Dining in the Sonoma Wine Region

April 20, 2015  •  California, North America, Sonoma, Travel

Sonoma-Glen-Ellen-Star-signNo trip to the wine country – not matter what wine region that might be – is complete without experiencing the cuisine of the region. As long as humans have been making wine, chefs have been creating food that pairs with those wines, and to me, the dinner after a day of wine tasting is a chance to sit back and drink and enjoy wine from the region instead of just smelling, sipping, and spitting during a tasting. Here are the spots we hit on our recent trip to Sonoma, staring with the Glen Ellen Star in Glen Ellen, a fairly new, but quite popular restaurant right in the heart of Glen Ellen.Sonoma-Glen-Ellen-Star-brussels-sprouts

Brussels sprouts appetizer topped with brown sugar bacon marmaladeSonoma-Glen-Ellen-Star--chefChef Ari Weiswasser plating my soupSonoma-Glen-Ellen-Star-pea-soup-with-ricotta-dumplingSpring pea soup with ricotta gnudi Sonoma-Glen-Ellen-Star-polenta-lam-meatballs-spicy-sauceLamb meatballs in a spicy harissa tomato sauce over creamy polentaSonoma-Glen-Ellen-Star-fish-marinaraWhole roasted dourade with preserved meyer lemon and romesco sauceSonoma-Glen-Ellen-Star-gnocchi-pea-shoots-rhubarb-chickenGnocchi with pea shoots, shaved rhubarb, and shredded chickenSonoma-Glen-Ellen-Star-rhubarb-cobbler-ice-creamTart cherry cobbler with house made vanilla bourbon ice creamSonoma-French-Garden-Restaurant-red-quinoa-stuffed-acorn-squashRed quinoa stuffed acorn squash
A great place for lunch near the Sonoma Coast region is The French Garden Restaurant. Visit on a sunny day and enjoy daily harvested produce from the restaurant’s bio-intensive farm.
Sonoma-French-Garden-Restaurant-red-quinoa-saladRed quinoa salad with hard cooked eggsSonoma-French-Garden-Restaurant-garden-salad-chickenThe French Garden salad with chicken – what presentation!sonoma-the-girl-and-the-fig-charcuterieCharcuterie platter
Most people who been to Sonoma know of The Girl and The Fig, right on the square. It’s hugely popular, and always packed, so be sure to make a reservation ahead of time.sonoma-the-girl-and-the-fig-champagne-flightFlight of sparking winessonoma-the-girl-and-the-fig-arugula-fig-goat-cheese-saladArugula, fig, and goat cheese saladsonoma-the-girl-and-the-fig-duck-confitDuck confit over farrosonoma-the-girl-and-the-fig-short-ribsShort ribs with white beans and broccolinisonoma-paella-at-the-wineryDon’t discount the wineries when you are thinking of where to eat on your wine adventure. Often during the spring barrel tasting season or around harvest time, they have parties with food on site, like this giant paella feast we enjoyed.sonoma-el-dorado-kitchen-carpaccioBeef carpaccio
Right across the street from The Girl and The Fig in Sonoma is the El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen, a popular hotel with a decent restaurant serving classic wine country cuisine.sonoma-el-dorado-kitchen-burrataBurrata with roasted garlic, tomato sauce and balsamic gelsonoma-el-dorado-kitchen-tuna-tartareTuna tartaresonoma-el-dorado-kitchen-chicken-romesco-hash-poached-eggRoast Petaluma chicken with smoked potato skin purée,
housemade sausage hash, romesco and a poached eggsonoma-el-dorado-kitchen-lobster-tailLobster tails (a special when we were there)sonoma-el-dorado-kitchen-truffle-friesTruffle fries – enough to sharesonoma-olive-and-vine-amuse-bouche-tomato-pesto-mozzarellaAmuse bouche of pesto covered mozzarella with tomatoes

We were staying near Kenwood, and Glen Ellen is the closest town, so we found ourself back here at Olive & Vine for dinner on our last night. They source organic produce locally from small farms through Sonoma Organics for their ever changing seasonal menu.Sonoma-olive-and-vine-goat-cheese-flan-radish-saladGoat cheese flan with radish salad – incredible.sonoma-olive-and-vine-roast-chickenRoast chicken (again)Sonoma-olive-and-vine-shrimp-risottoShrimp risotto

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