Top Romantic Restaurant in Santa Rosa, CA with a View: John Ash & Co

Finding the perfect spot for a romantic dinner can be quite the quest, especially when you’re in Santa Rosa, California, where the options are as vast as the vineyards. But, if you’re anything like me, the ambiance is just as crucial as the cuisine. There’s something about a stunning view that elevates the dining experience, making it unforgettable.

That’s why I’ve embarked on a journey to uncover the most romantic restaurants in Santa Rosa that not only offer mouthwatering dishes but also boast breathtaking views. From cozy vineyard terraces to elegant dining rooms overlooking rolling hills, these spots are sure to ignite the spark for any occasion. Whether it’s a first date or an anniversary, I’m here to guide you to the perfect setting for those special moments.

The Girl & The Fig

When I embarked on my journey to uncover the most enchanting dining spots in Santa Rosa, “The Girl & The Fig” was a name that resonated with locals and food enthusiasts alike. Nestled on the edge of a picturesque vineyard, this charming eatery doesn’t just promise a meal but an unforgettable experience that’s as much about the ambiance as it is about the cuisine.

Stepping into The Girl & The Fig, I was immediately struck by its rustic charm and the warm, welcoming atmosphere that’s practically tailor-made for romance. The interior pays homage to Provence with its French country flair, and every corner seems to whisper stories of love and laughter shared over good food and wine. But it’s the view that truly sets this restaurant apart. Dining on the terrace, with the lush vineyards stretching out under the setting sun, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect backdrop for a romantic evening.

The menu at The Girl & The Fig is a love letter to French cuisine with a delightful Californian twist. Focused on seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and the restaurant’s own garden, each dish is a celebration of flavors that are both familiar and surprising. I found myself savoring a fig and arugula salad that perfectly balanced sweetness with a peppery kick, followed by the signature dish, duck confit, which was cooked to perfection.

Wine pairing is an art that The Girl & The Fig has mastered. With an impressive selection of wines, primarily from Sonoma County, the staff is incredibly knowledgeable and eager to help find the perfect match for your meal. Opting for a local Syrah, I was delighted by how it complemented my duck, enhancing the dining experience to a whole new level.

While the food and views are undeniably fantastic, it’s the little things that make a dining experience truly memorable. The attentive but unobtrusive service, the soft glow of the lanterns as the evening wears on, and even the curated playlist that gently fills the background, all contribute to an atmosphere where time seems to slow down, allowing you to fully immerse in the moment with your loved one.

Visiting The Girl & The Fig, it becomes clear that they’ve found their recipe for romance – combining breathtaking views with exquisite food and a dash of that unique Sonoma charm. Whether it’s a first date or an anniversary celebration, it’s a place where memories are made.

Stark’s Steak & Seafood

After delighting in the French country charm of The Girl & The Fig, my journey to uncovering the top romantic restaurants in Santa Rosa, California led me to a culinary gem that’s quite different in ambience but equally enchanting: Stark’s Steak & Seafood. This restaurant offers a luxurious dining experience that’s hard to match, making it a perfect next stop for those seeking romance served with an exceptional view.

Stark’s interior exudes an old-world elegance, with plush seating, dark wood finishes, and dim lighting that all but guarantee an intimate dining experience. But what really catches the eye is their outdoor patio, a lesser-known oasis in downtown Santa Rosa. Here, diners are treated to not just impeccable meals but also a serene view that transforms an ordinary dinner into a magical evening under the stars.

The menu at Stark’s Steak & Seafood boasts an impressive selection of prime cuts and fresh seafood, making it a haven for food lovers. I tried their Rib-Eye Steak and was absolutely blown away by how perfectly cooked and flavorful it was. My date opted for the Seared Scallops, which, according to her, were “the best she’s ever had.” But it’s not just the food that makes Stark’s stand out—it’s their attention to detail. Every dish is paired with sides that elevate the main, turning each plate into a culinary masterpiece.

But let’s talk wine—after all, we’re in Sonoma County. Stark’s wine list is a carefully curated collection, emphasizing local wineries. Their knowledgeable staff are more than happy to help you select a bottle that complements your meal perfectly. We opted for a local Pinot Noir, and it was the ideal match for both the steak and scallops.

As the evening progressed, I couldn’t help but feel that Stark’s really knows how to create a memorable experience. From the ambient jazz music that softly fills the air to the attentive but unobtrusive service, every element here is designed to make your night special. Whether it’s a first date or a significant anniversary, Stark’s Steak & Seafood promises a night of romance, exceptional dining, and unforgettable views, firmly establishing its place as a must-visit spot for couples in Santa Rosa.

John Ash & Co.

When it comes to romantic dining spots in Santa Rosa, California, with a view that captivates and entices, John Ash & Co. stands out as a jewel in the culinary landscape. Perched on the edge of the Vintners Inn property, this restaurant is more than just a place to eat; it’s an experience that engages all the senses.

My first visit to John Ash & Co. was nothing short of magical. As I walked through the entrance, I was greeted by the sight of lush, beautifully landscaped gardens and the distant rolling hills of Sonoma County. The outdoor seating, with its elegant arrangement and soft, ambient lighting, promised a cozy yet sophisticated evening under the stars. It’s the kind of setting where every moment feels significant, where the beauty of nature adds an extra layer of charm to the dining experience.

The menu at John Ash & Co. is a celebration of local and seasonal produce, showcasing the best of what Sonoma County has to offer. Each dish is meticulously crafted, combining traditional techniques with innovative flair. My personal favorites include the Pan-Seared Duck Breast and the Wild Mushroom Risotto. Both dishes are not only visually stunning but also rich in flavors that harmoniously blend together.

Wine is an integral part of dining at John Ash & Co., and the wine list does not disappoint. Focusing heavily on Local Vineyards, the selection expertly complements the menu, elevating the culinary experience. The staff’s recommendations are always spot-on, adding a personal touch to the meal. On one occasion, I was introduced to a delightful pinot noir that was the perfect companion to my duck breast, enhancing its savory sweetness.

Dish Highlight
Pan-Seared Duck Breast Savory Sweetness
Wild Mushroom Risotto Rich in Flavors

Not to be overlooked, the service at John Ash & Co. makes every guest feel special. From the moment you arrive, the staff goes above and beyond to ensure your experience is memorable. Their attention to detail, from the perfectly timed course servings to the subtle checks to ensure satisfaction, underlines their commitment to excellence.


Moving on to another exceptional dining destination in Santa Rosa, I recently had the pleasure of dining at Valette. Nestled in the heart of downtown, this gem truly stands out as a beacon of culinary excellence. The moment you walk in, you’re greeted with an ambiance that exudes both elegance and comfort, making it an ideal spot for those special, romantic evenings.

From the outset, I was impressed with Valette’s commitment to showcasing the bounty of Sonoma County. The chefs pride themselves on their relationships with local farmers and producers, ensuring that each dish tells a story of the region’s rich agricultural heritage. The menu is a testament to their dedication, with each item reflecting a sophisticated blend of flavors and textures.

One of the highlights of my visit was the “Trust Me” tasting menu. It’s an adventurous dining option where the chefs curate a series of dishes based on the freshest ingredients available that day. My partner and I opted for this experience, and we were not disappointed. Each course was a surprise, from a delicate Hamachi Crudo accented with citrus, to a Heirloom Tomato Salad that tasted like the essence of summer.

But what truly sets Valette apart is its wine list. With a focus on local Sonoma wineries, the selection is carefully curated to complement the menu’s seasonal offerings. Our server was incredibly knowledgeable, suggesting perfect pairings that elevated our meal to new heights. It’s this attention to detail and service that makes Valette a standout dining destination in Santa Rosa.

For those looking to dine with a view, I must mention that while Valette is more about the internal ambiance and culinary spectacle, its location in downtown Santa Rosa allows for a charming stroll before or after your meal. The streets of Santa Rosa, lined with boutique shops and art galleries, provide a picturesque backdrop to an unforgettable dining experience.

Valette is a must-visit for anyone seeking an intimate dining experience in Santa Rosa. From the warm welcome at the door to the last bite of dessert, it’s clear that love and care are the main ingredients in everything they do. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, Valette is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Venturing a bit further in my gourmet journey across Santa Rosa, I stumbled upon John Ash & Co. Nestled on the outskirts of town, amidst the sprawling vineyards of Sonoma County, this place redefines romantic dining with its picturesque views. Unlike Valette, John Ash & Co offers an experience that’s as much about the scenery as it is about the culinary delights.

The outdoor dining area, with its panoramic views of the vineyards and gardens, is a sight to behold, especially during sunset. It’s like stepping into a live painting, where the colors of the sky blend seamlessly with the lush greenery. Dining here feels like a private rendezvous with nature, serenaded by the soft whisper of the trees.

The Menu at John Ash & Co

The menu at John Ash & Co is a testament to the richness of Sonoma’s produce and the skill of its chefs. Seasonality is the star here, with dishes crafted around the freshest ingredients available. The harmony between the food and the local wines is almost poetic, enhancing the dining experience to new heights.

  • Appetizers: Start with their famous Dungeness crab cakes or the heirloom tomato salad. Both are fresh and bursting with flavor.
  • Entrées: The pan-seared scallops are a must-try, delicately cooked and served with seasonal vegetables. For meat lovers, the duck breast is impeccably seasoned and cooked to perfection.
  • Desserts: Do not miss their chocolate lava cake, a decadent end to a memorable meal.
  • Scenic Views: The vistas here are unmatched, offering a tranquil backdrop for romantic evenings.
  • Seasonal Menus: Their commitment to seasonality ensures every dish is a reflection of the area’s best produce.
  • Wine Pairings: Expertly chosen local wines complement every course, turning the meal into an explorative journey.

As I left John Ash & Co, the beauty of the setting sun against the vineyards lingered in my mind. The experience was more than just dining; it was a celebration of love, nature, and exquisite flavors. This place undoubtedly deserves a spot on the list of top romantic dining spots in Santa Rosa, California.


I’ve had the pleasure of exploring some truly romantic spots in Santa Rosa but John Ash & Co stands out for its unique blend of culinary excellence and stunning views. There’s something magical about dining amidst the vineyards that elevates the whole experience. Whether it’s the Dungeness crab cakes or the pan-seared scallops you’re enjoying, the local wines add the perfect touch to a memorable evening. So if you’re looking for a spot that combines great food with a romantic setting, this is the place to be. Trust me you won’t be disappointed.

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Ben Rutstein is the publisher of this website, he started traveling to northern California in 2014, and the Santa Rosa is one of his favorite places to visit, from that time onwards he has explored everything from visiting cafes to yoga in parks, local hikes.

He is known to drop everything at a moments notice for a visit to a winery or a visit to a park.

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