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Delicious Sonoma Weekend Report


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Delicious Sonoma Weekend Report

jldrussell | Jul 19, 2006 10:17 PM

I wanted to report on my successful eating adventures last weekend in Sonoma thanks to chowhound recommendations.

Basque Boulangerie Café: Smelled terrific and had wonderful, friendly service. Embarrassingly, I was most excited about some fresh baked low-carb bread. They didn't have any samples out so the counter-person sliced up a whole loaf just so I could have a bite. I bought some and have been eating it all week. For low-carb bread it is surprisingly filling, soft and dense. My husband enjoyed the sticky bun which he ate immediately after finishing the Wine Country Half Marathon (the reason for our visit).

the girl & the fig: Went for Sunday brunch after the race. I had the most amazing cold cucumber soup. A bit chunky, not the smooth puree I expected, and it tasted of cucumber, but also curry and many other flavors I couldn't even identify. Amazing. The table shared a "salon de fromage sampler." The roquefort was particularly smooth and flavorful. I had the fig & arugula salad as my main course and it was lovely, though not overly exciting. I should have gotten the top sirloin burger with frites like my husband. It was delicious topped with your choice of cheese (husband chose brie). The grilled cheese and the salami & brie sandwich also got high praise from others at our table. Drinks also got rave reviews. I had the fig royale which added a nice fig flavor to the sparkling wine without being too sweet. Husband had The Girl and the Fig which was red and really sweet and tasty. They also made a good Pim's Cup and their wine flights are served in cute mismatched glasses.

The General's Daughter: I had to beg my husband to keep our dinner reservation because he was so tired from the race. Once we sat down and realized they offered a tasting menu WITH wine parings (our favorite), he admitted I was right! With the tasting menu you have the option of 3 courses ($45), 4 courses ($55) or 5 courses ($65), with corresponding wine parings for an additional $15, $20 or $25 respectively. For the courses you can choose any combo of items, so you could pick 5 desserts if you wanted, or 5 entrees, or 3 appetizers and 2 entrees, etc. Between the two of us our appetizers were a half dozen wonderful fresh oysters, a roasted beet and goat cheese salad, Sonoma foie gras and soft shell crab. The portions were good-sized but not too big, and everything was fresh and prepared well. For entrees I got a lovely halibut with a tomato ragout, and husband got nicely prepared duck. We finished with a cheese plate as well as a cinnamon chocolate soufflé. The wines were all paired nicely, and the service was fabulous. My favorite thing they did was bring another guest a black napkin in exchange for his white napkin, so he didn't get white lint on his pants. This was funny because he was wearing shorts and flip flops!

Garden Court Cafe & Bakery: Breakfast on Monday was in Glen Ellen at a cute place with great food and coffee. On recommendation from this list husband got the sausage gravy and biscuits and couldn't stop talking about it all day. Feeling that I had eaten way too much all weekend, I tried to be good and get a roasted vegetable scramble with egg beaters, a side of fruit and a scone (to splurge a little). It was all delicious, plentiful and well prepared. I'm a sucker for a great fresh fruit plate.

Great weekend of eating, thanks to Chowhound!

p.s. We also stopped by Benzinger Family Winery, up the road from the Garden Court Cafe, because I was interested in their organic farming practices. We didn't have time to take the $10 tour and tasting (in a tram pulled by a tractor), but it looks fabulous and of interest to anyone who loves food or is interested in biodynamic farming.

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