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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Find a Spiced-Up Side to Wine Country


2. Where to Eat

Eat oudoors at Medlock Ames, where the picnic tables are outfitted with built-in ice coolers.  

Choose from 650 Sonoma-made wines at chef Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen. The restaurant’s Sonoma Neighbor Menu features fish, meat, and produce from nearby farms like Early Bird Farms and Gleason Ranch. Arrive at 5:30 p.m. on weekends to secure a seat on the outdoor patio.

Order a round of thin-crust pizzas—cooked in a 650-degree wood-burning oven—and specialty cocktails made from freshly squeezed fruit at Medlock Ames’s two-month-old wine bar and tasting room. The fresh herbs and spices garnishing cocktails and pizzas are grown in the back garden.

Call a week in advance to reserve a spot at former Dry Creek chef Mateo Granados’s thrice-weekly Tendejon de la Calle (“taste of the street”) pop-up dinners, set in a vineyard warehouse and capped at 40 diners a night. The Yucatán-inspired menu changes each week and the wine is BYO (707-623-5474).

Pair local cheeses with wine cocktails at the Speakeasy Wine Club, a four-month-old tasting room hidden in the back of a wine shop (step into the phone booth, PDT-style, to enter). Over two dozen vintages are available by the glass, with a particular focus on Russian River–region varietals.

Published on Apr 5, 2010 as a web exclusive.

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