The Stone House: A sign of the “New” Culinary Gold Rush

IN THE NEW GOLD RUSH, CHEFS, RESTAURATEURS, farmers, winemakers and artists are resettling our region, adding new energy and sophisticated offerings for today’s travelers while honoring the region’s rich history.

Nowhere is this more apparent than at The Stone House in Nevada City, an iconic stone and wood building in the historic downtown that dates back to 1857. The Stone House also is a case study in successful economic development for a small town, helping Nevada City to prosper.

Under an imaginative and determined San Francisco entrepreneur, Jonathan Rowe, The Stone House has been restored and re-imagined, creating a new destination in the Gold Country. “I’ve loved this building for a long time, and I had a vision of transform- ing it into something special,” Jonathan told us in a recent interview.

After a soft opening this spring, The Stone House has its grand opening this summer. It includes a 10,000 sq.-ft. seating capacity for 250 guests with an upstairs dining room, upstairs and downstairs bar areas, a premier stage with state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment, inviting patios, and a wine cavern.

The upstairs bar is a pleasant space to linger before dinner or to enjoy a cocktail, non-alcoholic beverage or specialty coffee drink. The downstairs bar features an 1884 back-bar from Chicago. An exclusive third-floor penthouse also is in the works.

The Stone House’s farm-to-table dinner and brunch menu is seasonal, using fresh local ingredients from local farms. Some examples might include a “deconstructed” Caesar salad, Sonoma duck breast, grass-fed hanger steak, and grilled California sea bass. The ingredients come from local farms including Riverhill Farm, Mountain Bounty Farm, First Rain Farm, Elster Ranch, and Sweet Roots Farm, among others.

Some of the craft cocktails are named after local landmarks, like Sugarloaf Swizzle (gin, lime raspberry syrup, ginger syrup, and soda).

Jonathan championed the effort to lovingly restore The Stone House, which has been a brewery, restaurant, events center and hospitality academy in the past. He has turned to local crafts people for one-of-a-kind touches, such as sliding barn doors made of recycled wood by Sally Peterson of Funkyard Art and Monica Hughes of Naked Tree Woodworking.

The building’s new owner has hired a talented team: Jason Jillson is the executive chef; Ron Tanaka is the chef de cuisine; Rachel Davis is the sous chef; and Christi Nasser handles wedding and special events, among others.

Jonathan is chief executive and founder of The Village event venue in San Francisco as well as Madrone Studios, an agency specializing in event production. He is no stranger to Nevada City; his young son Bodie’s mother and grandmother are from here. “It feels like I’ve come full circle,” says Jonathan.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.