It's no secret that the North Bay is home to one of the best culinary scenes in the nation. But it's still nice to get some local recognition in the "Oscars of food."

A handful of local chefs and restaurants stand out among the 2018 James Beard Award semifinalists. The list includes a few familiar names from St. Helena, Napa and Sonoma. The Charter Oak in St. Helena is up for "Best New Restaurant."

Napa and Sonoma County semifinalists include:

Best New Restaurant
The Charter Oak, St. Helena, CA

Outstanding Chef
Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional
Cathy Corison, Corison Winery, St. Helena, CA
Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa, CA

Best Chef: West
Karen Taylor, El Molino Central, Sonoma, CA

Finalists will be announced Wednesday, March 14. To see the full list of 2018 semifinalists, visit

Harvest Moon Café

Where: 487 1st Street West, Sonoma

When: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Sun., Mon., Weds. & Thurs., 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fri. & Sat.

Contact: (707) 933-8160,

Cuisine: California, Mediterranean, Asian

Price: Very expensive, entrées $22.95-$34.95

Corkage: $20

Stars: **

Summary: After 12 years, the beloved Sonoma Plaza bistro continues to shine with its nightly-changing menu of inspired Cal-Med cuisine.