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EDITOR'S NOTE: Here are spoon-size portions of previous restaurant reviews by Jeff Cox, accompanied by the date the original ran, as well as his overall rating, based on a four-star scale. This listing is limited to reviews receiving at least 1? stars. Reviews will appear on a rotation basis.

Price guide:

$ - Inexpensive, all entrees under $12

$$ - Moderate, entrees $12 to $17

$$$ - Expensive, entrees $17 to $24

$$$$ - Very expensive, entrees $24 and up

Kelley's No Bad Days Caf? 976 Pearl St., Napa, 258-9666. Days will not be bad when you visit Kelley Novak's outrageously funny restaurant - filled with toys, quirky artifacts, and her unique sense of humor - that's also one of the best restaurants in Napa, a town filled with fine dining. There are down home dishes like magnificent burgers, but also great seafood linguini, a manly portion of ribeye steak, pan-seared ahi and great desserts. Her wine list is one treasure after another. If you drive a Hummer, leave it home in the garage. Reviewed 9/17/06 , $$$-$$$$

Bluewater Bistro, at the Bodega Harbour Golf Course, Heron Drive, Bodega Bay, 875-3513. Chef Mark Dierkhising is showing his talents at one of the most romantic restaurants around. It's on the bluff overlooking the open ocean off Bodega Head, and watching the evening light fade and the stars come out makes the dining experience something special. A wide range of seafood dishes includes great crabcakes, local fish in season, along with savory meats like grass-fed filet and braised lamb shank. Reviewed 3/26/06 , $$-$$$$

The Restaurant at The Farmhouse Inn, 7871 River Road, Forestville, 887-3300. Chef Steve Litke's creations at The Farmhouse Inn all reach high levels of culinary artistry. He has a deft and restrained hand in his use of herbs, spices, and condiments that allows the true flavors of the ingredients to shine. His rabbit three ways is a superb rendering, and so is the chicken under a brick, as well as the exalted rack of lamb to go with a local Russian River Valley pinot noir. Don't miss the mussels in saffron broth. Desserts and a cheese course maintain the high standard. And the wine list is extraordinary. Reviewed 3/12/06 ?, $$$$

Caf?Society, 1000 Main St., Napa, 256-3232 ext. 203. About as close as you'll get to a Parisian coffee shop-bistro around here. Not only is the food as tasty as any real French caf? but there are all the extras, like fine French antiques, furniture, household items, clothing, jewelry, and much more. It's even got a wifi set-up so you can work on your laptop while you sip your caf?au lait and read the International Herald Tribune. Lots of fun. Reviewed 3/5/06 , $-$$

Anatolia, 527 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, 527-7799. Yummy and healthy Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food well prepared and reasonably priced make this an excellent destination for lunch or dinner in downtown Santa Rosa. Order the ezme (spicy tomato relish) to spice up other dishes, such as gyros (served as sandwiches or entrees), meat and seafood shish kebabs, salads large enough to be entrees themselves, and excellent soups. Turkish coffee. Reviewed 2/26/06 ?, $-$$

Zin, 344 Center St., Healdsburg, 473-0946. Here's a restaurant whose menu is devoted to classic American cooking that will pair well with Zinfandel (or other sturdy red wines). But a nightly fish dish and white wines are available, too. There are nightly Blue Plates, such as chicken and dumplings, Yankee pot roast, ribs with barbecue sauce, and spaghetti and meat balls. Desserts are very good, and the beer-battered green beans are a house tradition. Lots of items are homemade. Reviewed 2/19/06 , $$-$$$$

Rubix Restaurant, 1226 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, 569-8222. Reservations needed only for parties of five or more, otherwise first come first served. Good comfort food served at affordable prices - that's the winning formula at Rubix, which has been packing them in since it opened. Bacon-wrapped meat loaf, crab cakes, lots of Italian pasta dishes, terrific desserts, and a good wine list, too. Reviewed 2/12/06 ?, $$-$$$

n.v. Restaurant & Lounge,1106 First St., Napa, 265-6400. Chef Peter Halikas has trained at some of the finest restaurants in the world, and he pours all his knowledge and talent into the incredibly delicious food at his restaurant in Napa. It's a tour de force of what good food can be - not elaborate or over-the-top, just really, really good. My highest recommendation. Reviewed 2/5/06 , $$$-$$$$

The Restaurant at Domaine Chandon, 1 California Drive, Yountville, 944-2892. Chef Chris Manning has a long tradition of first-class cooking to uphold at this iconic Napa Valley restaurant, and he does it with flying colors. His dishes are small and intensely well-thought-out; delicious and intriguing without being extreme; sophisticated without being precious, and perfectly set up to taste with several small glasses of different Domaine Chandon wines - all available by the glass. Reviewed 1/29/06 , $$$$

Nha-Bee Korean Caf? 913 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, 568-6455. A clean, comfortable lunchroom atmosphere and good Korean grilled meat dishes for eating there or taking home make this a welcome addition to Santa Rosa's quick-meal restaurants. Everything is home-made from scratch. Big bowls of noodle soup and vegetables make a filling light lunch. Try the mung bean pancakes - they're scrumptious. Reviewed 1/22/06 , $

Redd, 6480 Washington St., Yountville, 944-2222. The building where the original Piatti was located has been thoroughly modernized, beautifully renovated, and turned into a restaurant equal to most on Washington Street's "murderer's row" of top-flight restaurants by Chef Richard Reddington. He does American cooking in as delicate and knowledgeable a style as anyone, with twists and flourishes from many cuisines around the world. You walk away wondering how food could get much better. Reviewed 1/15/06 ?, $$$-$$$$

Sandpiper Seafood Restaurant, 1410 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay, 875-2278. A modest little restaurant near the docks where the fisherfolk bring in their catches from the wide Pacific - although much of the fare seems to come from elsewhere. Salmon and other fish can be local in season. Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's a place for those local fisherfolk to warm up with coffee after a cold day on the water. Lots of character and ambiance. The food is mostly diner-style. Reviewed 1/8/06 , $$-$$$

Dry Creek Kitchen at the Hotel Healdsburg, 317 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 431-0330. Charlie Palmer decided to reinvent American cooking back in the 1980s, and has been perfecting that idea since. You can see how well he's succeeded (very well, indeed) at Dry Creek Kitchen every night of the week. He's hired Chef Michael Voltaggio to get with his program, and the results are outstanding. The portions are small, ultra-fancy, and absolutely delicious. The wine list is all Sonoma County and includes bottles you'd always wanted to try but never could find at the wine shop. Reviewed 1/1/06 ?, $$$$

Bangkok Villa, 1169 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa, 566-9469. A list of chef's suggestions points you toward some appetizing dishes, like Dancing Prawns, Thai-Tanic Beef, and exotic pumpkin curry. Most everything here is well-made from high-quality ingredients. The curries are bursting with flavor; there's even a good wine list. The Pad Thai sings, but you may prefer the tune of the less sweet Drunken Noodles. Reviewed 12/25/05 ?, $-$$

Sugo, 5 Petaluma Blvd. S., Petaluma, 782-9298. Lori and Joe Shea used to run Caffe Giostra in Petaluma and won rave reviews for their simple but excellent meals. They're back and doing the same thing at Sugo, with an emphasis on classic Italian and Italian-American pastas, pizzas, salads, and specials. The food and wine are inexpensive, the place accommodating and friendly, the desserts house made. What's not to love? Reviewed 12/18/05 , $-$$

Wolf House, 13740 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, 996-4401. Chef Jay Veregge has worked in venues around the world and says he hasn't had this much fun in the kitchen in 10 years. And it shows in his very haute-yet-homey, French-style cuisine. His ingredients are impeccable and his cooking technique is, too. The menus are definitely seasonal, so you may get a warming chicken cassoulet or an elk chop in the cold months, marvelous crab cake in crab season, poulet in the spring, and peaches in August. Fine service, wine list. Reviewed 12/11/05 , $$$-$$$$

Poggio, 777 Bridgeway, Sausalito, (415) 332-7771. A pretty, tony Italian restaurant in the middle of downtown Sausalito has a killer wine list and well-made northern Italian meat and fish dishes from the grill and rotisserie. The prices are reasonable, and if you don't feel like driving home, Casa Madrona is right upstairs. The food is simple and made from fine ingredients - sort of like good home cooking. Good desserts, too. Reviewed 12/4/05 , $-$$$$

Pignoli, 3688 Bohemian Highway, Occidental, 874-9012. The best restaurant yet in this venerable old building that has held many eateries over the years. American and some Italian comfort foods with a solid understanding of what people like to eat. Great burgers and fabulous fries, but also impeccable risotto, braised short ribs, pan-seared salmon, filet mignon, and flaky crust chicken pot pie. The wine list is eclectic, like the music on the sound system, and the desserts are good, too. Reviewed 11/27/05 , $$-$$$

Mosaic Restaurant and Wine Lounge, 6675 Front St., Forestville, 887-7503. Chef and owner Tai Olesky shows his stuff in every nicely presented plate of ultra delicious and creative food. His coffee-encrusted filet mignon with a chocolate-cabernet demi-glace is one example. Satay served with tzatziki is another. He'll do duck breast with macerated cherries and a prickly pear-and-pinot gastrique. The wine list is a wine lover's treasure trove, and the desserts are excellent, too. Reviewed 11/20/05 , $$-$$$$

Kitani Sushi,1631 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga, 942-6857. No reservations or checks. Just what Calistoga needs: a nice Japanese restaurant with light, fresh food to top off a day of rejuvenation at one of the local spas. Although there are daily specials like sukiyaki and uni nigiri sushi, the heart of this restaurant is the many maki and nigiri sushi specialties, hand rolls, and combination plates for lunches and dinners. Reviewed 11/13/05 ?, $$-$$$

Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar,1325 Broadway, Sonoma, 931-2042. The restaurant at The Lodge at Sonoma has been re-invented and is a lot more fun now. The best news is that the food is still terrific, priced a little more modestly, with items that everyone loves, including rotisserie versions of ribeye steak, chicken, and duck; fabulous pizzas from the wood-fired oven, and vegetarian plates. The beef is all grass-fed and the emphasis is on Sonoma-grown organic vegetables and Sonoma County wines on an award-winning wine list. Reviewed 11/6/05 ?, $$-$$$$

Manzanita, 336 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 433-8111. Chef Jon Helmquist is doing marvelous things with fine ingredients at this surprisingly good restaurant on Healdsburg's row of fine restaurants. That's a lot of well-deserved adjectives for his sophisticated way of combining flavors, like his carrot and coriander soup, or sweet grilled pears with bitter radicchio, or grilled pancetta-wrapped figs. Great service, a fine wine list, and low-key atmosphere complete the picture. Reviewed 10/30/05 ?, $$$-$$$$

Brando's, 1370 Redwood Way, Petaluma, 795-0119. Chef-owner Carlos Valdes puts everyone's favorites on his menu, like good quality beefsteaks, pork, rack of lamb, and chicken; like salmon, shrimp, scallops, and lobster tails. Plus some nifty turf and surf combinations. And he provides nicely-cooked, generous portions. Excellent desserts by Sherri Hewitt. Fine selections of wine are set up wine-shop style so you can choose your dinner wine off the displays. Reviewed 10/23/05 ?, $$-$$$$

The Grill at the Silverado Resort, 1600 Atlas Peak Road, Napa, 257-0200. Located behind the pro shop on the edge of the Silverado Resort's golf course, the Grill is a big, handsome room with terrific views of lots of green grass, a full bar, a lounge area, and food that needs work. The Asian-fusion cuisine tends to be flat and not very carefully done. Stick with the basics - or eat at the Resort's Royal Oak dining room, where the food is better. Reviewed 10/16/05 ?, $$-$$$

The Girl & the Fig, 110 West Spain St., Sonoma, 938-3634. The restaurant, with its beautiful old bar, is physically connected to the Sonoma Hotel. There's an outside dining area behind the hotel and restaurant that's a pleasant place for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch. The food is flavorful French country in style, the wine list is all Rhone varietals, and the desserts are grand. Owner Sondra Bernstein has collected the best recipes into a cookbook, so you can recreate some of the dishes at home. Reviewed 10/2/05 , $$$

Ume Japanese Bistro,8710 Old Redwood Highway, Windsor, 838-6700. A comfortable, pleasant atmosphere to relax in, an excellent sake bar and wine list, two superb sushi chefs, a great cook in the kitchen, and an easy, welcoming attitude out front. Most of the dishes are superb and inventive. The atmosphere combines Japanese style with a cosmopolitan feeling. What's not to love about Ume Bistro? Reviewed 9/25/05 ?, $$

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