A Low-Key Night in Davis

Offering the culture of a big city and the laid-back sophistication of a college town, Davis is the best place to experience that Northern California lifestyle. With ample indoor and outdoor space at the Willow Creek homes, and big living rooms and well-designed kitchens for entertaining, you might be tempted to have a night in at home. (Think: movie night in the den, homemade wings with Monday Night Football, or BBQ with your family.)

But with Willow Creek’s proximity to all of Davis’s Downtown spots, you’re steps from a laid-back evening out on the town. Whether it’s cheering the Aggies in football or basketball, singing along with your favorite band at the Mondavi Center, or dancing the night away at KetMoRee, there are enough activities for even the most social Davisite. Here are some of our low-key favorites:

The Mustard Seed | 222 D Street, Suite 11
Unwind by the fire with a glass of California pinot noir at this intimate restaurant, known for its commitment to the slow food movement and a wine list with only California vintages. The Mustard Seed attracts an upscale clientele drawn in by its simple, perfectly rendered dishes, like the Chilean sea bass smothered in a velvety citrus hollandaise or cooked-to-perfection rack of lamb with a mustard crust complemented by an aromatic zinfandel sauce.

Osteria Fasulo | 2657 Portage Bay East
The warm red walls and crisp white tablecloths will make you feel like you just stepped off a Vespa and into a restaurant on a side street in Rome. And one bite into the lemony, lobster-filled, ink-black ravioli will seal the deal. Osteria Fasulo is more than just your typical red sauce joint: The Sacramento Bee calls the delicate seven-layered lasagna bolognese a form of “culinary magic.”  Unwind alfresco as you listen to the gurgling of the courtyard fountain with a large group or with your romantic partner at a dinner for two.

VINI Wine Bar | 611 2nd Street
Northern California is known for three things: a free-spirited approach to life, delicious wine, and state-of-the-art technology. VINI Wine Bar manages to combine all three in a convivial atmosphere where you can sample wines from around the world without waiting for a sommelier to bring the bottle to your table. Your glass of vino pours from the Enomatic wine-serving system, a machine that keeps every bottle fresh by preventing oxidization. Enjoy the minimalist atmosphere as you try a Rioja or pinot grigio at the touch of a button.  

George Torres