Main course: Lying in three valleys just east of Oakland, California, this triangular region boasts a Mediterranean climate and a gastronomic spirit to match — the Spanish began to cultivate these fertile lands in the 17th century. The Wentes, a founding family of California's wine industry, planted vineyards in the Livermore Valley in the 1880s. Their Restaurant at Wente Vineyards stands out for its comprehensive California wine list and commitment to local farmers and ranchers.
Quick bites: Join locals for breakfast — cinnamon rolls and creamy breakfast pudding — at Sideboard, in Danville.
Farther afield: Spend a day or more among the farm stands, pick-your-own-fruit orchards, and melon patches in the Brentwood area of Contra Costa County.
Restaurant Week: January 23-29, 2012. Visit the Tri-Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau site for more information.