Wine-themed casino expands dining options 

Twin Pine casino in the wine country will expand its restaurant offerings, adding a 40-seat cafe with a mid-priced menu.

The hotel-casino will move its food court, and in its stead will put in the Marketplace cafe. After the cafe opens in about two months, The Manzanita Restaurant next door will restore its high-end steakhouse menu. Another dining option is a competitively priced and interesting pub menu in the smoke-free Grapevine Lounge, adjacent to the restaurant. The lounge is also the site of Twin Pine’s free entertainment Thursdays through Saturdays.

Twin Pine general manager Rick Howard said the new cafe, though entirely within the casino, will have an indoor-outdoor, patio-like setting.

Twin Pine is located in Middletown, near the south end of Clear Lake in Lake County. It opened in 1994 in a “sprung” structure — a metal-framed, tent-like building.

Last year, Twin Pine opened a new $42.5 million hotel and casino with a wine country theme — including a gift shop that doubles as a wine tasting room and special monthly winemaker dinners. The casino is just down the street from Langtry Estates Vineyards, which also makes Twin Pine’s house wine.

The well-appointed hotel rooms are easily half the price of similar quality rooms in nearby Napa.

Visitors who make the 8-mile trip past Mount St. Helena to Twin Pine can save considerably, Howard said.

“We also have some well-known wineries in Lake County for wine tasting as well,” he said. “It’s not just Napa and Sonoma that offer good wines.”

There are several lodging and gambling promotions at Twin Pine. Texas Hold ’em is by far the most popular poker game.

Seniors are those 55 or older, and senior discount days are daytimes Tuesdays and Thursdays, with food and gambling incentives, with a limited-time $3 blackjack table.

Travel: Middletown is about a two-hour, 90-mile trip from The City. Head for Napa, stay on state Highway 29 north through Calistoga and over Mount St. Helena to Middletown, at the southern end of Clear Lake.

Twin Pine Casino and Hotel

Where: 22223 Highway 29, Middletown
Phone: (800) 564-4872
On the Web:
Slots: 514
Tables: Eight, including four poker
Extras: 60-room hotel, extensive wine tasting, free weekend entertainment

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Al Pacciorini

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