You’re hosting a party for 100 of your closest friends, and you want to play in Geyserville, the beloved little Wine Country town in north Sonoma County.
But Geyserville, with its population of about 2,100, isn’t known for big venues. And you don’t want big, anyway – this is a personal gathering of pals. What are you to do?
It’s Catelli’s Restaurant to the rescue, with its recently added event area that cleverly offers a large space while still retaining an intimate feel. Comprised of a brand new garden, outdoor bar and separate restroom building, the patio alone spans 3,500 square feet and holds up to 150 people, while the adjacent garden spans another 3,500 square feet, with gravel paths framed by flowers, bushes and trees.
During regular hours, the patio is popular for al fresco dining, with Catelli’s rustic Italian served through lunch and dinner. But the area can be reserved, with extras like décor, dancing, and live music.
The focal point is the circular patio floor, done in an elaborate swirl of Italian, black-and-white checkerboard marble. It’s expansive yet cozy, thanks to the cocoon of courtyard walls that curve in around it like a hug, and pretty terraced plantings of 60-year-old Ascolano olive trees. Guests can enjoy their own private bar, too, done in sleek white and black marble capped with a metal roof and set with bright coral and white bistro chairs.
Chef and co-owner Domenica Catelli prepares custom menus, with a Sonoma flair. A meal might start with local wild caught salmon tartare, citrus, avocado and garden herbs; then move to a second course of Osmand Farms rabbit ravioli sprinkled in sage. The third course might be Petaluma duck breast with red Swiss chard, polenta, blackberry, port and shallot, capped by a desert of a build-it-yourself sundae station featuring inventive toppings like salted caramel, Tcho chocolate-orange sauce, and candied bacon.
For an even smaller group, or just cocktails and appetizers, the next-door garden beckons, with a circular pebble area that can be set with a portable bar, bistro tables, couches and fire pits. Full dinners also can be served in the connecting banquet room, welcoming up to 50 guests with dark, wide-plank wood floors and a wood burning fireplace.
Now, the only question remains – who are the lucky friends who get to be invited?
Details: Catelli’s, 21047 Geyserville Ave. (at Highway 128), Geyserville, 707-857-3471, mycatellis.com.
Tip: If far-away-from-the-city Geyserville isn’t your regular stomping grounds, bring all your friends to the party with the convenience of Pure Luxury shuttle buses. The sophisticated shuttles make gathering groups easy and fun.