Sonoma - Girl and the Fig - anybody been?
Went there last month for lunch. Just okay, mostly tourists there. Service was mediocre, and as have other folks noted, portions on the small side. That's okay, but unacceptable when the quality so forgettable. We had cheese, pate and something else- can't even remember. Would never go back, particularly since there are so many alternatives. Went over to the panaderia (can't remember the name- went because of the recs on this board) on Highway 12 for dessert. That place rocks!
We went for dinner and sat in the backyard under the trees. The staff was very good and the food was good - not great. The cheese plate was good but not enough (could have been more generous). The olives are very good there. The terrine was not that good (but then again I haven't ever had a terrine that I liked). The cassoulet was good, a lot of food.
We did not have a reservation but were seated within 30 minutes - in the meantime, there are some great little stores around the main square. It's a nice way to end off a day at the wineries.
Last month a group of friend and I drove all the way from SF to have lunch because we had hear so much about this place on chowhound and thought it would be great. There was 8 of us to we got to try many things on the menu - most things were good, except for the steak. The steak was cold and was overly cooked and under-seasoned. I don't know what the big deal about this place. We sat in the garden so the atomsphere was nice and the drinks were good. But overall it was just ok. Not worth the 45 minute drive.
I have enjoyed a fantastic dinner, and a wonderful, lazy lunch at the Girl and the Fig over the past year and a half. The first time, I went with a group of six. We started with the Fromage Tower. The cheese offerings were delicious, and accompanied by interesting sides (a lot of fig compote and similar type of accoutrements). For a main course, I had the cassoulet. This is not a dish I typically order, but it was perfect that evening as it was raining cats and dogs outside. The ambience at the restaurant was warm and inviting, and we enjoyed it for as long as we could before we had to drive back to SF. I returned a few months later for lunch. While lunch was not quite as spectacular (I had a very good, and very generously sized quiche with salad), the atmosphere was once again very comfortable, and conducive to lingering and conversing with friends.
I took a friend here for his birthday and we had lunch in the back garden - it was a resounding fantastic meal. I meant to write up a report - but failed to do so.
As you probably know, it is not cheap and I don't think I will pay that much for a meal in the future here unless it is a special occasion. That said - it was worth every penny because it was a memorable experience and meal.
To start, we had both the fried green tomatoes and the pastis steamed mussels -which were both the best renditions of those two ingredients I have had anywhere. Though worth it (my favorite dish of the birthday)- be prepared for a small portion of the fgt's and I liked the mussels so much (outrageously good paired with tarragon &pastis) that I will order them as a meal with frites next time I dine there.
I also tried one of their terrines - which while ok - was not memorable.
I had the special of the day - a merguez lamb sausage with isreali cous cous - which was delicious - but quite hearty for a warm day. My friends dish - which I regret to day I jokingly "put down" (Chicken?!) took the cake: "free range half chicken sauteed, clover honey glazed Belgian endive, yukon gold potato puree, applewood smoked bacon – dijon jus. 20.95." Everything complemented each other wonderfully and I was particularly enamored by the honey glazed endives.
They also make an amazing holy basil cocktail which is hauntingly addicting.
In regards to ambiance, I think that the (written on) mirrored bar set against the provencal yellow painted room is really sexy and you cannot go wrong with the gorgeous back garden on a nice day.
Hope this helps.
I've only been for lunch and brunch and a drink at the bar (three separate times). The quiche lorraine is good (from what I can remember) with tasty fries. They have nice cheeses. I had a bit of a bread and cheese overload when I was there for lunch - had a cheese plate and a ham and cheese sandwich. Delicious table butter, on a side note.
The atmosphere is comfortable, like an old house, and it's right off Sonoma Square. I remember being happy with whatever wine it was that we ordered, too. The bar is a pleasant place to sit after dinner (from here or somewhere else) - dim lighting, not too loud.
Sorry the above is a bit vague.