You’ve probably sampled mizuna and daikon at fancy restaurants, but Kamo eggplant and purple komatsuna? Unless you’ve scoured Kyoto’s markets, as Kyle and Katina Connaughton of new farm and restaurant Single Thread have, you probably aren’t familiar with these esoteric ingredients. After living in Japan for three years, the couple leased five acres of abandoned land in Sonoma and cultivated it. Katina, the farmer, watches over that komatsuna, a mustardy green, as well as hundreds of other unusual crops. She doesn’t just grow by the season; she grows by the microseason.
“There’s a term for this in Japan—shun,” says Kyle, a chef who once worked at the celebrated British restaurant the Fat Duck. “We wait and harvest when the product is at its absolute peak.” For the perfect night, feast on dishes such as his Sonoma coast sea urchin with caviar and roasted heirloom potato puree, then retire to one of Single Thread’s five plush rooms (From $700). Or settle into a palatial loft with a fireplace at the Harvest Inn (From $400).