Where should I foodie and her non-foodie have dinner in Sonoma?
I'll be in Sonoma next Sunday night and currently only have a reservation at The Girl and the Fig. I'm looking for other potential options that would be fit for me (someone who will eat and try anything once) and my picky dining companion? Atmosphere/ambiance definitely is a priority and pasta on the menu is a plus! Thoughts?
The Girl and the Fig isn't a bad choice, but the vibe always bugs me a bit, a little crowded. El Dorado Kitchen might be a better choice - I took a pretty picky eater there a couple weeks ago and he enjoyed it. They usually have some simple meat dishes - there was a bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, and a filet or other innocuous steak on my last visit. I don't think there's much pasta, but they have fantastic risotto - it's probably still English pea with ham hock, which was really smokey and porky, and I mean that in the best possible way.
If you want something more Italian, I also like Cafe La Haye, which is tiny, but lovely, and has nice pasta dishes. I don't think there's anything that'll scare your non-foodie.
I know that Della Santina has its critics on this board--particularly after Rachael Ray decided to make it famous for a day--but we have dined there each time we have visited Sonoma, and enjoyed it immensely. The outdoor dining is a big plus, the wine list is reasonable, and the pasta can be fantastic. They're not blazing any trails here, but the pesto is consistently delicious, the welcome is warm, and the bread and salads are also very nice.
The General's Daughter wins the prize for me on Sonoma dining. The service is impeccable, the room is gorgeous, and every course I tasted was unusual and delicious without being bizarre or precious. I liked it better than Cyrus.
El Dorado Kitchen has some delicious choices, particularly with fish. It's also a lovely room with a nice set of seating choices. The yukon gold fries with parmesan cheese and truffle oil were as memorable as any dish we tasted on our last trip out there..