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