After spending many blissful hours on these boards researching a week-long trip to wine country that my husband and I will be taking in May, I am wondering if anyone might help comment on our tentative dining choices and/or fill in some gaps. As a brief background....we're around 30, from NYC, love food, wine and travel, and are giddy with thoughts of all the food, juice, beauty and relaxation we're about to take in. Any thoughts on the below would be so very much appreciated, and I will endeavor to repay with a thorough report upon our return.
Sunday- San Fran to Santa Rosa
- Lunch: can anyone recommend a casual lunch spot near the muir woods for after a hike as we head up to Santa Rosa from SF?
- Dinner: Willi's Wine Bar
Monday - Sonoma/Russian River
- Lunch: Lunch in Healdsburg; maybe Bistro Ralph?
- Dinner: We are staying at the Vintners Inn and need to get up early the next day, and were thinking of just grabbing a casual dinner in the bar room at John Ash & Co. Is this a bad idea? Any other relatively low-key reccs?
Tuesday - Santa Rosa to Rutherford
- Lunch: Picnic at Pride Mountain (we will be driving from Santa Rosa....any suggestions on good places to pick up picnic supplies on way from Santa Rosa to Pride/Sherwin?)
- Sunset drinks at Auberge
- Dinner: Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen
- Lunch: Taylor's Refresher
- Dinner: Ad Hoc
Thursday - Rutherford to Carneros
- Lunch: pick up picnic at Oakville Grocery or Sunshine (opinions on which one?) to have before visiting Frog's Leap. Any picnic area reccs near there?
- Dinner: Bistro Don Giovanni's
- Lunch: brunch included after hot air balloon ride
- Dinner: Ubuntu
- brunch: Boonfly Cafe
- Dinner: French Laundry
Are we missing any MUST visits that we should trade one of the above for? One other specific question.....the one restaurant I'm feeling very nervous not having on our list is Terra, which would probably take the place of Cindy's due to location, drive, and the fact that it's a fried chicken night at Ad Hoc the next night and we can't miss that (right?). Is Terra very formal/high end? I'm just trying to balance out our meals as best as possible to get a good combination of formal and relaxed (but delicious) meals. Is Terra very special occasion feeling? Also, given that we're going to FL, would be nice if every meal is not a blow-out cost-wise. I know it totally depends on ordering (especially wine ordering) but can anyone give any guidance on cost for 2 at Terra with a moderate bottle of wine (let's say $40-$50)? Thoughts on terra vs. Cindy's?
Again, thanks so much in advance for any comments/guidance!! I have to say, planning our trips on Chow is as much a part of the joy of traveling as anything else!