Wine Dine and Play: Harvest Moon Café

Harvest Moon Café

The Harvest Moon Cafe in Sonoma California is an organic California cuisine restaurant

Local, Philosophical, Sustainable
City of Sonoma, California, USA
Cuisine Style: Californian, Mediterranean
Average Price: $$
Overall Rating: 4/5
Dined in July 2013
Article Updated: February 2020 
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Harvest Moon Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Executive Chefs:
Jen and Nick Demarest
Owners of Harvest Moon Cafe Jen and Nick Demarest in Sonoma, California

Harvest Moon Café is run by Nick and Jen, both graduates of the CIA, where they met. Their menus change daily to focus on Sonoma County’s bountiful, local harvests, and they embrace the philosophy that all of their produce, meat, poultry, and fish come from farms, ranches, and fisheries guided by principles of sustainability.

Harvest Moon Café From a business standpoint, using food purchased from the local community not only puts you in good standing with the neighbors business, but throw all that together with some great local Sonoma and Napa wine, Wednesday night movies, and you have a recipe for success. The restaurant is located on Sonoma's City Square in the heart of the wine country.

    • Appetizers
    • Entrees
    • Desserts
I was on a three-day wine country tour and had spent the morning at Kamen Vineyards in Sonoma, and I asked about recommendations for a place to eat nearby, and the Harvest Moon Café was the first recommendation on Robert Kamen’s list. Apparently, he frequented the café several times a week and prepared the reservation for me. The restaurant is located in downtown Sonoma, attached to a larger group of buildings with country style Mom and Pop stores. It was good to see considering most of these types of places have been replaced by Walmart’s and Home Depots. It was located across the street from the city park and courthouse building, where plenty of parking is available.

I was seated on the patio behind the main dining room, in an enclosed area surrounded by walls, and trees. On one wall was a large projection screen, and every Wednesday night, they play classic movies that you can enjoy while having dinner. For the meal to come I chose a 2010 Sonoma Pinot Noir from David Noyes Winery, aged in new and seasoned French oak barrels and according to the winemakers' notes had aromas of berry and fresh bread and it paired wonderfully with vegetables, pork, or cheese.

For that evening's menu, I started with the local mixed green salad, smothered in white truffle-honey vinaigrette, pecans and pink pearl apples. Around that time, Robert Kamen came in, and sat at the table next to mine, chatting with just about everyone there, and he started with the little gem lettuce salad, which I came close to getting. It was topped with a buttermilk-chive dressing and mixed with marinated beets and crispy shallots.

The mixed green salad at the Harvest Moon restaurant in Sonoma, California has pecans and pink pearl apples
Harvest Moon Cafe / Mixed green salad

For an in-between course, I had the bucatini pasta dish, mixed with Gulf shrimp, basil-pine nut pesto, little tomatoes, and fresh parmesan. It had wonderful aromatic flavors, and the power of the pesto commanded the dish and went perfectly with the shrimp and my wine.

The Gulf shrimp bucatini pasta dish at the Harvest Moon restaurant in Sonoma, California
Harvest Moon Cafe / Shrimp pasta dish

For the entree course, I ordered the sautéed Pacific halibut, a white flaky fish served with herbed quinoa grains, wild mushrooms, and a tarragon butter sauce. I was in heaven. Very refreshing, and well presented giving the dish high marks. Next, to me, Robert ordered the Niman Ranch ribeye steak with Greek Gigante beans, sautéed rapini and topped with a Zinfandel sauce. Though my meal was wonderful, it seemed that his order was also what I was craving, and the only small downside to a daily changing menu is that you can’t come back and try other things that looked just as good as what you were having. So if you didn’t come with friends and share the food, then you had better just visit every day, and hope that sometime in the future the menu repeats in any small way.

The Pacific halibut dish has quinoa and mushrooms at the Harvest Moon Cafe in Sonoma, California
Harvest Moon Cafe / Pacific halibut

The dessert menu appears to remain constant unless they change it with the seasons, and if I would not have had the pasta in-between course, then I would have ordered something but alas was too full. A few items of interest, however, did include a lemon pudding cake, pot de crème, and a blanco y negro to name a few.

Though check out some of these wonderful selections from Wine Dine and Play: 

Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.

Wine regulatory’s for the tastings in this article:

United States: 

Other Noteworthy Californian cuisine Articles and Restaurants:
California cuisine is a style of cuisine marked by an interest in fusion cuisine (integrating disparate cooking styles and ingredients) and in the use of freshly prepared local ingredients. The food is typically prepared with strong attention to presentation. Foods low in saturated fats and high in fresh vegetables and fruits with lean meats and seafood from the California coast often define the style. 

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse Chain (180+) for pub grub and brewed beer; reviewed in Pinellas Park, Florida
Casita Taqueria a fast-casual taqueria serving homemade artisan Mexican food specializing especially in tacos and burritos in St. Petersburg, Florida
Ciccio Cali inspired cuisine from California using antibiotic-free meats, organic and Non-GMO vegetables in St. Petersburg, Florida
FarmTable Cucina organic, sustainable, and local with a focus on Italian and New American themes in St. Petersburg, Florida
FarmTable Kitchen Casual Cal-Italian cuisine and chef tables in St. Petersburg, Florida 
Fleur de Lys Lavish French-Californian by Hubert Keller in San Francisco, California 
Gaia Restaurant Organic and sustainable concept in American Canyon, California (Renamed Table 29 Bistro and Bar)
Greystone CIA Restaurant CIA School restaurant formally called Wine Spectator now GateHouse in Calistoga, California
Wipeout Bar and Grill Surf shack theme with California and Mexican cuisine in San Francisco, California 
Wolfgang Puck Celebrity Chef’s California cuisine and fine dining chain; reviewed in Orlando, Florida

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

A Few California Favorites:
French-American Fine Dining
A top 20 on Wine Dine and Play
Yountville, California, USA
High-End Japanese Steakhouse
San Francisco, California, USA
Artisan cheese shop
Point Reyes Station, California

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

Final notes, review basics, observations, and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. 
To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Harvest Moon a 4 out of 5 stars, meaning that they not only exceeded my expectations and were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants, but they were just outstanding.
Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings for Harvest Moon Cafe
Max Points Possible:
Total Points Awarded:
Total Points deducted:
Food quality
Plate presentation
Customer service
Alcohol and other beverages
Total regular points awarded
Total percentage Before Bonus


“Wow” factor BONUS
Total bonus percentage


Total percentage with a bonus for the final star rating


Stars Awarded (see chart below)
             0 - 5

**A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**


Overall Star Rating:
4 of 5 Stars: 
87% Rating with a 1 point “wow” bonus
An Outstanding Dining Experience
Wine List:
Wine rating:
6 of 10
Old World selections: 
France, Spain, Italy, Portugal

New World selections: 
California, Washington State
Corkage fees:
Personal wines welcome (corkage fee of $18.00 applies)
Casual to Conservative dining
Harvest Moon Cafe Cuisine style:
Californian, Mediterranean
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Farm to Fork, Gluten-Free, Local, Non-GMO, Organic, Pescatarian, Sustainable, Vegan Options, Vegetarian
Not Required, But Recommended
Dress code:
Casual or Conservative attire
Child policy:

The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
A place for foodies, Contemporary, Trendy, Hotspot, Great outdoor dining, Good for special occasions, Rustic, Tourist grabber, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Street meter parking
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Medium to Loud
Harvest Moon Cafe is a nonsmoking restaurant with a nonsmoking patio
Patio or terrace:

Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)

**Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

United States Dollar (USD)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
European Union (EUR)

 Alcohol prices:

$40.00 USD

Harvest Moon Café:

487 First Street West
Sonoma, CA 95476

Contact Information: 
Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+1 707-933-8160
Online reservations
Serving hours:
Pacific Standard Time (GMT, Zulu, or UTC-8:00)
5:30 am - 9:00 pm
5:30 am - 9:00 pm
5:30 am - 9:00 pm
Tuesday closed
Social Media 
Accolades For: 
Harvest Moon Cafe
Facebook link               

The world's best restaurants are a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…

Upscale fine dining global cuisine
Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE 
Eclectic French-Asian Tasting Menu
Sydney, Australia
Modern eclectic and Nouvelle Latin cuisine
Woodstock, Cape Town, South Africa 

Other Pictures:

The entrance to the Harvest Moon Cafe in Sonoma, California
Harvest Moon Cafe / Entrance
The back patio of the Harvest Moon Cafe in Sonoma, California with the Wednesday movie night
Harvest Moon Cafe / Patio
Robert Kamen of Kamen Vineyards is a regular visitor to the Harvest Moon Cafe in Sonoma, California
Robert Kamen from Kamen Vineyards
The little gem salad at the Harvest Moon Cafe in Sonoma, California
Harvest Moon Cafe / Little Gem salad
The Niman Ranch ribeye steak with Greek Gigante beans, sautéed rapini and topped with a Zinfandel sauce at the Harvest Moon Cafe
Harvest Moon Cafe / Niman Ranch ribeye

Who is John Galt?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

You may also like:

Popular Posts: