New Chef in Foodtown, USA
Although Yountville’s—aka Food Town USA—Bardessono aims at being the “greenest luxury hotel in America,” the restaurant there is becoming a standout on its own. The 68-seat dining room uses geothermal wells throughout the property to heat and cool the space, the kitchen composts all waste and even the dining room tables were milled from salvaged trees. Chef Sean O’Toole, who was the former group operations chef for Michael Mina’s 14 restaurants and studied under Alain Ducasse and Daniel Boloud, has partnered with local organic gardeners and sustainable fisheries to provide a who’s who of local resources. The menu, which changes almost weekly, includes Tomales Bay oysters on the half shell, Liberty Farm duck, Marin Sun Farms beef, sunchoke soup with earthy Sonoma Coast black trumpet mushrooms, Devil’s Gulch pork and organic herbs and vegetables from the grounds of Bardessono. Not to be outdone, wine director Chris Blanchard’s list denotes wines that practice biodynamic farming and grape growing with the letter ‘F’ and wineries that farm sustainably and organically are noted with a ‘J.’

Mark Your Calendar!
Late summer is the time for events involving food and wine. For instance, on August 1 film and wine fans can get a little of both at the annual Gun Bun Summer Fun Film Fest. With a nod to the ‘80s, the John Hughes classic The Breakfast Club will play at dusk ( The Russian River area’s annual Grape to Glass, August 14–16, includes a grape stomp, hands-on educational seminars offered by over 25 growers and winemakers, and even an air show ( At the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival, Sept. 11–13, headlining chef Traci Des Jardins (above) will be sampling new menu items for Manzanita, her yet-to-be-opened restaurant at the upcoming Ritz-Carlton Highlands at Northstar (

House Please
Poggio has upped the standard of house wine by serving four tasty varietals created by Brian Graham of Ramian Estates in Napa.

Good music, Goode wine
Enjoy what the first lady refers to as “America’s greatest artistic gift to the world.” Which would be jazz, along with wines from Murphy Goode (she didn’t mention the wine), at Murphy Goode’s tasting room: 8/7 Sylvia Cuenca Trio, 8/14 Walter Savage Quartet 8/15 Liar’s Dice Tournament and BBQ.