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Help on spending $ wisely in Napa/Sonoma

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orang3 Jun 27, 2008 10:35 AM

Hi everyone! This is actually my first post on CH though I've been lurking for quite some time=) I have just recently graduated from UC Davis and plan to head home to So Cal soon. So i want to have some nice meals in the Napa/Sonoma area before i leave nor cal.

Any suggestion on places that's worth going to/unique to the area? Budget wise, I don't mind splurging but of course places with more bang for the buck would be best. I guess it helps to provide some sense of what I like and dislike.

Here are some thoughts on places I have been to:

Bouchon/bakery- The bread was quite good. Mussels were nice and plump. The onion soup was above average though I expected so much more after reading TFL cookbook( slow cooking the onions for hours and hours) I think roasted leg of lamb with jus over beans lacked flavor and seasoning. The trout with hericot vert was good. Overall it was an okay meal, just not wowed.

The bakery- loved the strawberry tarts, the passion fruit tart was okay, the macaroon is meh( still haven't have anything close to Maison du chocolate in NY in CA).

Ubuntu- Beet salad with guacamole was good, pizza was like any other half decent pizza(see costco below) The bbq brussel sprout with grits is edible. I enjoyed the cauliflower pot, interestint texture and flavor with the orange sections in the cream. Highlight for me was the citrus winter float. Contrast to what I have read on another post, I did not find the dessert too sweet. Normally I dislike sorbet because i find them too sweet. I thought the float was a nice balance of sweetness and acidity with a nice range of textures and flavors.

Bistro Jeanty- First off, loved the atmosphere here. Sat at the communal table because we didn't have reservations. Turned out quite well actually, didn't think i'd enjoy dining with strangers. Food wise loved the beef stew. The tomato soup with pastry on top was good too. The rabbit pate was decent. the potato gratin was a nono.

Terra- Also enjoyed the atmosphere here. I was here with a large party of 6 and everyone ordered apt, entree and dessert. So we pretty much go everything on the menu. I won't go into every dish. Overall I'd say every dish that I tried( like 80% of them) were was above average. I my book this is one of the best restaurant i've been to. I ordered the panko oysters with pork belly and the cod fish, both were stellar. Another perk was that Chef Hiro came out to chat since we were one of the last tables of the evening.

Costco pizza- Cheap and delicious. I can buy a whole 18" that taste just as good and cheaper than a personal pizza at ubuntu.

Sorry if i rambled.

Places i'm considering to visit: Redd, Martini house, Cyrus, The generals daughter, The girl and the fig, ad hoc, manresa, farm house inn, zuzu, the corndog guy in sonoma( is he still there???)

-Orang3

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    Armoise RE: orang3 Jun 27, 2008 07:18 PM

    In Sonoma, consider Cafe de La Haye, and Harvest Moon Cafe. I've had stellar meals at both, and Harvest Moon is a little more affordable.

    I like the girl and the fig, but you have to like Rhone varietals, that's all they offer. Love the champagne cocktail with Figoun if they still have it.

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      orang3 RE: orang3 Jun 27, 2008 08:18 PM

      Oh i know cyrus and manresa are not in napa/sonoma. I guess what had in mind is anywhere between sf and davis.

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