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Nov 15, 2010 05:02 AM

Need rec in Somona, surounding areas and Bodega Bay. Lunch and Dinner

Will be in Bodega Bay around New Years time with 6 friends and we need a few lunch and dinner suggestions. We are looking to drive to Sonoma one day for a good dinner. We love fresh, local and organic. Have been to some of the best in Napa and looking to explore this side now.
Any rec's would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I can totally recommend Zazu in Santa Rosa, which is not far from either place you plan to be. Also, the Farmhouse Inn on River Road in Santa Rosa is delicious, with elegant, but not shnooooty, ambience. You might try searching them for their websites, and then checking a few reviews, but I stand very firmly behind both. The Rabbit 3 ways at the Farmhouse is especially noteworthy. In Bodega, the best I can think of is the Sandpiper: v. casual, but good food and nice people. I shouldn't say "best" because that's very subjective, but IMO the majority of restos. in B.Bay are tourist traps. If you have to eat at something on the water, though, I'd take Lucas Wharf over The Tides any day of the week. Oh - and for grins? In Santa Rosa on "A" st. there's a complete dive called the Cook House that makes the best.breakfast. ever.

    Farmhouse Inn
    7871 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436

    1 Reply
    1. re: mamachef

      Thank you so much! Will try them!

    2. We stay in Bodega fairly often, and I agree with the previous poster that most of the restaurants are pretty pedestrian. Last year we had a nice meal at the Terrapin. I hear the Duck Club is good, but haven't eaten there.

      Personally, I wouldn't drive all the way to Sonoma for a meal if I am staying at Bodega, but then I live in Sonoma. If you want to drive a little, I would suggest Oysters Rockerfeller which is fairly close. Or drive a little farther and go to Stormy's Tavern for Sunday dinner, it is a real blast from the past. Or go north and try River's End, very nice view of the Russian River opening out into the ocean, and pretty good food.

      One of my favorite lunch places is Spud Point for good (for Sonoma) clam chowder,and great crab sandwiches. If you are staying someplace with a kitchen, you should go down to one of the boats at Spud Point and get live Dungeness crabs to cook at home. If you don't have a kitchen, Spud Point will also sell cooked crabs to go. A trip inland to Wild Flour Bakery for some crusty bread, a nice bottle of bubbles, and what else do you need? While you are at Wild Flour, have some coffee and one of their amazing sticky buns (best to share with at least one other person, they are huge).

      The weather is often pretty nice in January, so you can also stock up with picnic supplies and find a nice cove to enjoy lunch.

      River's End
      11048 Highway 1, Jenner, CA 95450

      Duck Club Restaurant
      103 Highway 1, Bodega Bay, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: dkenworthy

        dkenworthy means Rocker Oysterfeller's, in Valley Ford, which is east of Bodega Bay, pretty close. We like that place quite a lot, and there is often live music. My husband and I recently had lunch at the Sandpiper, in Bodega Bay, and were a little bit surprised by how much we enjoyed it. They recently relocated, and we both thought the food was better than we remembered at the old location, and the service was excellent. I think the white chowder at Spud Point Crab Shack is the best I've ever eaten, and I love clam chowder and order it often at many different places. Of course the crab is delicious, and if you are lazy and don't like to crack your own, you get a lot of crab for a very reasonable price on the crab cocktail at Spud Point Crab Shack. I usually order a bunch of crabs cooked and cracked (tip the person who cracks it!) and take them home. I also recently attended a Chamber of Commerce dinner at River's End, and it was delicious! However, the chef told us that we were served the staff dinner, so I don't know about the menu. But on the basis of that dinner, I definitely plan to go back and explore the menu! We've also heard that Terrapin is great, but haven't tried it yet.

        I also agree with dkenworthy that I wouldn't drive all the way to Sonoma for dinner. Mamachef is right that Farmhouse Inn is excellent, but it's in Forestville, not Santa Rosa (Forestville is closer to Bodega Bay). The rabbit three ways is the signature dish, and my husband has ordered it every time we've been there, and the tastes I have had have been wonderful. The chef is also very good with fish. I've been trying to replicate the perfection of his halibut at home, without success. It was perfectly, shatteringly crisp outside and meltingly moist inside. A little closer still is Applewood Inn, in Guerneville. I had the best duck breast of my life there. Either Farmhouse Inn or Applewood Inn seems to me to exemplify the type of high end cooking that Sonoma County is known for: excellent, mostly local ingredients; interesting but not overdone preparations, impeccable service. A little more casual, and even closer to Bodega Bay, is Bistro des Copains in Occidental. It's a very friendly local bistro, very reasonably priced, typical bistro fare and a nice wine list.

        Wild Flour Bakery is in Freestone and is indeed very good. I've tried just about all their breads and all are excellent. I will also put in a good word for their scones. Other good breakfast spots that are not too far from Bodega Bay are Cape Fear Cafe, in Duncan's Mills and Cafe les Jumelles, in Guerneville. Those are also both good lunch choices, as are the Garden Grill and Boon Eat+Drink, both in Guerneville.

        Rocker Oysterfeller's
        14415 Valley Ford Road, Valley Ford, CA 94972

        Farmhouse Inn
        7871 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436

        Applewood Inn & Restaurant
        13555 HWY 116, Guerneville, CA 95446

        River's End
        11048 Highway 1, Jenner, CA 95450

        Cape Fear Cafe
        25191 Highway 116, Duncans Mills, CA 95430

        Garden Grill
        17132 Hwy 116, Guerneville, CA 95446