Sonoma on a Budget Report
Spent three nights in Sonoma and had some very nice meals. We were on a budget this trip so we looked for dinner options that were less than $50 for two. Rin's Thai was very good...tried both a noodle and rice dish plus an appetizer...nicely spiced. Service was slow. Next we had New Haven style pizza and a chopped salad at the Red Grape. Delicious food on a pretty patio...great service. Both of these meals with two glasses of beer or two glasses of wine came in below $50.
We spent a bit more at the restaurant at the Swiss Hotel. Had two excellent pasta dishes. Especially good was the seafood ravioli stuffed with crab and shrimp. Also enjoyed the roasted beet salad. Good service in an attractive room. The patio was also open and a pretty place to enjoy a meal.
We hiked for two days between vineyards using a guide we found in the Feb 2011 Budget Travel magazine. Each day we walked 6-9 miles and visited two vineyards a day. It was a really nice trip. We picked up lunch each morning before we headed out at Whole Foods. All of the places we visited had outdoor tables where we could enjoy our lunch after the wine tasting. Finally, while our hotel provided a breakfast buffet, it was pretty bad. We found the pastry at the Basque Bakery to be excellent and would pick up a few to supplement the juice and coffee at our hotel.
Rin's Thai Restaurant
4301 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Swiss Hotel & Restaurant
18 W Spain St, Sonoma, CA 95476
The vineyards, tasting rooms and wine were all very good. Met nice people at all of them and really enjoyed ourselves. Ravenswood was the first stop...although I drink their Zin a lot...they had a Big River Zin that I can't get at home that was excellent. The chardonnay at Buena Vista was also very good. All were worth a visit and for us...two a day is perfect. We had time to return to our hotel (Best Western) and swim each afternoon. I don't think I would pick the b and b the article recommended. it is a ways out of town and the walk after dinner would not have been good as the last few blocks there is no sidewalk. One other note...the gate to the footpath leading to Bartholomew Park Winery is locked on Monday and Tuesday each week, so you need to add a half hour hike around to get there. Easy enough to do...but the footpath would have been a much nicer walk.
Bartholomew Park Winery
1000 Vineyard Ln, Sonoma, CA