We recently spent a lovely spring morning catching up with our dear friends at Valley Bar + Bottle Shop, the most charming restaurant in the quaint city of Sonoma.

. On your next visit to Northern California's wine country, be sure to indulge in a slow lunch or dinner at Valley. You'll be charmed by the space and delighted by their thoughtfully curated selection of bottles and mediterranean inspired menu. Take a peek inside the inspiring space to admire the beautiful design of our favorite Sonoma Valley restaurant and then keep scrolling to enjoy our petite conversation with the lovely team of this Northern California gem.

Your restaurant is such a beautiful, welcoming place - What was the inspiration behind the design of Valley Bar & Bottle? 

We were inspired by the building itself and its history. It's a historic site - one of the first adobes built in Sonoma - so we looked at images from that time and really tried to bring it back to more of its original space. We were also inspired by European wine bars, wanting it to feel simple yet transportive.  

Where do you draw inspiration from? 

Ingredients, travel, nature, our community near and far. 

How do you nurture and maintain creativity at work? 

It's a huge challenge when you get bogged down in the realities of running a business and trying to keep the lights on. But the four of us provide a support system for each other. When one is feeling bogged down, we try to free up space for that person to get some breathing space, to get out of town, and get inspired again. It's easy to burn the candle from all ends, but at least we always know we have each other to lean on. It's not work to do alone. 

Share something on the menu that can’t be missed right now.

Trout with citrus and coconut.

Can you recommend three of your favorite bottles of wine for spring (red, white, rose?). 

We have a red from Sonoma's Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah! that is completely speaking to this moment in the seasonal transition. Light-on-its-feet with just enough structure and body to keep you warm once the sun sets. We love whites from the Savoie - a current favorite is Les Cortis 'Naxide,' an aromatic, vibrant blend of Chardonnay and Altesse from Bugey, For Rosé, we have an offbeat, food-friendly, eccentric little bottling from Martvilis Marani, a Georgian rosé made from a grape called Aladasturi. It's killer with all of the spring herbs and baby bitter greens we're starting to see after all of this rain and spring sunshine. We also would be remiss not to mention our house wine, Le Lube! We make a red field blend and a Chenin blanc - both so easy to drink and good at any time of the day. 

Tell us about some of the sustainability practices you've implemented at Valley.

We're always looking to do more by way of sustainability. We source our ingredients as locally as possible to reduce our carbon footprint as well as support the local economy. We're keeping close tabs on bottle re-use programs as there is movement in this sector but no one doing it perfectly yet. When possible, we buy whole-animal - we've worked with Hudson Vineyards-raised lamb since we opened - so that we can use every part and make sure there is little-to-no waste.

Share your favorite local place to eat, enjoy a drink, and shop.

We love to eat and drink at El Molino Central and Buck's Place, as well as our new restaurant Valley Swim Club. We like to shop at the Friday morning Farmer's Market, and at Friedman's, our local hardware store. We can't live without our Carhartt hats! 

Are there any upcoming events for spring and summer that you'd like our readers to know about? 

Yes! At our other restaurant, Valley Swim Club, we recently had a collaboration with Sundrop Sauna where we had Scandinavian inspired eats, health tonics and Sundrop's sauna for sweat sessions and a cold plunge. We'll be doing more playful events like that at Swim Club through the summer. At Valley, we have an annual Easter Brunch. We are planning an event at Swim Club with Rancho Gordo for May, and we are hoping to do some fun collaborations in June at both restaurants for Pride!

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Sepi Shokouh
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