Disclosure: I was invited out for a food preview of Pinoli Cucina Rustica. This was my experience.
If anyone’s been paying attention, Guerneville is an area of Sonoma County that is booming with some incredible restaurants. As more and more chefs are finding the beauty in this sleepy, little Russian River, wine country town. And as a traveler, it’s a destination that should be on your map.
One such Chef is Christian Darcoli, owner of Pinoli Ristorante in San Juan, Puerto Rico and now, the owner of Pinoli Cucina Rustica Restaurant at the beautiful and historic Applewood Inn. The restaurant just opened this past May and will feature fresh, farm to table, Italian Rustica dishes with a bit of Mediterranean flair.
As you walk in, you may notice something a little bit different about this restaurant, and that’s that the Chefs, are the ones greeting you, and hosting you as you enter the restaurant. Here, they will be running the back of the house along with the front of house. “I feel that it is very important for our chefs to have the opportunity to interact directly with our guests. Allowing them to run the front-of-house as well as the back, gives them the opportunity to welcome our guests into the restaurant, share their love for and knowledge about the food that we create, and ensures that they earn a decent wage that allows them to live comfortably. I look forward to the staff working together cohesively to make and serve incredible food, and experiencing first hand exactly how much their guests enjoy the meals that they prepare.” said Christian Darcoli.
Chef Darcoli, truly believes in the farm to table movement, and feels wine country, is a great place to bring this to life with farms minute from his restaurant, to the fresh fish caught daily off the Bodega Bay. At the Applewood Inn, they have a garden right on sight where they pull fresh ingredients from daily to create some of his recipes.
Chef Darcoli also brings in some of his favorite things from his past, including his homemade bread, made fresh daily, and inspired by his Italian Roots, he was born in the Gastronomic Mecca of San Remo, along the Mediterranean North Coast of Italy.
And also, bringing in some of his family favorites too, such as his homemade dessert Frittole-Italian Fritters, which was his grandmother’s recipe.
By the end of your meal, you will be truly satisfied by everything you just enjoyed. Details are put into every dish from Salads to Appetizers to Entrees to Dessert. Just see some of the beautiful creations below:
Endive with Lemon, Orange, Taggiasca Olives, and Bottarga
One of the Salad Offerings
Lamb Loin with Eggplant and a Smoked Pepper Sauce
Strawberries with Mascarpone, Black Pepper and Balsamic Reduction
Needless to say, you will be delighted by the meal provided.
Pinoli Cucina Rustica will serve farm to table lunches throughout the summer, and will be open for dinner daily from 5pm – 9pm.
About the Applewood Inn: Opened in 1985. This upscale, bed and breakfast, is host to just 19 rooms, offering the perfect quaint little getaway in wine country.