Have a wine tasting trip planned for me and my man in a couple weekends to Sonoma . We'll be staying at the Gaige House which is in the Glen Ellen region. I'd love to make reservations at a nice restaurant for one of the two nights we'll be there. Am open to most anything as long as it's in the Sonoma region. This will be our first time there. Please give me your expert recs....Much appreciated!!
The farmhouse but its dressy and and pricey but the wine list is great.. Santé at the Fairmont is excellent and the prices are better. Gotta reserve at both.. oh and if you have heard of Opentable.com its a super easy way of making a reservation... as well they have alot of cool little wine bars around there that have good small plates.. then again if you are there for the vino.. there is also a bunch of vineyard bistros that are really great.; erm unfortunately though when I did the tour I was doing a very lengthy day of degustations and spitting not a drop out...
we stayed in sonoma over christmas - we really liked underwood and willowwood in graton. UW is fancier, french brasserie style and willow wood is homey brunch fare. We also liked the bar at Cyrus and really everything abotu Healdsburg - (Barndiva, Willy's seafood etc)
We stayed at the Gaige House for our wedding - it's a beautiful choice! Next door, try the Glen Ellen Inn for a terrific casual and tasty dinner with seasonal selections, oysters & martinis. http://www.glenelleninn.com/home.htm
The girl & the fig's very first location was around the corner from the Gaige House. While the main restaurant has moved to Sonoma Square, try their delicious cafe right there on Arnold Drive in Glen Ellen: http://www.thegirlandthefig.com/html-figcafe/index.html
For selections farther afield, try downtown Sonoma & its environs. One of my favorites is Cafe La Haye - cozy, elegant with outstanding food & service.
El Dorado Kitchen on the square is sleek, modern & chic, with a food from Ryan Fancher (a French Laundry alum):
For an absolutely decadent gourmand's night out, hire a car (very important) and head to Cyrus in Healdsburg. Seriously. Recent reports are that it is eclipsing another well-known French-California destination restaurant in Napa Valley. If you get as far as Glen Ellen and don't go to Cyrus, it would be a shame. http://www.cyrusrestaurant.com/
Must second the recs for Girl and Fig tho know that you need reservations and its fairly close quarters. I enjoyed walking around the square in Sonoma and letting my nose lead me to read menus and pick a place. Can't remember the name of the place but on the east side of the square serving portuguese food - absolutely fabulous.
I've stayed at Sonoma Mission Inn (Fairmont) several times and dined at Sante. I must say it was underwhelming - food was okay, service was non-descript. An incident between a server and nearby patron and his wife made it even less attractive one time.
On the upside, I have always enjoyed meals and tasting flights at Girl and the Fig. I drive from the city on wintry nights when they have a special I particularly enjoy (a cassoulet and coq au vin come to mind). Casual, and very nice.
La Haye was recommended by a local winemaker, and I was not disappointed. I continue to enjoy the cuisine and very casual atmosphere.
For a real treat I highly recommend Cyrus. I've enjoyed the manner in which the staff creates an evening of dining. It is on the steeper side, price-wise, but a wonderful dining experience. A bit of a drive from Sonoma, and requires booking well in advance.
if you want to stay close by ElDorado on the square in Sonoma, more creative than girl & fig but probably alittle noisier, girl & fig is perfect for more french/cal style food
la salette is portugese and has amazing grilled sardines - they have their own wood fired oven
just opened last summer harvest moon cafe on square - creative cal style food but small so must reserve