Help choosing 1 Dinner in Sonoma Valley
Will be staying 1 night at the Kenwood Inn in early March and need one excellent dinner choice without too much driving. We could eat at the Inn but I have never been to California Wine Country before and I really have no idea. Please help.
If you are staying in Kenwood, I second the mention of the Kenwood Restaurant (although I haven't been there in years) for a "nice" dinner. Cafe Citti is also fun, but very casual (and not very expensive). I love their ravioli, in addition to the roasted chicken mentioned by another poster. They have a miserable wine list, so you might want to take your own if you have been wine tasting during the day. The town of Sonoma is only about 15 minutes drive down the highway, and has some good options already mentioned. Also, Glen Ellen is even closer. I would recommend the Fig Cafe or Glen Ellen Inn. Cute little town, but not much to do there except eat, whereas there is shopping on the Plaza in Sonoma.
I second Cafe Citti for a casual and inexpensive place with very good food and a warm inviting atmosphere. A very short walk to the south is the Family Wineries tasting room where you taste the wine of a few small wineries. You get five generous tastes for $5 which is a good start on your meal at Cafe Citti :-) I'd buy a bottle there after tasting to take to Citti. For the record, I've only tasted their reds and I liked all the ones I tasted.
The Kenwood Inn is a great option as others have mentioned, and while it's probably not a good idea on hwy 12, you could walk. If you go, I highly recommend the mussels (poulette being the best option) and frites, as well as the steak frites - immensly satisfying, and wine-friendly.
The town of Sonoma is 20 minutes to the south, and has several good options...
Harvest Moon Cafe (on the Plaza)
To my mind the best food in the valley. There's a Chez Panisse sort of sensibility here - local stuff, kept simple, interesting wine list, open kitchen, etc. The space is a little odd, but if you interest is in the food - it's great
El Dorado Kitchen (on the PLaza)
The food is good here if you like things creatively fussed-up, the environment comfortably hip, patio bar scene for a good hang, etc.
The Girl and the Fig
Rustic Bistro food - confit, steak frites, cheese cart - that sort of thing. Very comfortable room, lively bar.
Kenwood Resto is very good. Here is a review from the January 9, 2009, Santa Rosa PressDemocrat:
The other option is Cafe Citti, known for its famous (and excellent) roast chicken, amazing potato salad (really), and great duck. At least, that's what stands out in my mind.
Food at the Kenwood Inn is not so good, but they're trying to get it together.