For $25-per-person meals (with wine!), she recommends the well-spiced noodle and rice dishes at Rin's Thai (though notes the service was slow) and the New Haven–style pizza and chopped salad served on a pretty patio at the Red Grape pizzeria.
During a more indulgent meal, they enjoyed crab- and shrimp-stuffed ravioli along with a roasted beet salad at the Swiss Hotel Bar and Restaurant, which also has a patio for outdoor dining.
Hot tip for anyone who follows in Tripper's footsteps: The gate to the Bartholomew Park Winery (recommended in the Budget Travel article) is locked on Monday and Tuesday, requiring a half-hour hike around the perimeter to arrive at the tasting room. Perhaps enough exercise to work up an appetite?
Rin's Thai Restaurant [Sonoma County]
139 E. Napa Street, Sonoma
The Red Grape [Sonoma County]
529 First Street West, Sonoma
Swiss Hotel Bar and Restaurant [Sonoma County]
18 W. Spain Street, Sonoma
Bartholomew Park Winery [Sonoma County]
1000 Vineyard Lane, Sonoma
Discuss: Sonoma on a Budget Report