The restaurant offering in Geyserville is Taverna Santi (21047 Geyserville Ave., 707/857-1790, www.tavernasanti.com, daily 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., Mon.–Sat. 5:30–9 p.m., Sun. 5–9 p.m., $18–35). This elegant Italian eatery allows only the teensiest of California twists to interfere with its cuisine. Even truly Italian staples that rarely make American menus (such as tripe) can be found here.
Santi cures many of its own sausages and meat products, and makes much of its own pasta. For a serious Italian feast, order a full four-course meal with one item from each menu category. Lighter eaters might enjoy a “first course” dish of pasta as their entrée.
Service at Santi can be spotty (but not awful), though the dimly lit, softly colored dining room makes it easier to pay attention to your sweetie across the table and forget for a few minutes that your appetizers are overdue.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition