The Farmhouse Inn/Forestville
This was the grand finale of our dining around Sonoma adventure. We had a few hours of business in Santa Rosa, then a 5:30 reservation at the Farmhouse Inn. I made the reservation about three weeks in advance and guaranteed it with a credit card which they asked me to do.
First of all, I love the off-the-beaten-path location of this quaint, charming place. It is in a gorgeous setting and we just had to take a few pictures of the building and grounds before entering for our meal.
We were promptly seated in the back of the restaurant by the fireplace near a window. The ambiance is very cozy, romantic and elegant. You just get a warm feeling from the place right away.
Water is placed on each table in clear glass wine bottles which is a nice touch and there are small candles and flowers on each table to add to the ambiance of the room.
I started with the White Asparagus and Spring Garlic Soup with porcini dusted croutons. The soup was excellent, a very mild, smooth taste to it. My husband had the Carpaccio of Hawaiian Kampachi with fresh Gulf shrimp, avocado, yuzu vinaigrette,micro salad which he said was very good.
For my entree I chose the Sauteed Alaskan Halibut with Jerusalem artichoke puree, herbaceous butter sauce, and spring peas. Let me say that the first bite made me want to twirl around the room! This place puts halibut on a whole new level. Definitely at the top of my list for the BEST I've ever had and we are quite big on seafood. I savored every bite and really enjoyed this entree. I highly recommend it.
My husband had the Pan Seared Sonoma County Duck Breast with caramelized spring onion Inca red quinoa, reisling gastrique. I didn't have a bite, but he said it was very, very good. For our wine, I had the Sparkling Pinot Noir that was a pink-colored blush wine. It went very nicely with the halibut and was crisp and light.
For desserts, which we usually share, we splurged and ordered two. I had the Meyer lemon ricotta cheesecake and my husband had the chocolate souffle with bourbon sauce. Both desserts were wonderful.
Service was extremely attentive, perfect really and never missed a beat. I give the Farmhouse Inn an A plus. We took a quick tour of the property after dinner. There are eight small cottages to choose from but they were all full so we didn't get to peek in. www.farmhouseinn.com is the website.
I just checked the SF Chronicle's reviews of Sonoma restaurants and Michael Bauer gives it three and a half stars, making the Farmhouse Inn and the Dry Creek Kitchen (which we also enjoyed last visit) the two most highly rated places in the area. Cheers! ***kim***
I had a very good meal at the Farmhouse Inn a couple of weeks ago and was quite impressed with this restaurant overall. There were four of us, and we ordered all four appetizers and four out of the five main courses, along with two desserts, and we liked everything they served us. I didn't take notes during dinner nor did I bring the menu home, so I don't remember all the dishes we had anymore.
The service was excellent as well. Our server, who seemed to be the only one for the room that night, and who might have been the sommelier as well, was very professional and knowledgeable, both about the food and the wine.
The wine list is well chosen and priced, with quite a few gems at low prices. We decided to start with a small grower champagne they had, which was quite nice, though I now wish we had ordered instead their last bottle of 2002 Champalou Vouvray Cuvee des Fondreaux, which was going for just $25. My only complaint is that they have mostly current vintages, so if you like a well aged red you may be better off bringing your own. We brought a 1999 Groffier Gevrey Chambertin which was drinking quite nicely and went very well with our main courses, and a 1993 Royal Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos Szt Tamás which was a great match for the foie gras and the creme brulee.
Overall, a wonderful experience, I was very happily surprised that it was actually worth the one hour drive each way from the city under a torrential downpour.