Sonoma - LaSalette - Portugues: great lunch
We had lunch here a few days ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's on the east side of the plaza down a little shopping "alley." It has indoor and outdoor seating; we chose outside and had the not overpowering scent of star jasmine. A good start. We chose the five item tascas tasting menu. It has about 15 items in that section. We ordered
Serra da Estrella
Sheep's milk cheese, semi soft, pungent
Baby Octopus marinated in balsamic
PIGS FEET TERRINE
Whole grain mustard
Home style pork and garlic sausage
Roasted blood sausage
PORTUGUESE WHITE WINE FLIGHT-
(Muralhas, Luis Pato, Campolargo)
Of the foods, only the octopus was just ho-hum. Nothing bad about it and nothing great,IMO. I can't seem to pick a favorite. They were all really good. I think I read somewhere that the blood sausage is put in the wood oven after slicing. Makes sense as its texture was almost but not quite crumbly (in a good way).
We enjoyed the wine flight and had a full glass of the Campolargo also. They were good, not great, but they were Portuguese and that's the experience we wanted. I'd recommend this restaurant to anyone. There are plenty of choices and also daily specials. The men next to us were having pulled pork sandwiches which looked mighty tasty. We missed dining here when we were in Sonoma over Christmas. It will part of our next visit, for sure.
Also Michael Bauer, food editor for the SF Chronicle, just reviewed it also:
452 First Street East, Suite H, Sonoma, CA 95476
Had lunch Sunday. Shared the seven tapas (tascas) for $34, cheese, chorizo, linguisa, octopus, sardine pate, trotter terrine, and duck breast, with a Portuguese white wine flight ($15), very nice selection, still a little hungry so got the bolinhos de bacalhau (salt cod fritter), lovely. Good light lunch and reasonable prices for the quality. Nice patio dining if the weather's fair.
The menu's a little fussy / international Frenchy / fusiony for my taste (we'd have ordered the rice pudding if were offered by itself but didn't want a "trio"), though there are enough straightforward rustic dishes on the menu that I'm looking forward to going back for dinner.
Giving this a bump but La Salette gets plenty of love here.
We generally visit Sonoma at least twice a year and never miss this wonderful spot.
Today we had the three tascas option. The tripe stew is amazing. I could eat a big bowl of it. Also the blood sausage/morcella - another winner. And the lupini beans which are a wonderful counterpoint to the richness of the others. In addition we ordered the veal sweetbreads with a little salad of fennel and leeks. There were four generous pieces of meat and they were so, so good. A bottle of their vinho verde which we've had there before. Although we've persisted in saying "we not really dessert people," we're think we need to modify that. And today's choice proved it :) I'll just copy from the menu:
Chocolate mousse with almond tuile, chocolate soufflé with ruby port gelée
and bitter chocolate sorbet with caramelized banana
Just insanely good dark chocolate everything.
Pre-tax and tip, all for $72.
To gild the lily, the chef/owner, Manuel Azevedo, has published a gorgeous cookbook, LaSalette Cookbook. $38 for a stunning, coffeetable-type book with gorgegous photos and detailed instructions. It has a lot of the regular items on their menu, including that oh-so-good tripe stew.
We will continue to include La Salette in all our Sonoma trips. Always good.