Sonoma’s Best Restaurant Shouldn’t Be A Secret Anymore

Food & Drink

I know the town of Sonoma pretty well, so I was surprised when a friend asked me to lunch at a restaurant I’d never heard of before: EDGE Sonoma. With what must’ve been a quizzical look on my face, I asked, “Where in Sonoma? It’s not in Sonoma town.” “Oh, but it is,” she said, and we have to go. The cooking there is some of the most exciting anywhere.” I was ready to hop in the car. But at that time, EDGE was essentially a private club for Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards & Winery members, whose restaurant was only open to the public on Thursday nights. Now, EDGE Sonoma is open to all, and it’s the epitome of a dining destination.

Executive Chef Fiorella Burton, who is from Peru, infuses the menu with deep creativity that is never overwrought. Her recipes, all driven by local ingredients — many of which are grown at Stone Edge Farm — are balanced, inventive and usually deceptively simple, which is pretty much the trifecta of success, for me. Most of the vegetables and herbs that appear on the plate are grown at the property’s nearby farm, a 16-acre organic, biodynamic operation entirely powered by a micro-grid independent of PG&E that also removes carbon dioxide from the air.

The farm, the vineyards, the winery, and the restaurant are all the work of Mac McQuown, renaissance man extraordinaire, whose vision to make top-quality Bordeaux-style wines in Sonoma included doing his part to reverse climate change. Leslie McQuown is a designer, and her aesthetic is the throughline of the look and feel of all the properties. In 2018, Stone Edge Farm was awarded California’s highest environmental honor, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) in the Sustainable Practices category for its “advanced technology to generate, store, and distribute clean energy to its property and beyond.”

EDGE Sonoma has a deep wine list, and its most compelling selections are the Stone Edge Farm wines themselves, which are not distributed beyond an exclusive mailing list — and the restaurant. So, start with a glass of Champagne and then dive right into whatever Larry Nadeau, the gracious and brilliant director of dining, recommends to go with your meal. You will not be led astray.

Burton’s menu changes as she is inspired, but you can always get fresh-baked bread and culinary director John McReynold’s famous cultured butter to enjoy while you chart your course(s). (Read more about McReynolds and his recipes for creating your own pantry in the Stone Edge Farm Kitchen Larder cookbook, which I reviewed here.)

Before my most recent meal at EDGE, I spent the afternoon at Silver Cloud Vineyard, another relatively under-the-radar spot on Moon Mountain, where Stone Edge farms its Bordeaux varietals. I tasted through a flight with the understatedly dynamic director of hospitality, Philippe Thibault, an experience that reminded me that some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in California right now is being grown in Sonoma. (Napa is the more classic origin, but climate change is pointing toward cooler micro-climates for optimal Cab production.) It’s no surprise that these wines are made by California superstars Phil Coturri (viticulturalist) and Jeff Baker (winemaker), whose combined pedigrees could fill a book.

After this lovely tasting, I drove down the mountain and into town for dinner at EDGE, I enjoyed Burton’s refreshing halibut ceviche, the aforementioned lamb, and a 2006 Stone Edge Farm Cabernet that I hadn’t tasted at the winery.

EDGE Sonoma, Silver Cloud Vineyard, and Stone Edge Farm are an inextricable triangle of collaboration and curation, all bound by the McQuowns’ vision of sustainable bounty. Start exploring by making a reservation at EDGE and booking a tasting at Silver Cloud, ideally on the same day for the full immersive experience. I promise you’ll be hooked right away — by the food, the wine, and the irresistible concept, all of which combined leave you happily satiated.

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