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Restaurants & Bars 4

Excellent Casual Eats In and Around Sonoma Valley

kim c | Mar 14, 200511:12 AM

We just returned from two wonderful days in the Sonoma wine country. We had two fine dining experiences and some wonderful casual meals. They are as follows:

1.) the girl and the fig-located on the plaza, it's always the first place we hit when we're in the area. I was first of all disappointed to see that the Imagery Artistry Viognier had been removed from the wine list. I had a very nice Viognier from one of the other local places but it wasn't nearly as good. We started with the fig salad that is one of their signature salads, very good. For my entree I chose the crab cakes that are my favorite and perfectly prepared. DH had the monte cristo sandwich that came with pomme frites that he said was also very good. The lavender-infused creme brulee was not on the menu this time so we had a very good chocolate pot de creme that was very rich and decadent. Service was a bit spotty this time, the waitress said they were under-staffed that day, but it was a very pleasant experience. I like the wine tasting flights that the offer there and the waitress did let me taste a couple of Viogniers until we found the right one. Highly recommend!!!

2.) Breakfast at the Big 3 Diner @ the Sonoma Mission Inn. I mainly was interested in this place for the lemon cottage cheese pancakes and they did not disappoint. We also ordered a side of the chicken fennel sausage that was very flavorful with a distinct taste of fennel. Service was a bit spotty again, but the hostess did offer to fill my coffee commuter mug with complimentary coffee. This is a big locals place and I would like to try lunch here sometime. We did enjoy a very nice lunch here a couple of years ago. I would recommend a visit here for the Meyer lemon cottage cheese pancakes.

3.) The following day after a wonderful stay at the Sonoma Mission Inn,we had to head up to Santa Rosa for some business. This was a very quick trip, so we really didn't have much time. During our tasting at Sebastiani in Sonoma, the pourer recommended Doce Lunas in Kenwood or lunch. I was up for a little surprise place that I really didn't know much about. We were very happy with our choice. It's located in a little mall, right off the highway. We dined out on the back patio that is very simple with really not much ambiance for a wine country restaurant. I knew we would be having a fabulous dinner at the Farmhouse Inn later, so wanted to keep it light. I chose the Wok Seared Calamari over Local Lettuces for $12 and was very, very pleased. The calamari was prepared perfectly and the flavors all blended very well together. I would return just for this salad. DH had the Chinese Chicken over Mixed Sonoma Greesn for $10 which he said was the best CC salad he'd ever had. So this little place is a big hit. For dessert they offer their famous Five Star "Sticky Toffee Pudding" a la Mode that sounded very tempting, but we passed on that. I would highly recommend a visit to Doce Lunas on the Sonoma Highway in Kenwood. No website, but I have a menu if anyone is interested in other items offered.

The place is owned by Alex & Jackie Purroy. They have cooked all over the world and have dinner plates displayed in their dining room of the places they have cooked at. Very interesting little find in Kenwood! Cheers! ***kim***

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