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  Visit Napa Valley
September 2005--WineCountry Dining

Steak Out: WineCountry Steakhouses

If you're hungry for steak when visiting Northern California Wine Country, there are plenty of local restaurants in and around the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma. Here are some favorites...

Grassfed vs. Grainfed

So, what's the difference between these two kinds of beef being offered on menus? Find out...

Grass Fed: Tends to be much leaner and less fatty than traditionally raised beef. Because the animals aren't kept in pens, grass fed advocates say the meat is healthier because the cows don't need as many (or any) antibiotics. Grass fed beef can be more expensive (but not always) because of the amount of room required for the animals and other factors. Often raised on smaller family farms.

Grain Fed: This is the more common type of beef—and some say tastier because of its higher fat content. Animals often kept in feed lots where they pack on pounds to create the deeply marbled steaks that we usually see in stores. Grain fed beef is currently more commercially available than grass fed beef.

Piled micro-greens and miniature carrots may be the foundation of California cuisine, but there’s a new dining trend a a hoof.

Faster than you can say Porterhouse, menus and even entire restaurants are converting to steak-centric meccas featuring grainfed vs. grassfed, New York strip, fillet mignon and sides with all the trimmings. In Northern California Wine Country, beef is what’s for dinner.

Grade A Prime:
The best of the best

Press: Headed up by chef Keith Luce, this lofty eatery is one of the newest Napa Valley restaurants. The focus is on the highest quality ingredients and with simple, but incredible preparation. A number of items come with old-fashioned table-side service. Extensive Napa wine menu. $$$$. 587 St. Helena Hwy., St. Helena, 707.967.0550.

Cole’s Chophouse: A local favorite, this upscale casual eatery is in the heart of downtown Napa and close to Copia, many tasting rooms and shopping. The menu features a number of 21-day dry aged steaks. $$$. 1122 Main St., Napa, 707.224.6328.

PJ Steak: Formerly Pere Jeanty Yountville, little has changed except for the name. Expect a strong focus on steak and seafood with a French flair. $$$, 6725 Washington St., Yountville, 707.945.2000.

Choice: Interesting, different, worth a stop

Jonesy's Famous Steakhouse: Jonesy's isn't as much a steakhouse as it is a local institution. Folks come from miles around to the recently renovated restaurant nestled quietly inside the Napa Airport. Tuesdays are French Dip Day where $7.25 buys you a generous meat-filled sandwich and fries. If you're in a hurry, grab a quick bite at the bar. $$ 2044 Airport Rd., Napa, 707.255.2003

Washoe House: The oldest roadhouse in the state and a former brothel to boot. It's nothing fancy, but you can spend hours staring up at the money-covered ceiling and pondering the colorful past of this restaurant. Plus, steaks as big as your head! $$ Stony Point Rd. & Roblar Rd., Cotati, 707.795.4544

Select: Other choices nearby

Saddles Steakhouse at MacArthur Place: Nestled inside one of Wine Country's most luxurious resort. A little hard to find, but worth the trip. $$$ 29 East MacArthur Street, Sonoma, 707.933.3191.
Western Boot Steakhouse:
A fun, family-oriented eatery with lots of western kitsch. $ 9 Mitchell Lane, Healdsburg, 707.433.6362.
Flat Iron Grill:
Upscale casual with an extensive menu of steaks, seafood and grilled items. 1440 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga, 707.942.1220.
Cattlemen’s: A popular family-friendly chain. 2400 Midway Dr., Santa Rosa, 707.546.1446.

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Visitor Favorites:
In Napa Valley
Casual and good, MUSTARD'S GRILL in Yountville, has been defining fine dining for two decades. Evolving from a great place for locals to a must-stop for visitors, Mustard's has achieved the status of wine country icon. The dress is casual, but reservations are recommended (due both to its popularity and its ideal location on Highway 29 just north of Yountville).

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