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Sonoma Restaurant Scene


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I think that the wine bar is now open. Come to the Petanque courts at Depot Park and we'll teach you how to play. Wed afternoons.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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I haven't been to the Oyster Grill yet. I will give it a try.

Saffron? Not if it was the last restaurant on the planet. It has gone DOWNHILL. The food is a real mixed bag now, and they have bad, terrible, awful service. The last time (and believe me, it was really the last time) the server had never, ever worked a table before and didn't have the common sense to. He should have never been left unaccompanied on the floor. The service was ill-timed, interrupting, and awkward. At the end, when we asked for our leftover beef to be wrapped up, he put the other dirty plates right ON TOP of that plate, stacking them on the beef. Wow.

They just don't seem to do well enough to keep a good staff. There are problems there.

On the Oyster Grill, I think you do better ordering several starters and saving room for dessert. Their entrees are HUGE and a bit over-the-top. The desserts are astonishing and I commented to the owners that I think it sad that many Napa restaurants, reputed to be a better eating neighborhood, does not have as good desserts than at the Oyster Grill.

Fascinating about Saffron - their menu looked intriguing and I've been playing phone tag with the chef/owner about writing it up for a review. Don't think I'll bother working so hard on that now. Too many other places I need to get around to.

Need to find out about the Wine Bar. I'm trying to come up with a list of TEN of them in wine country and am coming up a few short on my list (if you can believe that!)

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...

I know, you'd think there would be wine bars all over.

Healdsburg has some good options for food. Maybe that's a new thread...

Sounds like a great idea, jackaroo. I haven't been up Healdsburg way in awhile and it would be nice to have a dialogue about restaurants/food and wine there.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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...

I know, you'd think there would be wine bars all over.

Healdsburg has some good options for food. Maybe that's a new thread...

Sounds like a great idea, jackaroo. I haven't been up Healdsburg way in awhile and it would be nice to have a dialogue about restaurants/food and wine there.

I'll start a thread on that in a bit, if someone doesn't beat me to it.

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If you do go to Healdsberg and to Willi's Raw Bar do not order the lobster roll. Never in 30 years have I ever felt so ripped off. Fill the bun 3/4 with lettuce and mayo, put on top a small helping of Lobster in garlic butter. $13. It's cold with mayo or hot with butter folks, but not both and gimme some lobster. I am now convinced that all their places are a rip-off and I have eaten at all of them. Much better places to eat in the county than there.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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If you do go to Healdsberg and to Willi's Raw Bar do not order the lobster roll. Never in 30 years have I ever felt so ripped off. Fill the bun 3/4 with lettuce and mayo, put on top a small helping of Lobster in garlic butter. $13. It's cold with mayo or hot with butter folks, but not both and gimme some lobster. I am now convinced that all their places are a rip-off and I have eaten at all of them. Much better places to eat in the county than there.

Yeah, Willi's has seen the last of us, too. We went to the original one recently: bad service, mediocre food, no bread (you have to buy their bread, which is doused in cheese butter, or something else gross and heavy.) But did you try the Arctic Char. That was a winner. But not worth the other stuff.

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A new tacky looking cheese thing has appeared in The Girl and The Fig. ...

??? Not sure I understand...

Boy - winesonoma - your opinions are offensive and hurtful, Maybe I am being thin-skinned right now, but a lot of hard work, thought and money went into building our custom red oak (not plywood) cheese bar. Luckily, opinions like yours don't stop us from trying out new things. Though I don't expect everyone to like everything we do there are certainly constructive ways of stating your opinion.

I love Sonoma, I love our restaurant community and I truly appreciate all of the hard work that all of the restaurants are doing on a day to day basis. We all work very hard, live this life 24 hours a day and sharp, biting remarks hardly support a community feeling or a sense of maturity :sad::sad::sad: .

Sondra "figgirl" Bernstein

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[quotfiggirl,Sep 9 2005, 11:08 AM]

A new tacky looking cheese thing has appeared in The Girl and The Fig. ...

??? Not sure I understand...

Boy - winesonoma - your opinions are offensive and hurtful, Maybe I am being thin-skinned right now, but a lot of hard work, thought and money went into building our custom red oak (not plywood) cheese bar. Luckily, opinions like yours don't stop us from trying out new things. Though I don't expect everyone to like everything we do there are certainly constructive ways of stating your opinion.

I love Sonoma, I love our restaurant community and I truly appreciate all of the hard work that all of the restaurants are doing on a day to day basis. We all work very hard, live this life 24 hours a day and sharp, biting remarks hardly support a community feeling or a sense of maturity :sad::sad::sad: .

Sondra "figgirl" Bernstein

Edited by winesonoma (log)

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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I stopped by the girl and the fig for lunch yesterday. Although I'm no carpenter, I find nothing objectionable about the cheese counter, nor did the half dozen customers enjoying their food there. As much as I dislike the touristy aspects of the town square in Sonoma, the girl and the fig is always a pleasant place to have an honest meal without having to endure the locals explain why Sonoma is vastly superior to Napa. :rolleyes:

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First, you guys have me psyched to go to the General's Daughter now. I've moved it to the Top of my List for dining in That Direction/far away.

Second, I dined at The Girl and The Fig for lunch today. I sat in the (new to me) back patio area. The food was good. Drank a viognier that was very good. Checked out the cheese counter on the way out. Nothing wrong with it, but their choices didn't excite me.

Third, although I haven't dined there since they relocated to down a shopping alley in Sonoma square, I have really liked the food at LaSalette, and that's my top recommendation for that part of Sonoma County. LaSalette

-- Jack

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I've been enjoying this thread. We recently moved to the North Bay, and have been checking out what Sonoma and other towns have to offer.

We recently tried the Girl & the Fig for lunch and had an enjoyable meal on the back patio. Great atmoshere!

Last night, we had an exceptional dinner at the General's Daughter.

I'm convinced that Sonoma is one of the best kept secrets for restaurants!

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  • 1 month later...

All this information is great. Will be staying at Ramekins and have reservations Nov. 1st at the General's Daughter. Just a walk through the trees. Can't wait. Anxious to try some of the other recommendations. Thanks so much.

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We have only dined once at the General's Daughter and enjoyed it very much. It went through a strange period of receiving bad reviews, then I believe they got a new chef. The reviews as of lately have been wonderful! It's a gorgeous restaurant with so much elegant charm. Glad to hear the food is matching the ambiance now. Keep the reviews coming! :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Generals Daughter was terrific!! Chef Preston offered us a tasting menu that was exqusite. What was amazing was that he prepared two different menus and wine pairings for each of us. Both had a starter that was comprised of an oyster on the half shell. a delicious tuna tartare, stone ground grit cake with rock shrimp and last, marinated cherry tomatoes. Then..I received a fabulous foie gras with a reduction ( my notes say sticky, red) not sure what.. figs. Very smooth and rich... with Texas toast (smile). Alan had a carpaccio of prime, organic beef. excellant!

Third course was fish. Scallops with a mushroom risotto and Halibut with mussels and linguica. The portions were more than generous. Wines perfect for each dish.

Next came Short ribs on a bed of mashed potatoes and an out of this world oxtail ragu with butternut squash ravioli. At this point we were so full we could not do justice to it all.

Just when we thought we could not eat another bite EVER... Chef Preston came out with the perfect end to the meal. I hope I get this right. Served in a wide martini glass... to be sipped. Meyer lemon sorbet mixed with a bit of ricotta chese, honey and basil. It was unbelievable. The perfect ending.

Thank you so much Chef for making a great memory for us. For me also it was a perfect birthday.

Happiness also happened at Cafe La Haye and the Girl and the Fig. The cheese counter did not offend me but I have no prior ecperience without it.

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Generals Daughter was terrific!!  Chef Preston offered us a tasting menu that was exqusite. What was amazing was that he prepared two different menus and wine pairings for each of us. Both had a starter that was comprised of an oyster on the half shell. a delicious tuna tartare, stone ground grit cake with rock shrimp and last, marinated cherry tomatoes. Then..I received a fabulous foie gras with a reduction ( my notes say sticky, red) not sure what.. figs. Very smooth and rich... with Texas toast (smile). Alan had a carpaccio of prime, organic beef. excellant!

Third course was fish. Scallops with a mushroom risotto and Halibut with mussels and linguica. The portions were more than generous. Wines perfect for each dish.

Next came Short ribs on a bed of mashed potatoes and an out of this world oxtail ragu with butternut squash ravioli. At this point we were so full we could not do justice to it all.

Just when we thought we could not eat another bite EVER... Chef Preston came out with the perfect end to the meal.  I hope I get this right. Served in a wide martini glass... to be sipped. Meyer lemon sorbet mixed with a bit of ricotta chese, honey and basil. It was unbelievable. The perfect ending.

Thank you so much Chef for making a great memory for us. For me also it was a perfect birthday.

Happiness also happened at Cafe La Haye and the Girl and the Fig. The cheese counter did not offend me but I have no prior ecperience without it.

Zip,

you and your husband were a pleasure to cook for , please give him our best and both you think of Sonoma as a place to eat , drink and enjoy on your next trip out.

preston dishman ( and entire staff)

the generals daughter

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I enjoyed a meal so much at The General's Daughter a few weeks ago, that I made Thanksgiving reservations there. If anyone at the restaurant is reading this, what will be on the menu? Will there be a website soon?

krys,

We are delighted you had a great meal, yes the menu is almost done , it will be a 3 course affair with my takes on some traditional and not so traditional things, of course there will be turkey, grits( got to have em), sturgeon, salmon,

venison?, squashes, brussels, pears, lots of good wintery things.and number 2 there is a website under design , we are carefully trying to include everything that should be on there and all the things that shouldnt.thank you for sharing your experience with us and for returning for a special day, please come by the kitchen and introduce yourself

preston dishman

chef -the generals daughter

my number in my office for more questions

707-996-0345

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I'll be there for Thanksgiving also. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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  • 2 weeks later...

where should one go near Deloach Vineyards house in early December with 8 culinary folks from SF (the b-day girl is a chef in the city & the rest are foh)? we're staying at the deloach house for 2 nights...

tia for any help!

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Santi in Geyserville comes to mind. Not living up there , I'm at a loss although Cyrus and Zin come to mind. I'd avoid Willi's raw bar, personal observation, based upon eating in all their places.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Dined at Manzanita in downtown Healdsburg over the weekend and was VERY impressed. The chef is changing the menu weekly and we enjoyed starters of beef tartare (which was only diminished by its garnish of hardboiled egg instead of raw), a salad of fennel, Buddha's hand citron, and pear, and an amazing roast quail with port-poached dried figs. For dinner three of us shared Chicken a Mattonne and Oxtails. I rarely order chicken in a restaurant and the serving of this was fabulous; succulent, moist, and an unusual side of beans and cabbage. Dessert included a walnut tart with raspberry sauce but we are all overwhelmed with a flourless chocolate cake with espresso sauce.

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Thanksgiving at The General's Daughter. I can't wait.

I had the Crab and corn chowder, Butter Braised turkey breast, leg confit,spoonbread and truffle sauce. Pumpkin thing for dessert (can't think of the name). Girlfriend had Baby romaine, smoked bacon, roasted garlic, blue cheese salad. Pan seared pork confit, red chilie sauce,roasted garlic grits, Dark chocolate hot pot. Very satisifing meal. Rosenbloom Syrah.

Ran into Carolyn Tille and Shaun. Also Kris Stanley.

:wub:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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