General's Daughter, Sonoma
Dinner tonight: One diner had heirloom tomatoes salad, sonoma duck breast and pineapple upside down cake for dessert. The other had peach and arugula salad, pork saltimbocca with screaming pig risotto, cheese course and Sharffenberger's dark chocolate mousse.
Food: Creative and tasty. Chef is clearly making a singular effort and should get credit. The duck breast was supposed to be medium rare, but came out nearly raw, so we sent it back. The kitchen cooked it more rather than starting over. The other dishes were spot on, the pork was outstanding.
Wine: Good local wine list. The list had a selection of blended wines that was creative and interesting, but the waitress was unable to make recommendations from that. We had a Lynmar Quail Hill Pinot Noir that was inexpensive ($32?) and had the great burgundy taste.
Service: We must have had a waitress on her first night (possibly first night released from an institution). She disappeared from time to time and couldn't seem to keep the idea of customer service straight, like bringing silverware before serving the entrees. But the other staff recognized the problem and filled in for her admirably.
Environment: We ate on the patio which was wonderful on a warm July night in Sonoma; the inside was empty. The building is indeed the former property of the daughter of General Vallejo, leading to the designation for the restaurant, The General's Daughter. Feels like it would be great for special events and groups.
Overall impression: Good effort, good food, uneven but friendly service, great environment which really justifies the whole effort.
Thanks for the great update on The General's Daughter. Good to hear it is holding up ... screaming pig risotto ... how DID you get the courage to order that?
Too bad about the service. They had a GREAT server there on my visits last year. Hope it was an off night or someone new and in training. The service was definately part of the experience.
I have been meaning to get back and see if Gary Danko had any influence on the Chef Preston Dishman who took some time off in January and spent time in the Danko kitchen from my understanding.
Sitting on that lovely veranda on a warm Sonoma night ... lordy, lordy ... that sounds so appealing.
For people who might have eaten at The General's Daughter in the past, the restaurant changed hands in the Spring of 2005. Owners and chef are from the Southeast and bring with them gracious Southern hospitality and a delicious Southern influence on stellar California ingredients.
Thanks again. I have to get up that way soon.
Website (with lovely picture of the restaurant):
Previous Chowhound reports: