Part wine mecca, part idyllic resort, the Coppola Winery is located in Geyserville, CA. Coppola himself puts it best, saying "This is a wine wonderland, a park of pleasure where people of all ages can enjoy all the best things in life – food, wine, music, dancing, games, swimming and performances of all types. A place to celebrate the love of life.”
Drawing on his entire life's experiences, Francis Ford Coppola shares his personal recipes at RUSTIC, Francis’s Favorites, the winery’s full-service restaurant. Set in a casual atmosphere, Rustic's menu embraces Italian dishes, with an emphasis on family-style dishes and fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from the property’s organic herb and produce garden.
After a visit to the tasting room and a tour of the winery grounds from our top-notch guide, Bob, which I'll recap in a later post...
...it was time for lunch. The dining room at Rustic is upscale but casual, impressive but cozy, all at the same time.
Wood-fired pizza is a claim to fame here, but the crux of the menu is a list of "Francis' Favorites," 10 meals ranging from "Habit-Forming Ribs"
French fried zucchini were the perfect comfort food appetizer. Our server recommended trying them with the Coppola "medium" hot sauce.
An excellent combo, and I ended up buying several bottles that day to take home as gifts. I'm a hot sauce lover and this one had a lot of depth
I paired my appetizer course with a glass of Sofia Blanc de Blanc, a light sparklng wine Francis' named for his daughter.
The Caesar salad was a great start to the meal, made with fresh egg yolk and anchovies. This course was paired with a Reserve Chardonnay, a creamy chardonnay which had flavors of melon, pear, spices and a nice finish.
For my entree, I had the spaghetti puttanesca. (Typically this is on the menu as penne puttanesca, but I felt like thin noodles that day, and the kitchen was happy to accommodate.)
I was debating between this and the Sofia pizza, which has prosciutto and fresh arugula, and decided on the pasta. This was the perfect "warm-me-up" meal on a frigid winter's day (We were there during a January cold snap and the temps didn't get above the 40's!)
We also tried the Chicken Mattone. Here is the description, written in Coppola's words, off of the menu: “This dish, alternately called chicken under the stone or brick, has become popular lately, but often too tame compared to my favorite version. You have to drive out to a restaurant on the outskirts of Rome about 45 minutes, and call ahead because this is how long it takes to prepare authentically…"
I liked the storytelling on the menu and this chicken was tender and had tons of flavor. I welcomed the fresh grilled vegetables after a few days of eating cheese and cured meats!
Our dessert course was lemon tart paired with Late Harvest Semillon, a honey dessert wine with flavors of peach and pear. Without question, this was a meal to remember.
Rustic is open daily for lunch and dinner 11am-9pm. It is located at 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, CA 95441. Phone: (707) 857-1485.