Looking for a great place to have lunch or dinner? Why not take the short drive to Davis and discover a restaurant that uses farm-fresh vegetables grown by Dixon-area farmers?
Monticello, the newest addition to Davis' competitive mix of restaurants, stands out as a unique “Seasonal American” alternative. The dining room is bright with original wall murals and a glass-topped bar lit from within. Waitstaff dressed semi-formally serve tables gleaming with crystal, silverware, china and snow-white napkins.
But proprietor Rhonda Gruska declines the typical “fine dining” label for her establishment. “Fine dining appears to be fraught with grander expectations than we are able to deliver,” she said.
So, though the food is prepared and served with thorough professionalism in a simply elegant atmosphere, don't worry, fine dining dress codes and etiquette aren't enforced at Monticello.
The focus at Monticello, located at 630 G St., is on the fresh, locally grown ingredients making up every dish--from soup to salad, entree and dessert--provided by a network of area farmers who believe what they do is a fine craft.
For example, Dixon Ridge Farms, a few miles northwest of Dixon, produces only one crop, organic walnuts. But the walnuts they ship to Monticello are of the highest quality available on the market today.
Unlike conventional farmers who maximize the size of their crops with artificial chemicals, the Dixon Ridge farmers use and work with natural processes to enhance the taste of their select walnuts.
The same attention to detail is true of dozens more Dixon area and Yolo County farms providing Monticello with quality vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other organic produce.
“There's something indefinably delicious that's added when you eat food that was grown with integrity in the region where you live,” said Gruska.
Which probably has something to do with why Gruska also mentioned that while reservations are suggested at Monticello, “We give preference to farmers with mud on their boots any time.”
Lunch: Tuesday - Friday, 11am - 2pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday, 5:30pm - 10pm; Brunch: 9am - 2pm. Reserations required on weekends, suggested otherwise.