Two of my favorite words in the English language are "happy" and "hour." And, I've definitely been to a few of them in my 25 years of living in the beautiful California Wine Country. There are many I've tried, from the least expensive, and moderate, to a few that will drain your wallet...But, overall, here's what I've found. I prefer the ambiance and choice selections, when I'm picking a "happy hour" with friends. Let's start with...
1. John Ash, the Front Room Bar and Lounge in Santa Rosa. It offers small plates, new wines and seasonal cocktails and one of the best vineyard views in the county. My recommendations: the truffle parmesan fries and sweet and sour rosemary nuts. Best cocktail: Rosemary Drop.
4-6 pm Monday-Thursday
4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa
2. Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar in Healdsburg. Fabulous raw bar and small plates, with a huge wine list and excellent bar service. My recommendations: Lobster Rolls, Chilled Oysters and Crab Tacos; and all of their desserts! They have one of the best martini’s in the county. I like mine extra dirty! Nice cozy patio as well.
403 Healdsburg Avenue.
3. The Rooftop Terrace in Healdsburg. Offers firepits at sunset...with awesome views of Fitch Mountain, the Sonoma hills and downtown Healdsburg. Fresh, small plates and full bar. My recommendations: Prawn Cocktail and Shrimp Ceviche Tostada. Favorite cocktail: "The Rooftop," with vodka, raspberry, lemon and club soda.
3-6 pm Tuesday-Thursday
227 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
4. 246 North Restaurant in Petaluma. Visit Jan Rosen's establishment with a cool vibe and kick ass bar. Happy, friendly staff, and fresh plates. My recommendations: Crab Cakes, Calamari, Prawn Risotto and her famous Chicken Pot Pie. Can't forget her famous cheesecake; I like it fried. My favorite cocktail: the "Cotton Candy" drink. Just ask for it. You won't be sorry!
3-6 pm Tuesday-Friday
256 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma
5. Kin in Windsor. Real comfort food, tasty and fresh. Plus, local wines and craft beers. Fun bar vibe and kid friendly. My recommendations: Flatbread and Hummus, Frickles, MacDaddy Pizza with Homemade Mac and Cheese as a topping!
3-6 pm Monday through Friday
740 McClelland Drive, Windsor
We are lucky to live in Wine and Food Country, and can experience the best of the best! You might as well go out and try them all! Cheers! ~ Deb