Crave – food & drink
Here at Dark Surf Nightly we like to explore the “dark” side of the coast—including hidden gems and secret tips. Wow, do I have a hidden gem for you! The wineries of Lake County, Calif.
Lake County is located just north of Napa County. Napa, of course, is a renowned & wildly popular wine region that attracts millions of oenophiles each year. Some locals even say Napa gets more visitors than Disneyland in the summer. (And when you’re sitting in traffic on Highway 29, it’s easy to believe.)
So what’s cool about Lake County? Plenty. It has California’s largest natural freshwater lake, dormant volcano Mount Konocti, and—unlike its neighbor to the south—no traffic between wineries.
In the meantime, here are 2 quick tips for restaurants in Lake County:
Saw Shop Bistro – Located at 3825 Main Street in downtown Kelseyville, Saw Shop Bistro features a seasonal menu and wide selection of Lake County wines. We were there on a Tuesday, which meant there were $5 local wines and $5 food specials. We shared several delicious small plates, including a Caesar Salad ($5 special), Rangoons ($5 special), and a small Salmon Pizza ($12). I’ve never had a salmon pizza before but this was incredible. And I got a glass of juicy, berry-filled Steele Zinfandel (Catfish Vineyard) for only $5 (more on this wine in my next post).
Blue Wing Saloon & Cafe – Located at 9550 Main Street, the Blue Wing Saloon & Cafe is adjacent to the historic Tallman Hotel in the country town of Upper Lake. The restaurant is a re-creation of the town’s original saloon built in the 1880s and demolished during Prohibition. We chose the outdoor garden seating to enjoy the balmy evening. Since this restaurant also features local wines, we ordered a bottle of Wildhurst Reserve Chardonnay—oaky butterscotch perfection. Wanting something fresh & light for dinner, I ordered the Mediterranean Plate ($14). It has tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, olives & feta in an Italian dressing with quinoa tabouleh. I enjoyed it so much, I’ve made it my goal to replicate this dish at home this summer.
And to top it all off, we stayed in a gorgeous house in Lucerne on Clear Lake. Enjoy the view…