Tucked away between wineries on Sonoma Highway is a nondescript little restaurant called Vineyards Inn. The husband and I would have never noticed it if we didn’t happen to be starving when we passed it. To be honest, we didn’t expect much. We figured it was a tourist trap, that would charge high prices for only average food. After all, there aren’t too many places to grab a bite to eat between wine tastings. However, we decided to give the place a try.
When we first walked in, our fears were not abated. The restaurant was empty, and the decor was nothing special either. However, we were given the choice to sit in a greenhouse of sorts, complete with hundred-year-old vines as tall as the ceiling and dripping with table grapes. Ah, now we were starting to get excited. It suddenly became clear - this place was a quaint find!
Once seated, we started to peruse the menu. It turns out, Vineyards Inn was more well known than we tourists had realized. It was voted the greenest restaurant in the San Francisco Bay area. The food was not only organic, but it was locally sourced as well. The owners, a husband and wife team, are leaders in composting and recycling as well. The restaurant itself has been around for over 25 years, serving up organic Spanish delicacies. We began to realize that we had stumbled upon a real gem.
Of course, the real test was to taste the food itself.
Being Spanish food, the husband and I decided to share a few of the tapas. Let me first mention, it’s very difficult to decide on any one thing, because the entire menu sounded amazing. Still, we had to narrow it down, and so we chose three items: the world famous artichoke, the fire shrimp, and the chicken and avocado quesadilla.
Check out that artichoke! First of all, I have been to too many restaurants where you only get half a choke. But in this case, we each got our own very large half. The artichoke was fire broiled with a chili mayo dip, sprinkled with herbs, and seasoned to perfection. It was difficult to resist the temptation of sneaking my fingers over to my beloved’s half, but that would have been simply to cruel.
The shrimp were equally generous and delicious. Each skewer featured six shrimp, fire-broiled with a bit of heat. It was hard not gobble these up as soon as they appeared on the table.
Last but not least was the organic chicken and avocado quesadilla. The chicken was moist and flavorful, the cheese was melty, and the tortillas were crispy. And, who can complain about avocado? It was another generously-sized tapa.
The best thing about this meal was that you could feel good eating it. Knowing that the food was not only prepared beautifully, but also with a concious, made every last bite taste even better.
The husband and I felt very lucky to have accidentally stumbled upon this amazing wine country find.
Vineyards Inn is located in amongst the wineries at 8445 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, CA 95452
Phone: (707) 833-4500