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Jul 18, 2006 10:07 PM

Looking for Memorable Food and Ambience in Napa/Sonoma

We're heading to Napa and Sonoma this fall for a (much deserved) four-day respite from our kids. We're staying in Sonoma but will travel for worthy food. Where should we go?

(ps - we've decided to pass on the French Laundry...)

Thanks for any feedback!

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  1. The Girl & the Fig in Sonoma. While I was there, I had planned on dining at half-dozen restaurants and ended up forgoing a couple spots to return to The Girl & The Fig.

    Della Santina's gets mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it.

    1. We had friends that stayed in Sonoma last weekend. He's a pretty good amateur chef plus a real foodie. He said Cyrus was simply outstanding, had nothing bad to say about it.

      1. Not so sure about ambienca at Girl & the Fig, though the food is quite good. It has alwyas struck me as an odd little place--not sure what it is about it. For knock-you-socks-off ambience and decent (to very good) food, how about Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford?

        1. I second The Girl and the Fig in Sonoma, especially if you are here during fig season in the fall. The ambience is familiar to me now, so I'm not an objective judge of it. It is certainly not stuffy, and the food is very, very good.

          Although you've decided to pass on The French Laundry, I do highly recommend Bouchon, sometimes called TFL's "little brother down the road." Reservations aren't very hard for two people, especially if you are able to reserve a few weeks or more in advance. They take reservations up to 2 months in advance. A chef from per se in New York has recently taken over the kitchen, and I've seen a lot more sophistication and variety in the daily specials lately. Bouchon has a very romantic feel, especially if you dine in the late evening. And get the salmon rillette. You will not be disappointed.

          1. I third the Girl & the Fig

            Cyrus is in Healdsburg and is worth the trip

            Martini House
            Julias Kitchen