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May 19, 2009 04:25 PM

Sonoma county for 3 days

I am visiting sonoma county June 14-17 and am looking for restaurant recommendations for the area. Since it is such a short stay we plan on focusing on just sonoma county. We are staying at the Marriott Lodge in Sonoma. My initial research has revealed Bovolo, the Girl and the Fig and Willi's seafood and wine bar. Any good Mexican would be great, all I get in Albuquerque is New Mexican which is great in its own right. Anything from cheap eats to expensive. We plan on hitting about 3 wineries a day.


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  1. I'm not sure if you have a car but if you do, then you simply must dine at Bottega Restaurant ( in Yountville, about nine miles away. Reservations are not required (but recommended). However, if you don't mind dining with strangers (really they're only friends you've never met before!), Bottega has a community table and you can just walk in for that one. They have a large selection of appetizers and entrées with a fabulous fusion of Italy and California---I call it "Italifornian". My wife and I went came here for St. Valentines Day and wanted to order everything on the menu.
    For a restaurant of their caliber, the prices are very reasonable and the portions very generous.
    As an added bonus they bring endless (and free!) carafes of still or sparkling water from their aquifer, according to our waiter.
    Bottom line: warm, comfortable surroundings; an array of inventive cuisine in generous amounts and at a price that won't leave a bad taste in your mouth.
    If you eat here, I'd love to hear your reveiw. Good Luck! -Bob

    1 Reply
    1. re: coastieinakilt

      FYI, Bottega is 22 miles, not 9 miles, from the Marriott Renaissance Lodge in Sonoma.

      6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

    2. Cyrus >>>>>>>>>>> Girl and the Fig if you can afford it.

      Mexican... El Michoacano WITHOUT ANY reservations... hands down best in Sonoma County. Antojitos La Texanita is the only other place that comes close.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        Actually, I'd recommend the Fig Cafe in Glen Ellen over the Girl and the Fig in Sonoma; same owners, more casual, great SoCo ambience. No reservations, and they serve until fairly late (a huge rarity in the county).

          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            I don' t find the food to be particularly more bleh than Girl and the Fig. It's not quite as French, and no full bar, but it's about as good. But I don't really think that Girl and the Fig deserves all of its accolades - if nothing else, the terrible terrible bread they serve is a marker of a restaurant that isn't focused on excellence.

            1. re: cyberroo

              I haven't eaten there... but the food at Girl and the Fig is bleh... I was asking more than anything.. and I guess you confirmed the food is bleh, it just happens to be cheaper. Still bleh though? I imagine they still screw up 50% of the dishes pretty bad.. and the other 50% is okay but nothing too chow worthy?

          2. re: pizzagal

            No corkage fee at the Fig in Glen Ellen. I enjoy eating there. It gets extra points for being in my neighborhood.

        1. JEALOUS. Very. I just got back from a camping trip on the Russian River @ Cassini and Doran Beach @ Bodega Bay. You will have a blast, no question. Gorgeous.

          Spud Point Crab is a favorite of mine for the clam chowder & Dungeness sandwich for lunch or whole crabs for nibbling/gobbling on your own.

          In Guerneville I had a great time on the patio of Garden Grill, known for nice burgers, Stumptown Brewing, decent beer & Russian River Pub, spicy buffalo wings are their specialty.

          Its really easy to have a spectacular time in Sonoma County. Enjoy yourself and spend some time swimming in the river if you get a chance. I swam with seals last weekend, unbelievable.

          Spud Point Crab Company
          1860 Westshore Rd, Bodega Bay, CA 94923

          Stumptown Brewery
          15045 River Rd, Guerneville, CA 95446

          Jonathan's Grill
          Hwy-116 Ext, Forestville, CA 95436

          Russian River Pub
          11829 River Rd, Forestville, CA

          1. food in santa rosa itself isnt so great. you're close to healsburg and about 30mins from Sonoma
            geyserville at santi's has a once a month special italian menu by region which is great check their web site for details
            you might have most fun trying the taco trucks - i think there are postings about them if you search. there are several in sonoma - they appear around 7 pm mostly
            rocket in sonoma is casual and good
            la salette is portuguese and great, cafe la haye is good also and eldorado is fun for their outside courtyard
            only place i like in SR itself is the pizza place on montgomery - rosso I think it's called
            brick oven pizza and willi's

            2 Replies
            1. re: sonomajom

              The Marriott Renaissance Lodge in Sonoma is nearly an hour's drive from Healdsburg, not 30 minutes, and Geyserville is another 10 minutes further.

              1. re: sonomajom

                I'll second the Cafe la Haye recommendation from sonomajom. It's one of the places I make a regular trek to from my home in Napa. It's a small place, so consider making a reservation if you decide you want to go there. The square area in Sonoma is fun to explore on foot . . . C la H is just off the square on the southeast side. Also, I think Diavola makes a good point that the county of Sonoma is BIG, so maybe a good plan is to figure out what areas you want to explore and focus on those.

              2. Diavola in Geyserville is worth a visit for lunch if you are in that part of Sonoma County. They have a wood fired oven and make a great thin crust pizza. Also they are curing their own meats. It's casual with rustic food. Try the grilled romaine salad for sure.

                Also one note, Sonoma County is pretty big, so if your intent is to stay in a smaller area to avoid travelling/driving a lot you might want to stick closer to the town of Sonoma. There is enough to see/drink/eat/do there to fill three days.

                21021 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville, CA 95441