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Restaurants & Bars

Sonoma-Della Santina Rest. and other tips

christinet | Feb 24, 200301:46 PM

Delightful evening at Della Santina Restaurant in downtown Sonoma. Owner, Dan, gracious host---pours some good Chianti. He might let you try some of his favorites if you let him know you are interested. Specials were sublime. Steak ($20)perfectly grilled, dark and crispy on the outside pink/red on the inside (medium rare) with excellent sides of vegetables; fungi ravioli ($14.95) may easily be shared, rich creamy dark mushroom sauce covered large square ravioli with myriad types of mushrooms and some veal within. All desserts made on premises. Tiramisu ($6) huge slice, just ok---but the homemade brandied cherries on top are luscious. Better yet are the vast assortment of Italian imported gelatos---mango a must and chocolate is dense and rich. Waiters, most of whom are family from the Yucatan,are just wonderful and add much fun to the evening. Reserve ahead. Across the street, Cafe La Haye has heavenly California food--straight forward, best ingredients, carefully prepared. Small, so reserve and be warned currently serving Brunch ONLY on Sundays (menu looks good). Girl and the Fig booked solid---reserve well ahead. La Poste Restaurant, newish tiny French on Broadway owned by Rob of Rob's Rib Shack (another fav on Arnold Drive). Newish restaurant Vaquero on Napa has beautiful premises, but we were unable to fit another another meal in to try it---looks a bit trendy---my dream would be for them to feature such Nuevo California food as Santa Maria style BBQ (great grilled steaks, fresh salsa and pinquito beans) next trip, will try (or wait for Chowhound review). Artisanal Bakery on Napa is a must stop--open at 6:30 am with all types of breads, pastries, scones and excellent Peets coffees and cappuchinos. Also feature several good looking pizzas. Friendly helpful staff. TIP-- SKIP SKIP SKIP Carneros Restaurant where we had one of the all time worst tasteless breakfasts of our life ($11.00 for eggs and bacon) , purporting to be of gourmet quality noted on menu as "Petaluma eggs and Hobbs bacon". We actually sent the bacon back ( A FIRST FOR US!!)---looked ghastly like pieces of deep fried leather/chitlings, saying it was way overcooked. Next order horridly overcooked as first. Don't know why they feature Hobbs bacon or other quality ingredients (Niman Schell beef, etc) when no one seems to know how to cook properly.

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