CALIFORNIA WINE COUNTRY

Continued (page 4 of 13)

RUTHERFORD GRILL
1180 Rutherford Rd.
Rutherford
Tel: 707-963-1792
hillstone.com

After you’ve tried the latest in trendy fusion fabulousness, come to the Rutherford Grill for a perfect roasted chicken and the cornbread that comes in a cute little skillet. Think of the meal as a palate cleanser. And, yes, there are fish, other meats and everything else on the menu. It’s just that people come for the chickens—you can see them waiting for you in a huge glass-encased rotisserie. The restaurant's ambience is laid-back, the stone-and-wood building is country chic, and the bartenders and waitstaff are friendly. The lines in summer are out the door, so for dinner book ahead or sit at the large horseshoe-shaped bar, where locals meet to trade stories.

TRA VIGNE RESTAURANT
1050 Charter Oak Ave.
St. Helena
Tel. 707-963-4444
travignerestaurant.com

This ivy-covered, high-ceilinged operation was the brainchild of the Food Network star Michael Chiarello, though he's no longer a partner. Over the years the cuisine's quality has varied, the chefs sometimes straying from traditional Italian focus on a few well-selected ingredients. But now the kitchen has found its way. The menu for both lunch and dinner is simple, with a few pastas and meat dishes and a couple of pizzas from the wood-burning oven. Sit outside in the summer—the patio is one of the Napa Valley's loveliest. Inside, the wood bar is striking, and the Italian posters and muted color scheme create a chic yet warm atmosphere.

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