Located at the Geyserville Inn at the former Hoffman House, Geyserville Grille is a fully renovated, Craftsman-style building with all sorts of seating options (outdoors and bar/lounge included) as well as a new kitchen with Chef Arturo Cardenas (formerly of Caffe Portofino) at the helm. The casual fine dining atmosphere is furnished in wood and leather and is surrounded by gardens and vineyards. There are regular cocktail specials as well as happy hour Thursdays through Sundays (the only nights dinner is served). The breakfast and lunch menus are extensive, with the weekend brunch menu taking it to a whole different level of decision challenges.
The restaurant and adjacent inn are both owned by the Christensen family. The inn itself features well-appointed rooms (pet friendly, too), event space (weddings are a specialty) and a solar-heated pool and spa. The restaurant serves a seasonal menu, featuring fresh items grown in the property’s garden.
We started with a cocktail and a Bear Republic Racer 5, which both went well with our appetizer of ahi tuna poke “nachos.” It was a generous portion with an interesting twist on the traditional terrine presentation, with fresh, delicious poke, tomato, avocado, toasted Macadamia nuts, black sesame seeds and fresh cilantro piled atop crisp won ton chips.
The panko-crusted crab cakes (there are two per order) were golden crisp and dense with both Dungeness and rock crab meat, drizzled with lemon dill aioli. A small salad of mixed greens, onions and tomatoes accompanied the perfectly prepared cakes.
The night’s specials included Caprese salad, with fresh mozzarella as well as basil and tomatoes from the garden, all sliced and fanned onto the plate, along with some olives in the center (a nice touch).
Next, we were on to a food-friendly Pech Merle Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley, 2009) to accompany the entrées. First up (couldn’t resist this one), the bistro steak with coffee-infused crust and white truffle herb oil. It was sliced thin, cooked to a perfect medium rare, and the subtle flavors of the crust and oil enhanced it with finesse. The steak was accompanied by scalloped potatoes and fresh, blanched vegetables.
The menu offers a lot of sandwiches, making it really hard to choose—but somehow we handled it. A grilled salmon BLT was the winner in many ways. First off, it was large and made with excellent house focaccia. The salmon was grilled with house grown herbs and piled with smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and sliced brie (which wasn’t on the menu, so it was a really nice surprise). We ordered a side of truffle fries to go with it (a generous portion as well), which were a great accompaniment.
For dessert, we chose the nightly special of bread pudding, with was rich and sweet with caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream, sliced strawberries and whipped cream. Anyone who knows me also knows I’m picky about bread pudding—this one was right on the mark.
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Located at 1410 Neotomas Ave. in Santa Rosa,NorthBay biz magazine is a monthly business-to-business publication covering Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties. This year, the magazine is celebrating 43 years of continuous operation. It originally hit the stands in 1975, when it was called Sonoma Business, and only covered Sonoma County. Norm and Joni Rosinski and John Dennis, acquired it in 2000 and changed its name to cover an expanded market. Today, the magazine is part of Amaturo Sonoma Media Group. More here..