Starlight
Starlight
Reviews Coming Soon

Starlight

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.starlightwinebar.com/
  • Phone: 7078231943
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner:Tuesday- Saturday: 5:30PM - 9:00PM Sunday: 5:30PM - 9:00PM
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Californian, Creole
  • Executive Chef: Thaddeus Palmese
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Regular menu offered off site as well as special custom menus to customer specifications.
  • Private Party Facilities: Have a large party? Simply rent out the entire train car for an unforgettable special event.
  • Private Party Contact: Heather Van Doorn 7078231943

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Morris
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Large private lot, ideal for car club gatherings and rallys.
A word from Starlight
The Starlight Wine Bar and Restaurant is a restored 1949 Southern Pacific Pullman Lounge Car in Gravenstein Station in Sebastopol, California. The Starlight strives to preserve the casual yet classy atmosphere of the original lounge cars of the 40’s and 50’s combined with some of the best food and wine to be found in Sonoma County. Step back in time to the golden era of post-war rail travel when trains such as the “California Zephyr”, “Santa Fe Chief”, “Overland Trail” and the “Hiawatha Super Domes”, streaked their way across the country. The Chef, Thaddeus Palmese, hails from New Orleans and both Emeril Legasse and Ralph Brennan have employed his talents in the past. His culinary masterworks have a Creole flair and take inspiration from the original menus of the Southern Pacific dining cars. The Starlight is not to be missed when visiting Sonoma wine country.
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Starlight reviews from OpenTable diners
  • Dinner date
    IBeMattC
    Dined on 6/22/2013
    Went here for an early Saturday date night, and we had the place to ourselves for most of the meal. The staff seemed to be having fun and engaged us in conversation. I got the chicken pot pie, which was good but not great; my girlfriend got the hamburger, which was pretty fantastic. We ordered a bottle of Zin, and the server recommended another one as being even better--we took her advice, and she was right. Also, the space is impressive: it's in an old Pullman rail car. I imagine it can get crowded, since there are only about 10 tables, but if you arrive early you really get to enjoy the place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Intimate and unique
    Foodie2
    Dined on 6/5/2013
    I had read great reviews about Starlight so when we visited Sebastopol I was eager to try it. We were not disappointed. It is a small diner in an authentically refurbished train car. We only ordered entrees: Gumbo, Cajun-stule Catfish Jambalaya, steak. We were all quite satisfied with our meals. All were well-seasoned; portions are bountiful. It was a quiet afternoon and we enjoyed the ambience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner in the dining car
    sherrae
    Dined on 5/18/2013
    I wanted to love it but only semi liked it. The location in a 65 year old rail car is charming; perhaps more could be done with playing up the nostalgic aspect, including the table settings, the service. That aside the salads are good but I think pricey. A salad which isn't a main course is listed for $12. The nuanced and flavorful gumbo, clearly a main course is $16. Seems like odd pricing. One more word about the food...it would be good to have some less rich, vegetarian based dishes to choose from. The noise level can get out of control when there are 5 people at the next table sharing their thoughts on the world for the entire rail car to hear. The space is too small and actually intimate for a loud get together with friends.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The service was lovely. It
    Tigger2003VIP
    Dined on 3/15/2013
    The service was lovely. It was pretty warm inside. The food was on the bland side. The Salad with the caramelized walnuts and blue chees was over oily and we had to search for walnuts as well as for the cheese. The meat was rather tough, but tasted ok. The risotto was not done and had too much bite.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Had seen very good reviews
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/2/2013
    Had seen very good reviews about this restaurant and our dinner surpassed our expectations. Must try the New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp with its fantastic sauce for appetizer. Main courses were all terrific. Authentic Gumbo. The Chocolate Bourbon Brownie with Homemade Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce was as good as any version we have ever had at other restaurants
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • My boyfriend and I went there
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/14/2013
    My boyfriend and I went there on the evening of Valentine's Day. The menu for the holiday was Prix Fixe. There were two selections for dessert and appetizer and three selections for the main course. A family was dining there as well and the restaurant managed to scrounge up some pizza from their regular menu to accomodate the kids. I thought that the food was very nice. The restaurant is small and in an old Pullman car. There is a vintage feel about the place. We enjoyed it. I guess my only complaint is that a number of the chairs are high bar stools...some without backs. If you can avoid those, it is all great. Would like to experience the restaurant on a regular evening to try the regular menu.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was a surprise find. A
    Winediner923VIP
    Dined on 1/30/2013
    It was a surprise find. A little restaurant inside an old Pullman rail car. The service was very good and the food was delicious and comforting, meaning a lot on the plate. Decent wines by the glass which you would expect in wine country.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We have dined there over the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 1/5/2013
    We have dined there over the years and always had a good meal. Great chicken pot pie that is unlike the typical pot pie. A bit pricey, but a nice room (old railroad dining car) for a romantic dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Another perfect evning at Starlight
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/31/2012
    We had spent New Year's afternoon and early evening on a secluded beach north of Bodega and just south of Goat Rock. It was beautiful, wintry-windy-cold and we had eaten some snacks on the beach before getting back to Sebastopol for our 6:30 P.M. reservation. My wife looked at the wonderful menu and said she was not sure she was so hungry, however, then the salad, soup, main course and desert came and each was perrrrrfect, so, of course, we not only ate everything, we savored each dish. What a perfect place for a New Year's Eve dinner. Then again we have been coming to Starlight since it opened almost a decade ago and we always enjoy the atmosphere and the varied cuisine. Thanks Starlight for a wonderful, romantic dinner on New Year's Eve!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • It was all great, but we had
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/30/2012
    It was all great, but we had 10 people and the only table we could have was long, so we couldn't all "participate" together in conversation - however, everything else was so great, we all had a great time.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always love Starlight - nicest
    Sonyani
    Dined on 11/21/2012
    Always love Starlight - nicest service, great food and just the best ambiance. So fun to eat on a train :)
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A great food and wine spot-always
    Lvfsh2
    Dined on 11/16/2012
    A great food and wine spot-always a fabulous dinner
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Kitchen needs some work
    lneedle
    Dined on 11/14/2012
    Really cool dining room in a restored, classic train car. Period lighting, comfortable seating, attractive menu. Lackluster service and over-dressed salads. Cream of mushroom soup was disappointing...virtually no mushroom flavor. Duck confit salad was the highlight. The duck was moist and flavorful, but though the server insisted that the salad had been tossed to order, the baby greens were soggy and tasted marinated. The BBQ Creole shrimp were not BBQ'd, but sauteed and the Creole sauce with homemade worchestershire sauce was greasy and undistinguished. The fish of the day was grilled salmon which was tasty and well-prepared, accompanied by very greasy, fresh green beans and roasted small red potatoes. Kitchen needs some work.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • BEST KEPT SECRET - WONDERFUL FIND!
    wineguy8
    Dined on 11/10/2012
    What a special place! We were amazed at the beautiful interior railroad diner car setting with very soft lighting - very enjoyable environment. The food and service were really great. Menu extensive for a very small restaurant. Very difficult to select items - now we have to go back! Recommend HIGHLY!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fun place to go, went with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/9/2012
    Fun place to go, went with parents and boyfriend for a special occasion. Too pricey for a to be able to go frequently. Excellent Mac n cheese and yummy shrimp!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Find!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/13/2012
    Unique setting, great food, friendly & professional staff!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A unique and charming environment,
    rav1
    Dined on 9/29/2012
    A unique and charming environment, reminiscent of another, more gracious time. A lovely solicitous staff with consistently good food.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The atmosphere in this refurbished/
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/11/2012
    The atmosphere in this refurbished/repurposed train car is super cool! You will sit close to your neighbors but it was a blast. Our food was great and piping hot- must get the Mac and cheese!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hidden Gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/5/2012
    We love Starlight. The food is always amazing and the service is great. The wine list is solid and the ambience cannot be beat in Sebastopol!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Where else can you dine in
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/29/2012
    Where else can you dine in a truely unique,romantic,nestalgic,and creol culunary delight?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A charming place with consistently
    rav1
    Dined on 6/8/2012
    A charming place with consistently good food. A special restaurant, tucked away in plain site.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very Good, but expensive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/18/2012
    Small interior (as you can imagine for a rail car), Small table, but adequate; restaurant not full so noise level low. Service was very good and food was well prepared, well seasoned and nicely presented but expensive for what we ordered. Just dinner and one glass of wine each cost $90 for two - no app, salad or dessert. Would like to go back to try other items on menu, but would have to be with coupon special or possibly lunch.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A memorable experience
    TomT
    Dined on 4/21/2012
    What a wonderful surprise to find this restaurant. One of the most unique we have been to and you would never know that a beautifully restored dining car from a past era was located in this building. The food and service were excellent, but the ambience topped it all. Will return next time we are in the Sebastopol area.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best, best gumbo!
    BibliopolVIP
    Dined on 4/7/2012
    Starlight is a permanent fixture on our restaurant list. They make the best, best gumbo in an area where gumbo is on a number of menus. The owners and staff make you feel very welcome and the dining car is charming.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not worth a Return Visit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2001
    Dined on 3/23/2012
    After seeing many good reviews on open table, I thought I'd try this place out with my family. Though a unique setting, the rail car smelled musty as soon as the door was opened. The food was about the worst I've tasted in a really, really long time. There was a taste that was pervasive thruout all of the the dishes we tried (crab cakes, gumbo, mac/cheese)......don't know whether that was due to bad oil or the cooking pans used or something else. On the upside, the service was attentive and consistent thruout.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent, really!
    JamesVIP
    Dined on 3/15/2012
    I must say ... the Gumbo, usually a ? in most restaurants, was TOP-notch. It was the best I have had outside of New Orleans. The shrimp were cooked from fresh/raw.... not frozen! The spiciness was mid-range, not overly done or too mild, just perfect. We also had the special pizza of the day, with Spanish Sausuage... also excellent. I say all this as I ackonwledge that I am a food snob. Cons: wine pours a little shy, and the bench they have on one side (because it is a refurbished rail car) should be re-engineered (no pun intended) for comfort and stability. All-in-all, for the rural-burbs an success for a night out. We enjoyed it very much... and remember, I'm a food snob.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very hospitalble owners, great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/9/2012
    Very hospitalble owners, great service & excellent food.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic food and wonderful
    Krisk
    Dined on 3/1/2012
    Fantastic food and wonderful service. They love what they do and it shows! We will be back for sure...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We've been to Starlight many
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 2/26/2012
    We've been to Starlight many times in the past and have really enjoyed it. We've brought out of town guests and have had some great meals there. Unfortunately it's been awhile since we've been and it seems to have fallen since we were last there. The most disappointing was the food. Everything we had was incredibly over salted and lacking in overall flavor. Very disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A cozy but sophisticated atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/24/2012
    A cozy but sophisticated atmosphere inside a vintage train car featuring excellent food with a Cajun flair. Set in an elegant plush red and brown interior with soft 1940's music, curved bars and amber lighting, the Starlight offers some romantic dining despite close quarters with other diners. We were drawn by the promise of "New Orleans style" cuisine but ended up ordering the fennel soup, arugula salad and a beautifully stuffed trout, none of which seemed particularly Cajun or Creole but the food was magnificently exquisite nonetheless. It was a quiet birthday spent with my husband and Starlight was perfect for the occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • My favorite in Sonoma County!!
    SFFoodAddict
    Dined on 2/18/2012
    Starlight is my favorite restaurant in Sonoma County. The owners, Ted & Heather Van Doorn, have created a fun and friendly atmosphere in the 1950 dining car setting. The chef has used his New Orleans training to create an interesting menu. My favorites are the chicken pot pie with the soaring puff pastry on top, the hanger steak and perfectly prepared pommes frites, the grilled shrimp and artichoke pizza and the Sonoma Apple salad (the best salad in the county!). Thaddeus has added a nightly fish special to the menu and Saturday night's Amberjack was delicious! Not at extensive wine list, but with a nice variety, and 2 oz and 5 oz pours available. Love this restaurant!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We'd been to the Starlight
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/14/2012
    We'd been to the Starlight once before, and their regular menu is already excellent. For Valentine's Day, they had a special Prix Fixe menu, and it was *outstanding*. The lamb was cooked absolutely perfectly, the wine pairings were amazing, and the initial salad was clever and delightful. My wife and I both have extremely nasty food allergies, and they were able to manage around them without even a hint of trouble. The staff were all very helpful and friendly, and the restaurant itself was, as usual, gorgeous and unique.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Love this place! The owners
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/4/2012
    Love this place! The owners and servers (sometimes one and the same) are attentive and friendly. The atmosphere is cozy and romantic. I keep coming back for the barbecue shrimp, salad with fried goat cheese, and gumbo. Highly recommended!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • As always- this place is wonderful-
    Lvfsh2
    Dined on 2/4/2012
    As always- this place is wonderful- from the moment you enter the "car" you are treated to an elegant and fun evening- staff, food and service are outstanding
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • This was my first visit to
    Paul
    Dined on 2/3/2012
    This was my first visit to Starlight - it won't be my last. We made a reservation and arrived a little early but were seated right away. First of all, the train car dining room is a treat in itself - very fun, lots of character, intimate and enjoyable. Our waitress was very friendly and attentive. We brought our own bottle of wine since I had heard that the wine list was a bit small, so I can't comment on the wine selections. We started with the shrimp appetizer and the small mac and cheese. The shrimp were delicious - very flavorful. The mac was okay - I make a pretty good mac and cheese and this wasn't extraordinary. Our entrees were the gumbo and the flatiron steak. Both very well prepared. We also shared a nice grilled salad.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food is big on flavor. setting
    SonomaCat
    Dined on 1/26/2012
    Food is big on flavor. setting is retro and intimate, great service. don't miss it!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Loved this place. Located
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 1/21/2012
    Loved this place. Located in a lovely train car with comfortable chairs for dining. Nice variety of menu items. We hag the mac & cheese appetizer, crabcake appetizer and an amazing seafood in a mushroom creme sauce baked in a puff pastry that was to die for. Everything was very hand-made, but we didn't wait forever to have our meal delivered to us. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Elegant train car top-level dining
    Laurie
    Dined on 12/30/2011
    Fantastic place to dine. The train car is elegant and the landscape paintings inside make it seem like you are traveling through Sonoma County's most beautiful rural places. The menu is fun to top-notch, with Mac and Cheese and Pot Pie to wonderful beef and fish specials, all done with outstanding and unique expertise of the terrific chef. The service and owners (on site) make it very personal and intimate as well as relaxed and comfortable. Small bar at on OnLy downside is that it is tucked away and we forget to go there! Will remember next time as our meal was delicious and there are many more things on the menu and as specials that we want to try. Feel like we went on a train trip with the highest level tickets and dining experienc
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Train car dining in the neighborhoo
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 12/30/2011
    We loved the ambience, menu was full of delicious surprises, servers attentive and good-natured, just a wonderful experience overall!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We were looking for a quiet,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 12/30/2011
    We were looking for a quiet, cozy, romantic place to eat. The Starlight fit the bill perfectly. The service was impeccable. I had the Risotto which is to die for. My partner felt the same way about the Gumbo. I could not believe when they brought out fresh Binets for dessert. Had I known ahead I would have gone there just for that. Scrumptious!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet