The Stone House: Farm-to-table food and craft cocktails

WHEN IT COMES TO FINE DINING, cocktails and entertainment, The Stone House in historic Nevada City belongs on a bucket list for the New Year—whether you’re local or a visitor.

Under San Francisco entrepreneur Jonathan Rowe, who also has local roots, The Stone House — one of the town’s most iconic landmarks — underwent extensive renovation and has been restored to its grandeur.

The Stone House includes two alluring bar areas, a premier stage, first-class entertainment and fine dining offered in multiple dining rooms — all surrounded by hand-cut stone walls and reclaimed timber. The site also includes a stone wine cavern.

The cocktail menu provides a new take on old classics, from a Negroni to an Old Fashioned to a “Malakoff Cocktail” (mezcal, lime, pomegranate, agave, and Angosura bitters). The cocktail menu plans to showcase barrel-aged bourbons. (We note that the Manhattan includes a Luxardo soaked cherry). A house-made kombucha also is in the works.

The Stone House offers a beer and wine selection that focuses on local and hard-to-find options. Local wines include some of our favorites, such as Avanguardia Tre “T” Blend, along with Napa and French wines.

The dining room is under the direction of Head Chef Jesse Hanshaw, aided by Sous Chefs Ron Tanaka and Renee Medina and Pastry Chef Christine Cain. “It is our great fortune to have Jesse lead our first rate team of chefs, with the recent additions of Paul Jordan as our general manager and Cassandra (King) as our sommelier,” says Rowe.

Chef Jesse has created an imaginative, seasonal menu that includes small plates and family style dining. Menu items might include New York steak, miso, broccoli, kohlrabi, and shiitake; scallop, fennel arancini, preserved lemon, green olive tapenade; and agnolotti artichoke confit, mascarpone, parmesan, and brown butter tarragon.

The desserts are sublime, such as butterscotch pot de creme, brown sugar shortbread and sauteed maple-glazed bruleed bananas.
For weddings, The Stone House radiates romance with its stone courtyard surrounded by cascading vines and a 3,000 sq.-ft. granite hall. DJs and bands perform on a stage with state-of-the-art audio and video.

Renovation

In 1882, local businessman George Gehrig hired Italian stonemasons and Chinese laborers to build a three-story, stone and wood building, constructed from locally quarried granite blocks. Construction included a storage cave dug into the hillside, used for aging casks of ale.

Owner Jonathan Rowe has turned to local artists, designers and crafts people for one-of-a-kind touches, such as sliding barn doors made of recycled wood, as well as Edison lights and other distinct design elements.

(Credit: Joy Porter)

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