The holiday season usually means sipping and celebrating, so our latest Taste Test took us to a place that would be perfect for that end-of the-year business celebration, family holiday dinner or a romantic date night away from the hustle and bustle—Chateau Elan’s recently renovated restaurant, The Marc. If you go at Christmas time, in years past they’ve adorned the foyer of the winery with a ginormous Christmas Tree made out of wine bottles, which is a sight to behold!
The overall ambience of this Old World-meets-farm-to-table restaurant is chic, modern and trendy. Open to the winery’s lobby, you can enjoy watching the comings and goings of wine tastings or sit via candlelight on the veranda overlooking the vineyard. We recommend showing up early (for once), grabbing a drink at the new bar and starting with their Bar Menu: Crispy Pork Belly and a Marc-hattan to start the evening.
Take your seat, take in the sights and take a moment to look over the wine menu—you are at a winery afterall. We’d recommend trying something you don’t see on every wine menu: Chateau’s Montepulciano (winner, winner chicken dinner—it was Best in Class at the San Fran Wine Competition).
Take your time and graze rather than inhale; this your night to indulge. Order a charcuterie board (because wine and cheese are a match made in heaven!). Another starter option would be the Lobster Bisque; it was to die for—the perfect combo of creamy richness paired with the light aroma of lobster, but with true bites of lobster tail on ever spoonful. For mains, we’d suggest sharing the hearty house-made pasta dish, pappadella with braised short ribs. It is the perfect dish to complement a good bottle of wine and to “comfort” the soul on a crisp evening. You also can’t go wrong with the 16 oz. Dry Aged Ribeye with Blue Cheese Port Butter either. Paired with your favorite side dish (we’d recommend the bacon-glazed collards and parmesan risotto)—enough to share with the whole table—and you’ll be eating like a king. The menu changes seasonally, so it’s best to always ask the server what has been selling out nightly and go with the people’s choice award.