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Sonoma Trip... Help on a couple of things?

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Planning to head up to Healdsburg next Sunday for 4 nights. I'm trying not to have too many plans, but have made some dinner reservations and need to make a couple of winery appointments this week.

Question 1... Will land in Oakland around 11am on Sunday, any lunch recommendations? Anywhere between Oakland and Healdsburg will be fine, but we don't want brunch. Our taste in food tends to be "farm to table" (wish there was a better term for this), and for lunch don't want a real heavy meal (that said, our favorite stop for lunch going up to Napa Valley is The Fatted Calf).

Question 2... Anyone been to Chalkboard (new restaurant in the Cypress space)? (note.. we are also planning dinners at Cocina Latina and Scopa).

Question 3... Wanted to eat at Barndiva, but not able to get a reservation on Open Table (will have to be Sunday based on their hours and our schedule) unless I wanted to eat really late. I'm still trying to get in, but if not, any other places we should try (preferably walking distance to downtown Healdsburg).

Question 4: Planning one day to head down to Sebastopol. Was planning to visit Merry Edwards, but wondering if they have been overwhelmed by the recent Sunset article. Also looking for a lunch spot in the area.

OK, this is more than a couple of things! Last, our winery list... we are generally only good for 2 or 3 wineries a day. Things we value in winery visits: interesting wines (including pinot's, zin's, petite syrahs, Chardonnay, Champagne, but not all at one place!), a good story, nice dogs, a relaxed atmosphere. Art is a plus. We plan to buy wine, so having wine available to ship is important. Commentary welcome on this list, and open to suggestions...

Around Healdsburg: Ramey (getting a reservation), J Winery, Chalkhill (trying to do the lunch tour), Artista, Copain.

Dry Creek area: Peston, Papapletro, Lambert Bridge, Ridge

Sebastopol: Merry Edwards, Dutton-Goldfield, maybe Littorai (have not tryed to get an appointment).

Thanks in advance... and I promise a write up when I'm back!

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  1. If you can't get a reservation at Ramey, try walking in at Stonestreet. It's usually pretty calm there, they have a beautiful patio and a good selection of cabs and chardonnays.

    Merry Edwards and Dutton Goldfield are indoor tasting rooms/offices - makes sure you get one in that is in a good setting! Besides Littorai, there is also Paul Hobbs (appt only), Freeman (appt only), Lynmar, (would recommend making an appointment).

    4 Replies
    1. re: goldangl95

      Thanks! We are familiar with Paul Hobbs Wines... And really like them. Lynmar looks great too.

      1. re: firecooked

        Paul Hobb's is completely booked for Mon, Tue, and Wed. According to the person I talked to, they are booking up 2-3 weeks in advance (and she said the story is similar at other "by appt" wineries).

        1. re: firecooked

          Hmm that may be true at the height of summer but considering your days I wouldn't lose hope. Someone will have availability- you may also want to try MacPhail.

        2. re: firecooked

          But I was able to score a reservation at Ramey.

      2. In Sebastopol I highly recommend French Garden, especially since you like farm to table.

        http://frenchgardenrestaurant.com/

        1 Reply
        1. re: jackiecat

          Sounds perfect.... I'll put my order in now for the House Smoked Tequila Braised Rainbow Trout Salad!

        2. if your schedule permits a short detour through Sausalito on the way to Sonoma County, there's outstanding fresh, locally caught fish, simply prepared served with local organic produce at Fish. if the weather's nice it's hard to beat dining next to the bay. tasty salads and perfectly cooked fresh made linguine to go with the seafood.

          1. Sunday light lunch, Vik's and Bartavelle are easy detours from 80.

            http://www.vikschaatcorner.com

            https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...

            Hopscotch has a lot of non-brunchy items on their brunch menu.

            http://hopscotchoakland.com/wp-conten...

            1. Haven't been, but heard good things about Peter Lowell's in Sebastopol. We've always enjoyed our lunches at K&L..

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sarah

                We had dinner there about 6 mths ago. Food was good - I'd describe as high-end casual California. Interesting Pizzas, good salads. Place is tiny but they the service was gracious and we were a little tight on time and they were wonderfully accommodating

              2. Very bummed right now. Have had to cancel the trip due to a family emergency. I plan to reschedule in late summer / early fall... Thanks for the feedback, and I will eventually post my reviews!

                1 Reply
                1. re: firecooked

                  Finally took the trip! It was quite wonderful. Thanks for the help, I need to make another trip to visit the places we missed this time. Started another thread for the report back: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/918595