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Oct 22, 2008 10:42 PM

Sonoma: El Dorado Kitchenette – Zowie!!! House-made soft-serve ice cream topped with strawberry rhubarb marmalade and balsamic vinegar – FL pastry chef

The chocolate soft-serve is everything good about this type of ice cream. It exceeds my fond childhood memories … silken and full of chocolate goodness.

If you don’t like this you just flat-out don’t like soft-serve ice cream … period.

There is chocolate, vanilla and swirl. The vanilla was nice but a little too sweet for me … but that chocolate … I could eat that every meal the rest of my life.

The generous serving ($3.50) has the option of these toppings in addition to the one I tried … which was full of plump, succulent strawberry goodness … didn’t think the balsamic added much though …

Regular toppings (50 cents)

- Carob nibs
- Caramel sauce
- Chocolate ganache
- Peanut nougatine
- Toasted coconut
- Sprinkles
- Shot of espresso
- Fresh mint sugar
- Strawberry rhubarb marmalade

Specialty Toppings ($1.00)

- Extra virgin olive oil and sea salt
- Chocolate ganache and mint sugar (that sounds good)

EDK sundae ($4.50) Chocolate ganache or caramel sauce, peanut nougatine, whipped cream

According to the website the gourmet café is “Led by Pastry Chef Octavio Alcantar, formally of the French Laundry and Bouchon Bakery”

What a lovely experience. The little café to the right of the lobby reminded me of an updated ice cream shop with its grey marble tables and wooden chairs. It is both elegant and comfortable. Order at the counter. There’s a large tv on the ceiling in one corner that is captioned and lots of newspapers spread about. Free wifi is available and there were a few people working on laptops in the comfy, sunny room.

There’s a pastry case with some pretty and delicious-looking baked goods such as orange pound cake topped with wine-poached pears, apricot or pistachio-orange scones, macarons, croissants, and much more. There were fabulous-looking thick brioche slices covered with slivered almonds.

There were some yogurt parfaits with house made granola in plastic to go cups as well as a really, really good looking fruit cup.

I bought a forest mushroom and mozzarella turnover for home ($3.75). Great buttery, flakey crust without overdoing it and the filling was delicious with a nice balance of mushrooms and oozy mozzarella.

It seems the menu changes every few hours. I was there at lunch (11:30 – 2:30). In the first post I’ll list the menu which sounded fabulous and was reasonably-priced. There’s also a nice wine list. Check out the Ruben with the house-smoked pastrami on house-baked rye.

Hmmm … just noticed this on the website “El Dorado Kitchenette encourages people to enjoy breakfast or lunch by the fireplace in the El Dorado Hotel's lounge, in the hotel's outdoor stone courtyard”

Well, I’ll just have to try out those other two locations.

El Dorado Kitchenette is open from 7am to 5pm Sunday through Thursday and 7am to 9pm Friday and Saturday

El Dorado Kitchenette
405 First St. West, Sonoma, CA 95476

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  1. LUNCH

    All food is available to go


    Oak Farm mixed greens, pickled strawberries, marcona almonds, champagne vinaigrette ($7)

    Chopped hearts of Romaine, cucumber, olive tapenade, parmesan dressing croutons ($8)

    Smoked salmon and arugula salad, garbanzo beans, frisee, shaved fennel, pickled red onion, citrus vinaigrette ($12)

    Chopped salad, iceberg lettuce, Hobbs bacon, tomato, red onion, house made ranch dressing, eggs, crispy shallots, blue cheese, diced chicken ($14)


    Truffle fries, black truffle oil, parmesan cheese, ($7)

    Fruit salad ($5)

    Pasta salad – penne with Mediterranean vegetables ($5)


    Ham and Emmathal, Fallat dijon on brioche ($7)

    EDK Ruben, house-smoked pastrami, house made sauerkraut, Emmathal, cornichon roumelade, house-baked rye ($13)


    Truffle egg salad ($8)

    Tuna Nicoise, albacore tuna, Nicoise olives, capers, cornichon, hard boiled eggs, radish ($10)

    House baked turkey flatbread, cranberry marmalade, sage cream cheese, Hobbs bacon, butter leaf lettuce ($12)


    Fried egg pizza, sunny-side up egg, proscuitto, mozzarella ($15)

    Roasted mushroom, Laura Chenel’s goat cheese, thyme, creamy garlic sauce ($14)

    Coffee (drip, French press, café au lait) – Peerless. Tea – Mighty Leaf.


    Gloria Ferrer blanc de noir 2005 ($9)

    Moon Mountain chardonnay 2005 ($7.50)

    The White Knight viognier 2006 ($8)

    EDK sauvignon blanc *** 2007 ($10)

    David Noyes pinot noir 2005 ($7)

    Benziger syrah 2005 ($9)

    EDK merlot/cabernet blend *** 2005 ($12)

    *** organic wine produced using biodynamic and sustainable farming practices

    I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship if future visits are this good. I love this place.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rworange

      I stopped in there today and had the EDK Ruben (house-smoked pastrami, house made sauerkraut, Emmathal, cornichon roumelade, stone-ground mustard, house-baked rye, $13) with a green salad instead of french fries. Wow, this was very good food from a very good kitchen and large enough for two people if they're not big eaters. The sandwich is on their house-baked round rye roll (very good!) and is thick enough that to me it's a knife-and-fork affair. The green salad was both interesting, tasty, and generous. This is high quality food at a very fair price.

    2. This is my go-to stop for a latte every morning, and lunch or dinner on occasion. I'm not wowed by their muffins or scones, but the turnovers and cookies are delicious and some of the other pastries are amazing.

      The lunch menu is available until 2:30 and seems to change every couple of months. In the afternoon and evening, the pizzas are still offered, along with a fair selection of cheeses and a couple of other nibbles (olives, etc) to enjoy with your wine.

      It's a good place to add to your list!

      2 Replies
      1. re: cyberroo

        Thanks for the info.

        Do they have anything else before 11:30 besides baked goods and coffee?

        How is the pizza? Have you tried that ruben?

        1. re: rworange

          Breakfast is basically baked goods, plus the fruit cup (very good) and parfait. They tested bowls of granola, but I haven't seen that in awhile. The pastries are baked fresh in the morning, so you can get a croissant warm out of the oven if you time it right!

          I haven't tried the ruben, but the pizzas are pretty good (same served in the bar). But if I really wanted pizza and ice cream, I'd probably go down to Picco or possibly over to Pizzeria Azzuro in Napa. But I do like having a casual dinner option right in Sonoma.