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2 days in Sonoma - planning advice sought

f
florwoman Mar 23, 2011 01:05 PM

We are planning a two-day getaway to Sonoma and have a few things locked in but are looking for advice on restaurants and "must-visit" wineries.

Day 1 - we will drive up and have a 2:30 appointment at Merry Edwards (the last time I went there the office was in her garage!). Thinking of lunch at either Underwood or Willow Wood beforehand.

We then head to Healdsburg, where we are staying at the H2Hotel. We got their "Path to Pinot package, which includes dinner at Dry Creek Kitchen, a $50 certificate for lunch or dinner at Bovolo, and complimentary "enhanced" tastings at: Davis Family, Longboard, Thumbprint Cellars, and La Crema.

We are waitlisted for a tasting at Rafanelli (they may not have tastings that week), and are also considering Preston, Limerick Lane, Garry Farrell, and Quivira.

I think it's too ambitious and would love advice on which to visit and which to skip (I love free tastings but will trade better for free).

Also, need to decide where to eat on our second night. We are considering Zin or Baci - can't get into Cyrus - and would love to stick close by so we can indulge and walk back to the hotel.

Thanks very much.

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Bovolo
106 Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

Dry Creek Kitchen
317 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448

Limerick Lane
1023 Limerick Lane, Healdsburg, CA

Baci
336 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448

  1. Zollipop Apr 21, 2011 09:34 AM

    We like The Girl and The Fig in Sonoma for a casual bite

    1. prima Apr 21, 2011 09:20 AM

      Realize you didn't ask for breakfast recs, but if your breakfast isn't included at the H2Hotel, I recommend trying the Downtown Bakery & Creamery for a casual breakfast in Healdsburg. Great pastries, and they also serve a tasty breakfast pizza. ;-)

      http://www.downtownbakery.net/bakery-cafe.html

      http://www.downtownbakery.net/docs/menu.pdf

      Just checked out the breakfast menu at Bovolo- and they also serve a breakfast pizza. Is breakfast pizza fairly common on brunch/breakfast menus in Northern CA? I had never seen it offered on a menu before I ordered it at Downtown Bakery in October. http://www.bovolorestaurant.com/break...

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      Downtown Bakery & Creamery
      308 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

      1. c
        celeryroot Mar 23, 2011 01:18 PM

        Use your cert for breakfast if you can at Bovolo......it is very good but very casual , you order at the counter. Baci and Zin are fine , you might also stay at your hotel as Spoon Bar is great and fun. Also, Barndiva , Scopa, Bistro Ralph would all be fne choices. Coustaux is great for breakfast/
        Try and add Ridge to your tastings.
        Enjoy

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        Barndiva
        231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        Bistro Ralph
        109 Plaza St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        Scopa
        109 Plaza St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        Baci
        336 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        11 Replies
        1. re: celeryroot
          f
          florwoman Mar 23, 2011 01:38 PM

          Thanks - will check all these out. But seriously, how can I add Ridge unless we lop something else off? I'm inclines to skip LaCrema unless I hear it's a great experience, but I know my hubby will not want to hit 10 wineries in 2 days (and it's even a lot for me).

          1. re: florwoman
            c
            celeryroot Mar 23, 2011 04:53 PM

            My opinion is that Ridge makes a much better wine then all the others. Im sure others will disagree . I do really like Merry Edwards. Le Crema has a tasting room within walking distance (very close) of your hotel.

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            Crema
            411 13th St, Oakland, CA 94612

            1. re: celeryroot
              d
              dedlaw Mar 23, 2011 05:28 PM

              Ridge IS definitely worth adding, and dropping most of the others you've mentioned. If you can contact MacPhail and get in to taste their pinot noirs, HIGHLY worthwhile.

              For dinner, Spoonbar is fun, but lots of hard surfaces and thus loud (same at Zin). Food at both is fine. Barndiva is one we really like.

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              Barndiva
              231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

              1. re: dedlaw
                f
                florwoman Mar 24, 2011 04:45 AM

                OK - Barndiva is reserved and Ridge is added (as it happens I had a bottle of the 3 Valleys Zin at dinner last night and was reminded how good their wine is). Thanks, all.

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                Barndiva
                231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

                1. re: florwoman
                  c
                  celeryroot Mar 24, 2011 06:47 AM

                  Stop into the bar at Cyrus for a nice quiet drink . I hope you enjoy your trip

                  1. re: celeryroot
                    f
                    florwoman Mar 24, 2011 07:43 AM

                    Thanks very much - can't wait!

                    1. re: florwoman
                      c
                      celeryroot Mar 24, 2011 08:44 AM

                      I forgot to mention, very close to town
                      http://healdsburg.patch.com/listings/...
                      good olive oil
                      If your still going to Preston their oil is good also plus they have an outside wood burning stove and make great bread
                      what time of year are you coming??

                  2. re: florwoman
                    d
                    dedlaw Mar 24, 2011 08:55 AM

                    Just wait -- the Three Valleys is by far their least interesting zin.

                  3. re: dedlaw
                    f
                    florwoman Apr 21, 2011 08:37 AM

                    Just need to report that we had an extraordinary meal at Barndiva last night. Hubby had pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon w/morels, which sounds over the top (and perhaps is) but beautifully pairs the smoky bacon flavor with the subtle tenderloin. Then load it up with morels - wow. I had the ribeye - sliced with gorgeous fava bens, onions, tiny potatos, peppers -- to die for. We drank a gorgeous Rusina Zin with it. Never want to leave.

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                    Barndiva
                    231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

                2. re: florwoman
                  w
                  wincountrygirl Mar 24, 2011 07:45 AM

                  I'd skip La Crema for Ridge.

                  1. re: wincountrygirl
                    s
                    syrahgirl Apr 21, 2011 08:57 AM

                    Check out Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar on the Plaza! :)

              2. f
                florwoman Mar 23, 2011 01:15 PM

                oh, and after reading some recent posts, adding Barndiva as another option.

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                Barndiva
                231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

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