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Aug 6, 2007 08:23 PM

Santa Rosa and St. Helena

My wife and I are leaving for our honeymoon in wine country next week. We'll be spending one night in Santa Rosa, and another in St. Helena. Any recommendations for restaurants in these two locals. In St. Helena I was thinking of Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen (saw it featured on a Food Network show). Anyone eaten there? Thanks in advance!!

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    1. In Santa Rosa try Syrah or Zazu. If you don't mind a short drive and if you can get reservations, go to the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville - very special.

      1. I haven't tried Zazu yet but I've heard multiple GoodThings about it. Another recommendation for the Santa Rosa area is Willi's Wine Bar (the one in Santa Rosa, near the Wells Fargo Center). Had an anniversary dinner there in June that was excellent and special. Delicious small plates, tapas style, and you can get wine served in smaller pours so you can try multiple varieties without getting very toasty. (-:

        Here's a link to a local review for Willi's:

        It might be out of your way a tiny bit, but Underwood, in Graton (less than a half an hour's drive from Santa Rosa downtown, I'd estimate) is another place I would recommend. And it's a very nice drive, especially near twilight, if you take the right roads. You can see lots of lovely rural Sonoma county.

        Here's a link to a chowhound review from someone whose taste I trust (-: :

        Underwood Bar & Bistro
        9113 Graton Rd, Graton, CA 95444

        Farmhouse Inn
        7871 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436

        Willi's Wine Bar
        4404 Old Redwood Hwy, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

        Zazu Restaurant
        3535 Guerneville Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

        Syrah - Now Petite Syrah
        205 Fifth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

        1. Some very recent threads on St. Helena are on this board. You may also want to consider Healdsburg for restos on your Santa Rosa night. Many better options. Farmhouse Inn is spectacular but a short drive into the country.

          Use the "Search this board" link above with St. Helena, Santa Rosa, and Healdsburg as your search terms. Lots of resto recs are already here.

          2 Replies
          1. re: maria lorraine

            I absolutely loved Willi's Wine Bar last week.

            1. re: PulledPork

              Will Willi's Wine Bar or the Seafood place in Healdsburg require a reservation on a weekday night?

          2. For honeymooners I think Farmhouse will be your very best bet for most fabulous experience for both towns and worth the drive. I drive from St. Helena to eat there...
            Zazu is tasty and offers a very personable ecletic experience that gives true flavor to a sense of place. The cooking, the wines, everything is very west Sonoma County and I like the food. Recently had terrific fried rabbit w/lavendar. For an interseting anti-establishment place in Santa Rosa with good cooking and a prix fixe menu of $35 there is Cafe Saint Rose.
            As for Saint Helena there is quite a bit being talked about right now on boards.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Madge

              Replying to add placelink for Cafe St. Rose, etc.

              Cafe Saint Rose
              9890 Bodega Hwy, Sebastopol, CA 95472

              Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen
              1327 Railroad Ave., St. Helena, CA 94574

              1. re: chocolateninja

                Thanks for doing that and being a good chowhound citizen. Saw your post just now, went to the Places page to be sure the website was added, and when I opened it, , a very heartfelt statement from the owner/chef introduces the menus for the week of August 8.

              2. re: Madge

                Second on Cafe Saint Rose... if you tire of sugary experiences on your honeymoon and are ready for a Meatpacking District reminscent type haute/nice hole in the wall.