We sent Sacramento writer Barbara L. Steinberg to check out the dining scene in Woodland for Taste of Yolo Restaurant Week – here is her enthusiastic report.
In California, every season is splendiferous and bountiful along back roads of Yolo County California. Part of the Central Valley, this agricultural heartland is situated between coastal foothills and the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. Rolling hills, verdant valleys and mountains overflow with a profusion of vineyards, orchards, pastured livestock and row crops. All the best, the finest and most delicious ingredients taking center stage.
Yolo County is ahead of the foodie moniker! Nowhere is this more evident than historic Woodland, your new gourmand destination. Historic Woodland’s up-and-coming restaurant scene is skyrocketing! Just remember you heard it here.
Beyond the creative and tasty offerings, I was most impressed by a true sense of family throughout the Woodland community. There’s no happier way to dine than with family and friends. Insider Tip: Housed in historic buildings, Woodland pairs dining with extraordinary architecture.
435 Main Street ~ (530) 668-1044
While approaches may vary, at Father Paddy’s house recipes are a true collaboration. Owner Pat Redmond and Executive Chef Justin Severson have created a fresh, honest, common sense approach. “Comfort food with a flare!” said Pat. Less than a year on Main Street, Justin and Pat found what works between their flavors.
Insider Tip: Savor Whiskey tastings and Father Paddy’s primer in the Whiskey Vault!
306 – 6th Street; (530) 402-1540
Kellie Morgan bravely dipped her toe in the restaurant world; she’d never owned a restaurant. “I had a concept and wanted to bring it to life. Good food. Good ambiance – a fun place,” she says. “Hiring Executive Chef John Gamboni was the final key.” Maria’s Cantina has clearly hit the mark. Feeling lucky to be in the center of fresh agriculture, Head Chef William Jeffries utilizes as much local product as possible.
Insider Tip: The fine art of sipping tequila spoken here. A tequila menu sports more than 30!
614 Main Street; (530) 402-1275
The dynamic duo of Morgan and Gamboni wanted to bring something different to Woodland. “It wasn’t a big jump from Mexican to Morgan’s,” Kellie remarked. So they successfully made that leap of faith and delivered a great steak house. Originally the historic Cranston Hardware, the restaurant and the new “Big Bar” are Uber chic.
Insider Tip: Shared plates included Pull Apart Bread and Bowl of Bacon (a combination of candied lardons and spicy chicharrón con carne).
428 – 1st Street; (530) 661-0428
“People are rediscovering Woodland,” owner Christy Hayes says with pride. “It’s a family vibe, local vibe – easy to make a connection.” And people are connecting at Mojo’s/Kitchen428. Kismet came calling to help Christy reinvent the historic Jackson Building once home to local landmark Morrison’s Restaurant and where she once tended bar. Casual Mojo’s Lounge and stylish Kitchen428 share the same farm-to-fork philosophy under Executive Chef Efrain Hernandez’s culinary prowess. “The art of food fascinates me,” said Efrain. “I especially love working with seafood; in my region of Mexico I grew-up with fresh fish.”
Insider Tip: Ask about monthly Cocktail for the Cause. Proceeds (50%) from in-house crafty potions are donated to local charities.
722 Main Street; (530) 668-4009
When it comes to family and farm-fresh, Juan and Toby Barajas embrace the mantra at Savory Café. The brothers inherited their culinary acumen from their mother and grandmother along with an appreciation for sourcing local products. After navigating the family’s Knights Landing restaurant, Las Maracas, they wanted something different and, in 2015, acquired Savory Café. In slower winter months, they break from regular dinner service Thursday-Saturday.
Insider Tip: Not to be missed, Sunday’s Brunch spotlights Frittata with Lacinato Kale, Leeks, Chicken Apple Sausage, Potatoes and Toby’s Salsa Verde.
One More Insider Tip: When it comes to local, Woodland’s dining establishments also feature local and regional wines and craft beers. Cheers!
From charming B&Bs and Inns to larger hotels and smaller motels, there’s no shortage of places to lay your head for a relaxing getaway in Yolo County. In fact, there’s over 25 ways to R&R so you’re well rested and ready to discover all we have to offer. Visit our hotel page to explore our wide range of lodging properties.