Finding a fun, relaxing place to go on a night out with your significant other can be a real trial. Getting the right mix of interesting entertainment and good food is hard. This is especially true if you are looking for gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan options.
One restaurant that gets the balance correct is the Redwood Cafe in the sweet little city of Cotati, CA.
Redwood Cafe: Sonoma County Flair
The Redwood Cafe is a great deal more than a cafe. It serves burgers and sandwiches for your laid-back date night meal. They have many vegetarian and vegan options, including tempeh reuben sandwiches and tofu. On top of this, the dishes can be easily customized to everyone’s needs. There is even a gluten-free cake for dessert. They have a particularly tempting New York-style chocolate cheesecake if you are feeling decadent on your date. Regardless of your dietary requirements, the cafe has you covered and you will leave feeling full.
Of course, being in wine country, they have a fine selection of Sonoma County wines. Their local selection of reds includes the Iron Horse Pinot Noir and the Buena Vista 2010 Merlot. They only have three whites to choose from, but they carry a couple sparkling wines and a Muscat to make up for it.
And if you go there on a fine evening, you can sit out on their deck under their umbrellas and enjoy the pleasant Sonoma County sunset. Their wooden deck is in the back of the restaurant, giving guests a sheltered space to eat, away from the foot traffic out front. Inside is not a bad place to stay either, though, if you come on a chillier evening. With wooden bar, walls decorated with art, and furniture comfortably upholstered, you are sure to feel as at home inside as out.
Redwood Cafe represents its community like no other eating establishment. Virtually every day, there is a local band or poetry reading going on in their cozy confines. They frequently have roots and jazz bands playing, an open exhibition of local art from the local university, and trivia nights. They host open-mic nights and general art exhibits as well. There is never a dull moment in the Redwood Cafe, and you will want to check out their website for their list of events so you can make it a full evening out.
Some of the events do require buying tickets in advance, but many are simply open to the public. You will want to plan ahead, especially if you want to go dancing with your spouse.
If you find that you want to walk off your dinner or you prefer outdoor entertainment, you can always go to the neighboring park, a nice little patch of green barely a block down the road called Cotati Park. Cotati Park has a band stand and a lovely view. If you come on the third Sunday in August, you can catch the Accordion Festival, where professionals show off their musical skills. This is a big draw, so much so that the main feature of the park is a bronze statue of a man playing the accordion. If you and your date love to mingle in the crowd, you will want to check it out.
There is a jazz festival held in the summer in Cotati Park, too, which is always a lot of fun. The bands are always lively, and there are plenty of booths full of interesting items for sale. Some big names in jazz play at this festival, and you can always catch people dancing to the music around the band stand. The evenings in the picturesque little square are comfortable, and you can bring a blanket to sit on for the festivities.
If you come on a Thursday in the summer, you can catch the farmer’s market in the park. There, not only is the produce delicious and fresh from the farm, but you can find booths selling everything from quartz and shark’s teeth to tie-dye dresses. There is normally a booth selling local honey and another that sells the world’s most decadent brownies. This is another popular event, so you can meet lots of the local families.
Even when nothing is going on, there are comfortable benches to sit on. Cotati Park is in the heart of the city, right across the street from the fire station and next to the city hall. There is plenty of people watching to do most nights. Cotati is a college town, but it feels like a friendly little place, especially in the summer when the college kids go home. Downtown, where the park and restaurant are, boasts perfect places to absorb the ‘little town’ atmosphere.
If you and your date feel like some after-dinner drinks when you are done at the park, you can visit one of the five bars on the same road. Friar Tucks has a nice atmosphere and the Inn of the Beginning has a lot of brews. If you are not much for bars, you can head a few blocks up East Cotati Avenue. There’s an Oliver’s Market there which carries local wines. You can take a bottle home from there.
Finding a place for a fun date night does not have to be tricky. There are a lot of interesting things to do in downtown Cotati, starting with dining at the Redwood Cafe. If you are looking for a restaurant that will start your date night out right, call for a reservation at Redwood Cafe in Cotati today.