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The General's Daughter in Sonoma


shacke
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Boy am I glad I had dinner at the General's Daughter. This place is not to be missed. Not only is the food terrific, but it is a screaming value. 3 Courses for $45, 4 for $55 and 6 for $65. The menu is divided into appetizers, fish, meat, cheese and dessert and the courses can come in any variation you choose. Someone thought of 5 desserts but we talked him out of it. In the end, we were all extremely pleased with our experience. This was the night after hitting the French Laundry too so we had our palates set on 'picky'.

The restaurant is an old home so the premises have a cozy feeling. When we arrived at 8:30, it was packed. About halfway through, it was much less crowded so I got the OK to use a flash from the rest of the table as there was no one around us.

A word of caution, all portions are entree size - these are not tasting plates!

Honey glazed Black Cod, fried green tomatoes, crawfish and sweet corn

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Wild boar ragout over rigatoni, roasted tomato, garlic and sage

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Seared venison, butternut squash hash, huckleberry port wine jus

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Slow braised Wagyu short rib, potato puree, local green beans, natural jus

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Berkshire pork tenderloin, roasted apples, corn and bacon risotto, wilted chard

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Petite baked Alaska, chocolate, vanilla and mint gelato, chocolate cookie crust

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White chocolate bread pudding, brioche croutons, white chocolate sauce

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Other dishes eaten before flash photos and not post worthy.....

Pan seared Columbia River sturgeon, "barley" risotto, apple cider butter

West coast shrimp grits, andouillle sausage, tabasco butter

Mushroom ragout, potato gnocchi, parmesan cream

The menu was just enormous (8 dishes in each category except for 1 cheese plate offering!) and it was difficult to limit our choices to even 5 dishes. My favorite was the shrimp and grits, black cod and strugeon preparations.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the wine list. The prices are unfairly fair. I had an 03 Kosta Browne Cohn vineyard for $100. :blink: When I spoke to the Chef, Preston, after our meal, I mentioned that it would be OK to charge more as I felt so guilty. He stressed that he liked it just the way it is. I guess you don't mess with success. Preston is an affable guy and has done great things there. I will definitely come back here again and I highly recommend it.

Evan

Dough can sense fear.

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Go ahead, Evan, and really make me feel bad for not being able to eat here on my next trip. It looks like an outstanding meal and an incredible value. How many of you were there eating all that food?:laugh:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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General's Daughter is amazing! You're right about the value and plate sizes as well. We had a ton of courses and I don't remember paying very much at all but I do remember being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of food coming! These were huge plates for sure and absolutely delicious. Our favorite was the Snake River Farms Beef Tartare which if I remember correctly, was served with a quail egg. We're heading back up to the area again in December and I'm going to try to get back in.

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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Go ahead, Evan, and really make me feel bad for not being able to eat here on my next trip. It looks like an outstanding meal and an incredible value. How many of you were there eating all that food?:laugh:

There were 4 of us. My wife took the 3 course option. I wisely chose 4. The other two nut jobs went for 5. My brother, one of said nut jobs, could not touch the last course (he decided to forgo dessert as a course and ordered 5 big plates).

I can't blame those guys really - the menu was rife with a ton of great choices. Even after I ordered, I second guessed myself - that has to be a familiar feeling for many of us in here. :raz:

Evan

Dough can sense fear.

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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...
Yup. He is on his way out. Not sure if he's gone yet or when.

By his choice or the owner's? And gone to where?

It is our decision to go , we are helping interview our replacements, so we will probably be on board thru july, as far as whats next we are focusing on entrusting or successors with everything they need , then we will see what is next

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From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Wine Country change: After 3 1/2 years at the General's Daughter in Sonoma (400 West Spain St.), chef Preston and GM Nichole Dishman are leaving in August to start their own restaurant.

The couple came west from Florida so Preston could head up the kitchen and Nicole could serve as general manager under General Daughter's owners Jim and Bettie Hall, who bought the 1870 Victorian in 2005.

Preston Dishman says they are finalizing a Napa or Sonoma location. He says to expect American cuisine tinged with his Southern heritage, a multicourse format and a wine-pairing program.

Dishman says that the couple is leaving the General's Daughter on the "best of terms" - he helped pick his replacement - and hopes their new place is as successful.

In the meantime, Dishman says that Clinton Bertrand, chef de cuisine at San Francisco's Conduit, has been hired to replace him. The Texan-bred Bertrand, who also cooked at Jeanty at Jack's and A16, will start in August. The GM spot is still open.

Best of luck and looking forward to the Dishmans' new endeavor!

Edited by Carolyn Tillie (log)
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  • 2 months later...

Estate is now open nightly for dinner in the space where the General's Daughter previously was. I just received an e-mail from them. Sounds like a great place featuring Regional Italian food. The owners of girl and the fig have this place now, also. Menus look great, we're anxious to give it a try next visit to the area. www.estate-sonoma.com :)

Edited by syrah girl (log)
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