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Michael Mina Enters Into Downtown Sonoma Restaurant Scene

It’s the first wine country restaurant for the prolific chef

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The Lodge at Sonoma

Chef Michael Mina has been expanding his collection of restaurants across the company, significantly growing the empire he started with his Michelin-starred San Francisco fine dining flagship, Michael Mina. Now he’s heading to wine country for the first time with the opening of Wit & Wisdom Tavern at the Lodge at Sonoma.

It’s set to open in 2020 in what was previously the Carneros Bistro; the entire resort is undergoing a remodel. The concept itself isn’t new: Wit & Wisdom first opened in Baltimore in 2012, serving a “modern American” focused on wood-grilled meats and seafood. It closed in 2018.

According to Mina’s team, the menu in Sonoma will be similar, with dishes coming from a Josper charcoal oven, a pizza oven, and wood-burning stove. The name and concept come from SF’s own American hero Jack London, whose collection of personal writings shares the name. The design of the restaurant will somehow reference those writings; there’ll also be an outdoor terrace for dining and and a bocce ball court in accordance with the unwritten law that wine country restaurants include winsome recreational amenities.

Mina has several other projects in the works in the Bay Area, including a Bourbon Pub at Tahoe’s Northstar resort, a restaurant in the Guaymas space in Tiburon, and a Bourbon Pub at SFO; elsewhere, Pabu is planned to open in Nashville, and International Smoke — the restaurateur’s collaboration with Ayesha curry — has opened in Houston, San Diego, and Miami.