quiet spot for a group in Sonoma County
Following a wedding, we may be acting as wine country tour guides for 12 to 15 family members. I'm trying to think of a Sonoma County restaurant for a group that size with some privacy or quiet so the whole thing isn't a hopeless shouting match. Another problem: it will be a Monday night (in August).
I was thinking of asking about the Farmhouse Inn, but I'm afraid the prices might be too much for some (entrees are about $30). Also I was there quite a while ago, maybe now it's too popular to attempt. But I liked the food and the fact that it was in an old house and broken up into different rooms, which made it quieter.
I'll appreciate your suggestions very much.
re: Melanie Wong
We used to live in Geyserville and ate at Santi a couple of times. The first time there was superb. The second time there was less a huge disappointment, and an embarassment as we had taken some guests. Many of the staff at Santi used to work at Mange Bene in Healdsburg, which likewise sufferred from schizo quality. If you time it right and the head chef is there, you should probably do well.
I used to live in Sonoma County...Santa Rosa and Occidental. These were our favorite eating spots..and favorites of others who live there still!
Gary Chu's in Santa Rosa
Syrah in Santa Rosa
Willow Wood Market and Cafe in Graton (my all time favorite). They also own Underwood Bar and Grill across the street which has gotten rave reviews.
Applewood Inn in Guernville
Stella's Cafe (yummmm) between Sebastopol and Guernville
Lucy's Cafe in Sebastopol
Martha's Old Mexico in Sebastopol (we ate there twice a month...girls night out. nice patio.)
Love all of these places. The Girl and The Fig in Sonoma is great too...as is John Ash in Santa Rosa..but $$$$.
Thanks for the reminder for Syrah. I've had a group of 10 there. The staff set up a long table in the atrium. The acoustics aren't great, but we had plenty of room and, most importantly, the food on the tasting menu was very good.
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I recently went to a rather newish place in Forestville called Mosaic. We were a group of 10 and there is a small "alcove" that is private. There is also outdoor dining. I thought the food was good- my halibut good but the sides a sweet potato puree and fennel gratin were not seasonal and did not really compliment the fish. The shortribs were good, but in the summer? The appetizers were mixed too. The service was very friendley and I would definitely try it again, if I lived in the area.
It's too bad about Santi. On our last trip, everyone's dish was mediocre or worse, and they were giving short pours in the wine. Mind you, the prices were as high as ever. When I politely complained about the short pour (never did that before, anywhere), the waitress started giving me a dose of attitude...even though we'd known her from her Mangia Bene days for years. For that kind of price you expect nothing less than superlatve food and service. There are too many reliable restaurants around to take a chance on a poorly managed one.
One of our favorite Sonoma county restaurants is Seafood Brasserie on 3rd St in Santa Rosa. The corned beef hash is awesome...it takes a bold and creative kitchen to elevate such a dish to haut cuisine, but they succeeded. Everything else we've had there was also very good. Pizza Gourmet in SR is another great spot. We don't do the high-end thing too often as we can usually do better at home.