Finer Diners

Napa and Sonoma are doing comfort food right

Comfort food is invading Napa and Sonoma. But this is no amateurish collection of fancy mac 'n' cheeses. Instead, local chefs are assembling the classics from peerless ingredients. The prices, too, are commensurate with the restaurants' easygoing spirit.

Here's proof that satiety doesn't have to be simplistic:

Restaurant P/30 This chic bistro from Patrick Tafoya caps entrée prices at $15. But that's Gleason Ranch bird in the fried chicken ($14) atop brown-butter waffles. Tafoya's Breakfast for Dinner ($12) is a dreamy mix of eggs, pancetta and fingerling potatoes. Plus, he brews his own root beer for the ice cream float ($7). 9890 Bodega Hwy. (at Montgomery Rd.), Sebastopol; 707-861-9030 or restaurantp30.com [UPDATE: NOW CLOSED]

Norman Rose Tavern Dishes at this bank turned modern pub max out at $20 (for a juicy Five Dot Ranch steak). A favorite: the deeply satisfying fried-egg sandwich ($10), layered with Hobbs bacon, Swiss cheese and romaine. 1401 1st St. (at Franklin St.), Napa; 707-258-1516 or normanrosenapa.com

The Fremont Diner Don't let the roadside shack on vineyard-strewn Hwy. 121/12 fool you: This is a worthy detour from chef-owner Chad Harris. Most plates are under–way under–$12, including the Whole Hog sandwich ($8) of oak-smoked pork with coleslaw and pickles, a shrimp po'boy ($11.50) to pair with collard greens ($5), and fried pies ($2.50) to drink with chicory coffee. 2660 Fremont Dr. (at S. Central Ave.), Sonoma; 707-938-7370 or thefremontdiner.com