Chef Ari Weiswasser honed his craft at the French Laundry, Daniel, and other bastions of culinary finesse, but the goal at his hot-ticket Wine Country boîte is haute-rustic cuisine, much of which emerges from a wood-fired oven that burns a steady 600°F. Pizzas such as the crisp-crusted, richly sauced Margherita thrive in the torrid heat, as do root and other vegetables roasted in small iron skillets. Ditto for entrées that include juicy, tender roasted whole fish. Weiswasser
signs each dish with a sauce, emulsion, or sly blend of spices that jazzes things up without upstaging the primary ingredient. The restaurant's decor is equally restrained, with an open-beam ceiling, exposed hardwood floors, and utilitarian seating. Many regulars perch on a stool at the kitchen-view counter to watch the chefs at work.