Santa Rosa is far from Manhattan or Chicago, but on a crisp night Stark's Steak & Seafood radiates the old-school charm and swagger of steak houses further east. The neow glow of the Stark’s sign, the semi-dodgy neighborhood and the stout confidence of the corner building transport you to Brat Pack-era big-city restaurant.
"A crisp night Stark's Steak & Seafood radiates the old-school charm and swagger of steak houses further east. "
Stark’s has been at the top of Sonoma County’s fine dining scene for years because of its great looks but mainly for its great food. There simply isn’t a better place to order a thick delicious ribeye steak (the restaurant dry ages their Angus steaks for 28 days to create uncommonly tender and flavorful cuts of beef) and a bottle of Cabernet. The plush, clubby bar is worth a trip on its own for its barrel-deep list of top-shelf bourbon and whiskey.
The family- and employee-friendly ethos of Stark’s sets it apart as well. The restaurant offers employees health insurance and in an industry with notoriously high turnover rates, many employees have been with owners Mark and Terri Stark for a decade or more.
"The commitment from employees and owners translates into superb service as well."
After COVID-19 forced the Starks to close all of their seven restaurants for seven weeks, they were able to open their doors again for takeout service much to the relief of their staff and devoted clientele alike.
That commitment from employees and owners translates into superb service as well. Layer in fantastic sauces and side dishes (creamed spinach is a must), a bar that knows how to shake and serve classic cocktails and it’s easy to see why Stark’s is a Sonoma County institution.