384
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With just eight dining tables and a handful of seats around the open kitchen, every inch of Glen Ellen Star is prime real estate. At the glowing heart of the restaurant: Chef Ari Weiswasser’s 650-degree custom-built wood oven that perfumes the entire block with its smoke. Combining classic French techniques, razor-focused attention to detail, and exotic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern spices in every dish, Glen Ellen Star hasn’t wasted any time getting up to speed.[Photo]

14. Social Club Restaurant & Bar

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132 Keller Street
Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 238-0158
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Steven Levine

Bob Simontacchi creates a rustic American menu around a wood-fired oven and grill with smoked short ribs, grilled Angus hangar steak, Prather Ranch burgers and Sonoma fried chicken. [Photo]

15. Campo Fina

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330 Healdsburg Avenue
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 395-4640
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This casual wood-fired oven spot includes a large outdoor space with bocce and critically-acclaimed small plates such as octopus stew and crispy quail. For most of Healdsburg, it was love at first bite. Open for dinner daily, beginning at 5:30pm.[Photo]

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1. Cindy Pawlcyn's Wood Grill and Wine Bar

Saint Helena, CA 94574
[Photo]

2. Goose & Gander

1245 Spring St, Saint Helena, CA 94574

Seasonal cocktails are the biggest draw at St. Helena's former Martini House restaurant. Bay Area mixologist Scott Beattie's cocktails are kitchen-sink affairs with shiso, galangal, pickled veggies, and artisanal boozes that become drinkable works of art. Duck fat fries, polenta cakes and grilled burgers, and roasted bone marrow set a solid base for continued sipping.[Photo]

1245 Spring St
Saint Helena, CA 94574

3. The Thomas at Fagiani's

813 Main Street, Napa, CA 94559

A downtown Napa bar that stood empty for decades got a multi-million dollar facelift to become one of the town's hippest hangouts. NY's AvroKo group (Public, Saxon + Parole) brings serious chef power with Brad Farmerie, who created a locally sourced, casual menu of burgers, roast chicken, and grilled Montery Bay squid along with a stand-out cocktail program.[Photo]

813 Main Street
Napa, CA 94559

4. Speakeasy

139B Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, CA 94952

A favorite of industry folks, late-night revelers and anyone with serious munchies after midnight, this tiny bar and patio proffers calories-be-damned comfort food until 2 a.m. Best bets include lobster and bacon mac, Croque Madame, pork belly tacos and jalapeno poppers that come with a warning and a glass of milk.

139B Petaluma Blvd N
Petaluma, CA 94952

5. Spinster Sisters

401 South A St., Santa Rosa, Ca 95401

A little bit of NYC in Sonoma County, chef Liza Hinman heads up the kitchen with wine guru Giovanni Cerrone and Eric Anderson (a local who’s involved with Prune NYC) working behind the scenes. The menu is broken into a series of sections: Bites ($2-$4) are exactly that; Charcuterie and Cheese Plates ($6-$16); Veggies ($5-$7); Small Plates ($7-$14) and Large Plates ($14-16). Each works beautifully as a single sonnet, or together as an epic poem.[Photo]

401 South A St.
Santa Rosa, Ca 95401

6. Pizzando

Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448

More than a pizzeria and less than a white-tablecloth experience, Pizzando hits the sweet spot in between with impressive appetizers like oil-poached albacore; slow-braised pork shoulder with pickled plums, and caraway roasted squash draped with lardo (all $9).[Photo]

Healdsburg Ave
Healdsburg, CA 95448

7. Bravas Bar de Tapas

420 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

The Spanish-inspired menu is with brassy, bold flavors that leave no question that you’ll need a breath mint or two before getting familiar with friends or co-workers. Dishes include small plates of sardines, Iberico ham, calamari, quail with lavender, and heartier dishes grilled on a plancha. A new outdoor patio and bar beg for summer sangria sipping.[Photo]

420 Center St
Healdsburg, CA 95448

8. Ravenous Cafe & Lounge

117 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

This hobbit-hole of a restaurant has only a handful of tables and barely a galley kitchen, but somehow manages to turn out rustic-luxe, farm-to-table eats including roasted tomatoes with fresh balls of mozzarella, basil pesto and pine nuts, crab cakes with cilantro aioli and roasted eggplant, fresh fish tacos, and mascarpone cheesecake with swirls of lemon curd.[Photo]

117 North St
Healdsburg, CA 95448

9. Parish Cafe

60A Mill St., Healdsburg, CA 95448

With all of the easy of The Big Easy, Rob Lippincott’s New Orleans cafe draws you in with homey charm, Southern comfort and a menu that’s pure French Quarter. Open for breakfast and lunch Wednesday through Sunday, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more authentic Louisiana cooking this side of the mighty Miss.[Photo]

60A Mill St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448

10. Cafe Lucia

235 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, Ca 95448

Tucked well back from the street, brother and sister team Manuel and Lucia Azevedo have brought the "Nova Cozinha Portuguesa" - or new Portuguese cuisine - of Manuel's highly acclaimed La Salette restaurant in Sonoma to their northern neighbors. Many of the dishes will be familiar to La Salette regulars, including richly flavored Portuguese nose-to-tail "task" or tasting plates of tripe stew, blood sausage, pig’s feet terrine and sardine pate.[Photo]

235 Healdsburg Ave
Healdsburg, Ca 95448

11. Backyard

6566 Front St, Forestville, CA 95436

This restaurant sources, literally, from chef-owner Daniel Kedan's own backyard culinary gardens and those of his ranch and farming neighbors. The Ad Hoc alum opened his small community-focused restaurant with a relatively simple menu that relies on seasonal produce, foragers and whole-animal butchery as its foundation.[Photo]

6566 Front St
Forestville, CA 95436

12. Three Squares Café

205 5th St. Suite B, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Josh Silvers transformed the former Syrah Bistro once again into Three Squares, re-envisioning it as a casual breakfast, lunch and dinner spot with a mix of homey comfort classics and a few "healthier" options after the chef-owner lost more than 30 pounds in 2012.[Photo]

205 5th St. Suite B
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

13. Glen Ellen Star

13648 Arnold Dr, Glen Ellen, CA 95442

With just eight dining tables and a handful of seats around the open kitchen, every inch of Glen Ellen Star is prime real estate. At the glowing heart of the restaurant: Chef Ari Weiswasser’s 650-degree custom-built wood oven that perfumes the entire block with its smoke. Combining classic French techniques, razor-focused attention to detail, and exotic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern spices in every dish, Glen Ellen Star hasn’t wasted any time getting up to speed.[Photo]

13648 Arnold Dr
Glen Ellen, CA 95442

14. Social Club Restaurant & Bar

132 Keller Street, Petaluma, CA 94952
Steven Levine

Bob Simontacchi creates a rustic American menu around a wood-fired oven and grill with smoked short ribs, grilled Angus hangar steak, Prather Ranch burgers and Sonoma fried chicken. [Photo]

132 Keller Street
Petaluma, CA 94952

15. Campo Fina

330 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448

This casual wood-fired oven spot includes a large outdoor space with bocce and critically-acclaimed small plates such as octopus stew and crispy quail. For most of Healdsburg, it was love at first bite. Open for dinner daily, beginning at 5:30pm.[Photo]

330 Healdsburg Avenue
Healdsburg, CA 95448

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