The two places that I've been eying for at least the last four years are Hitching Post and Los Olivos Cafe, which unfortunately were also the two places with central scenes in the movie Sideways. So I look like a Sideways poseur. So on our only day in the area, we had lunch at Los Olivos Cafe and dinner at Hitching Post. While Los Olivos was fine, it wasn't all that memorable. I think the best thing we had was the dips platter. We also had their bastard version of a nicoise salad, the Italian torta, and the pasta special. None really wowed us like the dips. While I wouldn't rule it out for another visit, I'll probably approach with a little more care. Also, I would recommend against sitting in the front of the restaurant near the windows. It was a hot afternoon, and we were battling about 7 flies buzzing around our table and the window.
Hitching Post was the bigger surprise. The grilled artichoke appetizer was really special. The smoky aroma pervaded the artichoke as well as their relish mayonnaise. Really wonderful dish. I would go back just for this dish. The other big surprise was the flatiron steak. What a nice tender cut, and the smoky aroma from the grill complemented the beef. I hate to admit this, but after having a steak at Peter Luger (in NYC) the week before and not being sufficiently wowed there, I was really wowed by the steak at Hitching Post. They're different types of steaks, but I'm willing to say that I was much happier with my Hitching Post experience. My companions, not being in the mood for steak, ordered the salmon (on special) and the pork chops. Both were also nice, but not as special as the flatiron steak.