Hot Picks - Sonoma Valley, California Wine Country

Diane Sukiennik, Associate Editor, Food and Wine Access
          Michael Reiss, Editor, Food and Wine Access

Discover Sonoma Valley's rustic surroundings, warm, laid back hospitality and over 300 award wining wineries ready to welcome you for a sip, a smile and a stay that will last until your next visit.

Located just 30 miles from San Francisco, the verdant landscape that stretches from the valley to the Pacific Coast, is home to several microclimates that beckon with hiking, kayaking, biking and wine tasting at boutique wineries.

The charming town squares, redolent with great restaurants and unique shops are a walker's joy. Cozy bed & breakfasts, and hip, upscale hotels and resorts offer deluxe accommodations with all the amenities. Sonoma is stunning!

The Sonoma Valley is a great culinary and travel destination.

Here are some options for your visit!



Click on the picture to find the information you want.


Where to Stay

Where to Eat

What to Do

 

Hot Picks: Sonoma Valley, California Wine Country

Where to Stay

Diane Sukiennik, Associate Editor, Food and Wine Access
          Michael Reiss, Editor, Food and Wine Access

Sonoma Valley

 

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn
Sonoma, California


.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

As you approach the entrance to the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa from Boyes. Blvd. your eyes widen with awe at the sprawling grounds studded with mature oaks and pines and the surrounding Sonoma hills planted with vineyards.




These are the magnificent and carefully manicured grounds of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa.

Photo by Michael Reiss



Set unobtrusively in the verdant, lush landscape are mission-style buildings. With a long history related to the hot springs found on the property, major renovation returned the property to its 1920's grandeur, and the Spa, added in 1981, now attracts visitors from around the globe.

Since then, the most recent additions and renovations include the expansion of the Spa---to 40,000 sq. ft. Now the Spa boasts indoor and outdoor spaces--beautifully appointed and surrounded with lush landscaping-- making this a true European Spa and world-class resort.



"The Bathhouse" at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa is a calm heaven of beauty and repose.

Photo by Michael Reiss

True to its Spanish mission design, the interior spaces of the hotel are authentic in the use of materials that create warm, intimate spaces, a sense of place full of history and charm. Rooms in the main building are small but well equipped. The junior suites provide the space you expect from this caliber of property.

The rooms are just the beginning of your experience. Many stay at the resort and return expressly to utilize the world-class resources of the Spa. Think of every imaginable treatment and then some! This spa has it all! A signature feature is "The Bathhouse" with its own concierge who will explain the suggested ritual to follow for maximum benefit from the thermal waters used in all the pools.




Relax in the mineral pool heated to body temperature or take an "Aqua Yoga Class" at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Before indulging in a spa treatment, plan to join one or several of the classes. If relaxation and renewal is on your list, the "Aqua Yoga Class" will deliver. All of those challenging positions of land yoga are a cinch when done in a mineral pool heated to body temperature and lightly salinated to increase your buoyancy. After 45 minutes you are a budding Buddha---ready to take on the rigors of a golf game, wine tasting and shopping on the Sonoma Square before dinner at the Inn's Michelin-starred restaurant, Sante. (Please see review of Sante under "Where To Eat," which follows).


You will return to relax and refresh at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa.

Photo by Michael Reiss



 

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
100 Boyes Boulevard
Sonoma, CA 95476-1447
(707) 938-9000

www.fairmont.com/sonoma/

 

Madrona Mansion
Healdsburg, Sonoma Valley, California




Photo by Michael Reiss

In today's 24/7 world of never ending connectivity and social networking, where do you go to unplug?
When nothing but the best will do, its the historic Madrona Manor.

Nestled in the hills above the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County, the Madrona Manor is an exceptional Victorian estate surrounded by eight acres of wooded and landscaped grounds. The Mansion, built in 1881, has been a destination for discerning guests seeking a stay in the gracious wine country of Northern California since 1981. Every aspect of the hotel and its grounds speaks to the relentless pursuit of quality, authenticity and a standard of excellence that has garnered this property numerous awards from the most reputable circles.





The interior of the 1881 Madrona Manor has been meticulously restored---complete with authentic period furniture.


Photo by Michael Reiss

Each room at the Madrona Manor is uniquely decorated in period with the utmost attention to detail. Luxurious bed and bath linens and ammenities are waiting to coddle you.




Each room of the expansive 30-room Madrona Manor is unique and exquisitely furnished
Photo by Michael Reiss

 

But before you give in to the luxury of your room, explore the magnificent grounds. Impeccably tended lawns, flowers, fountains, pools, orchards, herb and vegetable gardens,and surrounding vineyards all beckon to you as you wander through your surroundings. As night falls, consider dining in the Michelin starred restaurant before retiring..No worries about that extra sip of wine or port, when your room is a mere staircase away. Awaken to the sounds of nature as you sit on the balcony, while the smells of breakfast tempt you to see what's cooking.





This is the beautifully-maintained swimming pool of the Madrona Manor set amongst lush foliage.

Photo by Michael Reiss




Enjoy breakfast in any of the elegant dining rooms and make your selections from a bountiful buffet sure to start your day on the right foot.

All of this pleasure just one mile from hopping Healdsburg and the endless lure of the surrounding vineyards just waiting to be savored.

If this isn't enough of an enticement to unplug and get reconnected to earthly delights, stay an extra day!

 



Enjoy the delights of the Madrona Manor's own organic vegetable garden found on the grounds.

Photo by Michael Reiss



 

Madrona Manor
1001 Westside Road
Healdsburg
California 95448

Tel: (800) 258-4003
Tel: (707) 433-4231
www.Madrona Manor.com

 

 

Les Mars Hotel


Photo by Michael Reiss

Les Mars Hotel is a 16 room luxury hotel in the heart of Healdsburg, which puts a capital "C" on the term "class act."


Les Mars Hotel, located in downtown Healdsburg, offers outstanding luxury and comfort.

Photo by Michael Reiss


From the moment you enter the lobby of Les Mars Hotel you know you have entered an elegant space. In the heart of Victorian and red barn wine country architecture, at Les Mars you are a guest in a refined, French country villa.

 


Every inch of Le Mars Hotel exudes sophistication with a French touch.

Photo by Michael Reiss

The Mars family invites you to make yourself at home, a sentiment which starts with a warm welcome from the staff who discreetly inquire about your preferences, so that they may make your stay as comfortable as possible.



Each suite at Le Mars Hotel is beautifully and comfortably appointed.

Photo by Michael Reiss


The attention to detail is seen and experienced at every turn. Each room, uniquely furnished with antiques and family heirlooms, is decadently comfortable. Curl up in your bed made up with the finest of Italian linens, enjoy the fireplace and your in-room media center, or enjoy your Bulgari soaps as you soak in the Jacuzzi bubble tub. Smell the fresh roses placed in your room and bath. Taste the wine and artisan cheese sampling offered each evening and delight in the three course breakfast prepared for you by Chef Patrick Brown.


Personal attention is a hallmark at Les Mars Hotel. Here Chef Patrick Brown presents a guest with a made-to-order breakfast dish.

Photo by Michael Reiss


The staff, inspired by the Mars family passion for hospitality and lead by Hotel Manager, Joel Holland will ensure a memorable stay. This is wine country living in style. It is a luxury once experienced, which then becomes a necessity to repeat!


This is the beautifully heated swimming pool at Les Mars Hotel..

Photo by Michael Reiss

Les Mars Hotel
27 North St.
Healdsburg, Ca.
707 433 4211

http://www.lesmarshotel.com/

 

 

MacArthur Place


Photo by Michael Reiss

MacArthur Place, Sonoma's historic country inn and spa, offers you all the luxury of a finely appointed hotel with all of the charm of the countryside.


MacArthur Place's guest rooms are located in a park like setting among trees and carefully placed sculpture.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Just four blocks from the Sonoma Plaza and all of its browsing possibilities, MacArthur Place offers a gracious garden setting that is guaranteed to soothe frazzled nerves and provide the perfect escape form city life, as well as the homebase for visiting Sonoma's many wineries.


This is one of MacArthur Place's guest rooms, beautifully appointed with warm country colors, complete with fireplace and flat-screen TV

Photo by Michael Reiss

The luxuriously appointed rooms provide every modern day feature and offer the best of city and country living.

The swimming pool and spa complete the picture of a heavenly getaway, just 45 minutes from San Francisco.


MacArthur Place has a first- rate spa, swimming pool and fitness center.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

MacArthur Place
Sonoma's Historic Country Inn & Spa
29 E. MacArthur St.,
Sonoma, California 95476
(707) 933-3191
(707) 938-2929

http://www.macarthurplace.com

 

 

Case Ranch Inn


Photo by Michael Reiss

A trip to the Sonoma wine country inspires dreams about living the good life here and wondering just what it might be like. One of the ways to explore the answers is to sample the lodging and hospitality of innkeepers who are living their dream. Stay with Diana Van Ry and Allen Tilton at their lovingly restored Case Ranch Inn.

 

 


The meticulously restored Case Ranch Inn keeps the vibrant colors of days gone by.

Photo by Michael Reiss

As you approach the Case Ranch Inn, this Historic Landmark home and property, you marvel at the peace and tranquility and its resonance with the surrounding landscape. The moment you are greeted by your hosts, you know you've selected the right inn. They exude the warmth, passion and dedication that is a requisite for a successful bed and breakfast. Their personal story of how they single-handedly restored their beloved inn will leave you spellbound.


At the Case Ranch Inn Innkeeper Diana Van Ry exudes warmth and welcoming, as she serves a gourmet breakfast to a guest.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Their devotion to organic farming is evidenced by Diana's delicious and healthful breakfast. Besides maintaining the grounds and property, Allan has expert knowledge of beer making and he delights in offering"Beer Tasting Seminars" which are listed under "Specials" on their website.

 


You can be as active as you like in the rich and fascinating Sonoma Wine Country, or you can laze the day away on the porch of the Case Ranch Inn..

Photo by Michael Reiss

The accommodations are more than comfortable with personal attention evidenced in the many small but significant gestures that make you feel like cherished friends visiting for a spell. Allan walked the property with us and gave us the inside scoop on his newly installed solar panels. Diana, knowing that we had been traveling for a while, offered to wash some of our clothes.

So, visit again you will because the warm hospitality offered by Diana and Allan will leave you coming back for more!

Case Ranch Inn Bed and Breakfast
7446 Poplar Dr.
Forestville, Ca.
707 887 8711
877.887.8711

http://www.caseranchinn.com

 

 

Hotel Healdsburg



Photo by Michael Reiss

 

 

Hotel Healdsburg, a luxury resort and spa in the town of the same name, offers a unique experience while visiting the wine country or as a destination in its own right. Located on the historic town square, this newly built, designer hotel offers modern elegance and great attention to detail in a sleek stylish idiom.


The Hotel Healdsburg sits facing the Town Square in Healdsburg.

Photo by Michael Reiss

From Frette linens and robes to teak furniture, to wood floors, to Peet's Coffee ready to brew in your own in-room French Press, the attention to design and detail is evident but understated. The effect is low-keyed elegance at the Hotel Healdsburg.

Hotel Healdsburg
25 Matheson Street
Healdsburg, California 95448
(707) 431-2800
(707) 431-0414
www.hotelhealdsburg.com

 

Hot Picks: Sonoma Valley, California Wine Country

Where To Eat

Diane Sukiennik, Associate Editor, Food and Wine Access
          Michael Reiss, Editor, Food and Wine Access

Sonoma Valley

 

Santé
The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
Sonoma, California




Photo by Michael Reiss


Santé, is the restaurant located in the main building of The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

When the French use the word "santé" to offer a toast, it means "to your health!" In this case, it also means "to your lucky tastbuds!,"since you will have a most enjoyable dining experience as well.

As a tribute to all the best and healthiest that Sonoma produces and with an obvious appreciation of the local purveyors, Executive Chef Bruno Tison and Chef de Cuisine Andrew Cain elevate the local ingredients to a Michelin-starred level.

Every aspect---from the greeting at reception---to the attentive waitstaff, to the wine service, to the presentation of the dishes, to the taste on the palate--- is executed at the highest level. Even the bread and butter service offers selections that far exceed the expected, making for a delicious start to your meal.
Each menu item sounds better than the last, so the obvious choice is the Tasting Menu. This gives you the chance to savor several of the Chef's signature dishes without having to choose.

The wine pairings offered impeccable flavor profiles that enhanced the stellar meal.

Sonoma is sensational and Santé, highlights the best of the valley!

 


Santé's elagant food and wine service starts with an amuse-bouche, complements of the Chef.

Photo by Michael Reiss

TASTING MENU

AMUSE-BOUCHE

“SOUP N SALAD”
PETITE DELTA ASPARAGUS SALAD,SAUCE GRIBICHE
CHILLED ASPARAGUS SOUP “ESPRESSO”

SWEET CORN AND BLACK TRUFFLE RISOTTO - PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO AND SWEET CORN FOAM

BUTTER-POACHED MAINE LOBSTER - FOREST MUSHROOM TART,MELTED KING RICHARD LEEKS,SAUCE AMÉRICAINE

GRILLED SIRLOIN OF AMERICAN KOBE STYLE BEEF - TWICE-BAKED FINGERLING POTATOES, ROASTED GARLIC PURÉE, BROCCOLINI RABE, FOIE GRAS BORDELAISE

CHEESE SELECTIONS

SANTE’S “MANHATTAN”
BOURBON AND SWEET VERMOUTH SORBET
WITH BING CHERRY GELEE

MANJARI CHOCOLATE DARIOLE - PEANUT BUTTER GANACHE
BANANA ICE CREAM, CARAMEL SAUCE

 


Santé's refined cheese course features both local and European selections served table-side.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Santé
The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
100 Boyes Blvd.
Sonoma, California
TEL (707) 938-9000
http://www.fairmont.com/sonoma/GuestServices/Restaurants/SanteRestaurant.htm


Mosaic

Forestville, Sonoma Valley, California


Photo by Michael Reiss

Mosaic Restaurant and Wine Bar


Mosaic Restaurant and Wine Bar is a culinary "find" located in Forestville, a small town just outside of Sonoma.

Chef Tai Olesky personally renovated the restaurant.

He has created the menu and oversees every aspect of his Forestville culinary hot spot. Chef Olesky's talent can be seen and tasted in every morsel of his kitchen. His dishes are beautifully presented and expertly executed.

The dining room, wine bar and outdoor patio area are quintessential wine country with a touch of city chic. This is a winning combination in an area that has raised the bar on good eating.

 


This is Mosaic Restaurant and Wine Bar's lively and high-energy dining room.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Favorite Appetizers:

Roasted Butternut Squash -D'anjou Pear Soup - splash of cream, creme fraiche, toasted pumpkin seeds
Roasted Prawn - Macadamia Nut-Cilantro-Citrus Butter, on Baby Arugula-Shaved Fennel

 

Favorite Entrees:

Duck Confit - Cannelini Beans with Panchetta, Braised Rappini, & Prickley Pear-Pinot Gastrique

Coffee Encrusted filet Mignon - Mushrooms deglazed with Madeira, Caramelized onion Mashed potatoes, Chocolate CabernetDemi-Glace, Blue Cheese Compound Butter & Truffle Oil

Favorite Dessert

Organic Berry Crisp - with French vanilla Ice Cream

 

 


The "Coffe Encrusted filet Mignon - Mushrooms deglazed with Madeira, Caramelized onion Mashed" is one of Mosaic Restaurant and Wine Bar's signature dishes.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Mosaic Restaurant and Wine Bar
6675 Front St.
Forestville, Ca.
707 887 7503



The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant


Photo by Michael Reiss


This remote Russian River farmhouse in Forestville is home to a gastronomic temple, The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant, where tourists and locals delight in a refined country ambiance with cuisine to match.

Seasonally and freshness are the hallmarks of Executive Chef Steve Litke's cuisine.

Wine Director/Sommelier Geoff Kruth's stellar wine list offers complementary pairings.

Dining room Maitre'd Andreas Willausch is the consummate host and keeper of the restaurant's justly famous cheese cart.

If you are looking for an impeccable dining experience in the middle of Sonoma, The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant is the spot.

 


The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant is located in the beautiful Sonoma country side of Forestville.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Favorite Appetizers:

Breast of Squab and wild mushroom Terrine - black Trumpet mushroom and truffle vinaigrette
Sautéed Artisan Foie Gras - confit of pineapple, toasted pistachio, black pepper gastrique, housemade brioche

Favorite Entrees:

Niman Ranch Pork "Osso Buco" - celery root-potato puree, mirepoix of vegetables
Grilled Angus Ribeye - Yukon potato puree, bone marrow flan, Chanterelle butter

Favorite Dessert

Warm granny Smith Apple Galette - calvados strup, vanilla bean gelato

 

 


The "Sautéed Artisan Foie Gras - confit of pineapple, toasted pistachio, black pepper gastrique, housemade brioche" is one of the creative dishes offered at The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

 

Farmhouse Inn Restaurant
Farmhouse Inn
7871 River Rd. (Wohlar St.)
Forestville, CA 95436
707-887-3300

www.farmhouseinn.com


 

El Dorado Kitchen


Photo by Michael Reiss


At El Dordo Kitchen there is nothing "historical" about the restaurant, even though it is part of the historic landmark El Dordo Hotel.

El Dordo Kitchen is contemporary, hip, even edgy in decor, with food to match.

Several of the Thomas Keller team are at the helm of this casual, upscale eaterie in Sonoma Square. Executive Chef, Ryan Fancher brings his experience, knowledge and philosophy from the French Laundry to his kitchen. His seasonal ingredients are crafted into inspired Cal-Med recipes with flavors that are clean, full bodied and visually appealing.

The sommelier provides expert advice on wine and food pairings and offers exciting surprises to pair with the six course tasting menu where Chef Ryan's talent soars.

For a combination of cool, informal vibes and culinary excitement, the El Dorado Kitchen is a "find."

 


This is the upbeat and lively dinning room at El Dorado Kitchen.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Favorite Appetizers:

Maine Diver Scallops - celery root puree, glazed chestnuts, celery salad
Charcuterie - house made terrine & rillettes, marmalade, whole grain mustard, cornichon

Favorite Entrees:

Butternut Squash Agnolotti - toasted pecans and sage cream
Chorizo and Clam "Cassoulet" - escarole, white beans, minestra broth

Favorite Dessert

fried banana split - crispy banana spring roll, caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream, candied nuts, chocolate sauce

 

 


Executive Chef, Ryan Fancher, whose background includes The French Laundry Restaurant, serves inspired dishes at El Dorado Kitchen.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

 

El Dorado Kitchen
El Dorado Hotel
405 First St. W
Sonoma, Ca.
707 996 3030

http://www.eldoradosonoma.com

 


ZIN


Photo by Michael Reiss


Zin is a Healdsburg hot spot that is a favorite of locals, wine makers and tourists "in the know," who frequent the restaurant and wine bar.

At Zin it's all about the food. Proprietor/Chef Jeff Mall personally raises his produce, so he can attest to its locality and freshness. His menu reflects seasonal ingredients and full flavored recipes.

This is American home-cooked fare with California flair served in a casual, comfortable ambiance.

Its popularity is further enhanced by an eclectic wine list that features undiscovered Zins and other affordable small production varietals.

For first class comfort food and sell out blue plate specials, go to Zin.

 


At Zin Restaurant in Healdsburg you can find a wide selection of the famous California wine, including Zinfandel, whose namesake is the restaurant's name.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Favorite Appetizers:

Mexican Beer Battered Green Beans with Mango Salsa
Grilled Flatbread with Smithfield Ham, Caramelized Onions, Apple Butter and Spring Hill White Cheddar.

Favorite Entrees:

Herb Roasted Fulton Valley Farms Chicken Breast with a Dried Fruit & Red Pepper relish mashed Sweet Potatoes and Sautéed Green Beans with Oyster Mushrooms

Grilled "Certified Angus" Hanger steak with New Mexico red Chile Sauce, Wild Mushroom & Goat Cheese Chile Relleno, Rancho Beans and Grilled Green Onions

Favorite Dessert

Apple Jack Apple Pie

 

 


The "Mexican Beer Battered Green Beans with Mango Salsa" is a favorite dishes offered at Zin.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

ZIN
344 Center Street
Healdsburg, Ca.
707 473 0946

http://www.zinrestaurant.com/

 

 

The Girl and The Fig


Photo by Michael Reiss


This Sonoma Square French country bistro, The Girl and the Fig, is the original conception of passionate Franchophile Owner, Sondra Bernstein.

Sondra Bernstein has created a warm, inviting space, where tourists and locals mix and mingle over apéritifs, wine and artisanal cheese, pate, salads, sandwiches and main courses---all seasonally designed with local ingredients in mind and prepared with rustic, Provençal flair.

Her wine list is strictly composed of Rhone varietals offered in flights, glasses and bottles.

Needless to say, many items on the menu incorporate fig as one of the ingredients. Even if you don't like this fruit, you will be seduced by the friendly vibes and you will be enchanted by The Girl and the Fig!

 


The Girl and the Fig restaurant has a warm inviting atmosphere.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Favorite Appetizers:

steamed mussels - garlic, leeks, herbs, Herbsaint, grilled bread.
Charcuterie platter - chef’s choice of pate, rillettes or terrine

Favorite Entrees:

pasta - delicata squash, currants, Roquefort cheese, arugula, candied walnuts, brown butter.
flat iron steak - crispy leek potato cake, broccoli rabe, mushroom demi glaze

Favorite Dessert
fig crisp - fig and port ice cream

 

 


This is one of the inspired, creative dishes served at The Girl and the Fig.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

 

The Girl & The Fig
110 West Spain Street
Sonoma, CA. 95476.
On the northwest corner of the Historic Sonoma Plaza
telephone: 707.938.3634

http://www.thegirlandthefig.com/html-sonoma/index.html

 

This ambitious owner has recently opened an upscale deli/gourmet shop, The Fig Pantry and also Les Petites Maisons, five cozy cottages for rent, all located just one mile from historic Sonoma Plaza. They reflect the attention to detail, quality and panache that is found in the bistro. Sondra and her chef also conduct cooking vacations. Check out the website for details.

 



Photo by Michael Reiss

 




Photo by Michael Reiss

 



Photo by Michael Reiss

Les Petites Maisons
1190 East Napa Street
Sonoma, CA 95476

707-933-0340

http://www.thegirlandthefig.com/lespetitesmaisons/index.html

 

 

Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen



Photo by Michael Reiss

 

The design motif found at the Hotel Healdsburg of understated elegance is underscored at Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen, the restaurant attached to the hotel. Charlie's fame and well-deserved accolades from Aureole in New York City and Las Vegas set the stage for high dining expectations, and his latest venture does not disappoint. The focus here is on a menu and wine list based on locally grown ingredients. Executive Chef Mark Purdy plies these ingredients into sophisticated but elegantly simple presentations which allow the products themselves to shine through. The wine cellar provides a selection of over 2,000 varieties, all Sonoma County, with a wide selection of wines by the glass for food and wine pairings.


Dry Creek Kitchen's sleek, modern interior invites guests to a memorable gourmet experience.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Favorite Appetizers:

Yellow Tail Jack Sashimi with Dungeness Crab Timbale - tempura asparagus and cucumber consommé ($12)
Seared Sonoma Foie Gras - five spice French toast and rhubarb soup ($19)
Tomales Bay Miyagi Oysters with Pinot Blanc Mignonette and Black Pepper Crisps ($14)
Salad of Seasonal Field Greens and Herbs -champagne-shallot vinaigrette and pickled vegetables ($8)


Dry Creek Kitchen uses only Sonoma's finest ingredients to highlight natural flavors.
Photo by Michael Reiss




Favorite Entrees:

Slow Roasted Pork Tenderloin - carrot ginger puree, watercress, sugar snap peas, cumin scented pork jus ($23)
Pan Roasted North Cost Halibut-toasted couscous, alba clamshells, chilled watercress vichyssoise ($24)
Wild Mushroom Crepe-roasted asparagus puree and pea shoot salad ($16)

Favorite Desserts:

Selection of house-made ice creams and sorbets
Cheese course- a selection of Sonoma County artisan varietie
s


The Tasting Menus offered at lunch (4 courses at $35) and at dinner ( 6 courses at $60) are excellent values and a great way to experience the many culinary delights of the Dry Creek Kitchen.

 

Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen
at the Hotel Healdsburg

25 Matheson Street
Healdsburg, California 95448
(707) 431-2800
(707) 431-0414

 

 

Hot Picks: Sonoma Valley, California Wine Country

What To Do

Diane Sukiennik, Associate Editor, Food and Wine Access
          Michael Reiss, Editor, Food and Wine Access

Sonoma Valley

 

FOOD and WINE PAIRINGS

IN WINERY TASTING ROOMS

 

Many wineries in Sonoma Valley believe that to truly experience, appreciate and evaluate their wines they should be accompanied by their natural partner, food. They have introduced flights of wine paired with bites of food. These combinations are typically created by their in house chefs who are familiar with the wineries and are able to use the seasonal ingredients available locally to enhance the flavors and textures of both the components.

It is always best to consult your hotel concierge or bed and breakfast host to determine which wineries in the area are offering these programs as schedules change depending on the season. The wineries listed below offer food and wine pairings year round and are well worth trying for a total sensual experience.

 

J Vineyards & Winery

 




Photo by Michael Reiss

 

J Vineyards and Winery offers three different pairing options in their Bubble Room, an elegant dining area designed specifically for these tastings.



Photo by Michael Reiss

The options pair either white wines or Pinot Noirs or sparkling wines with delectable bites created by their Executive Chef, Mark Caldwell. This is an exceptional food and wine pairing which should not be missed.

.

Photo by Michael Reiss

J Vineyards & Winery
11447 Old Redwood Highway
Healdsburg, Ca.
707 431 3646

http://www.jwine.com/

 

 

Kendall-Jackson Winery


Photo by Michael Reiss

Kendall Jackson Winery offers an educational food and wine pairing conducted by one of their staff or the Executive Chef himself, Justin Wangler.


Photo by Michael Reiss

Each pairing is accompanied by a set of tasting notes for both the wine and accompanying food pairings.

 


Photo by Michael Reiss


Kendall-Jackson Winery
Santa Rosa, Ca.
1-800-769 3649

http://www.kj.com/

 


Mayo Family Winery

 


Photo by Michael Reiss

Mayo Family Winery provides a tasting room with chairs, service and delicious food to enhance your gustatory experience.


Photo by Michael Reiss

Single vineyard wines are matched with seven food pairings created by ZIN Restaurant's Chef Jeff Mall.

This is a delightful tasting at an affordable price.


Photo by Michael Reiss



Mayo Family Winery
340 Center St.
Healdsburg, Ca.
707 433 9400

http://www.mayofamilywinery.com/

 

COOKING SCOOLS IN SONOMA VALLEY


Ramekins Cooking School




Photo by Michael Reiss


Consider a cooking class at Ramekins Cooking School, while in Sonoma. Whether an observation-only or a hands-on class, this well-organized, professionally-run program is informative and entertaining.

The facility is superbly designed for optimal viewing, and the tastings accompanying each class are paired with appropriate wines. Ramekins can accommodate groups, as well as individuals, and they offer an ambitious program with local and guest chefs. Consult the course catalogue for offerings.

 



Photo by Michael Reiss

Ramekins Cooking School
450 West Spain St.
Sonoma, California 95476
(707) 933-0450
www.ramekins.com

 

RELISH CULINARY SCHOOL



Photo by Michael Reiss

Relish Culinary School is the brainchild of accomplished home chefs who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for their edible art.

"Have van will cook" has been their motto as they are able to provide movable classes and feasts in unique venues accommodating the needs of diverse clients from the business and leisure sector

. As of Spring 2007, they will have a new, stylish location next to the Healdsburg Hotel to expand their range of culinary offerings.



Photo by Michael Reiss

Relish Culinary School
PO Box 933
Healdsburg, Ca.
877 759 1004
www.relishculinary.com

 

ART GALLERIES/ CAFES WITH A CULINARY TWIST

SONONA VALLEY

 

PALETTE ART CAFE

A Visual and Culinary Gallery



What could be more appropriate in the wine country than an art gallery/cafe offering a variety of items both visual and gustatory that tantalize the senses. The Palette Art Cafe is a casual, modern, opened space with both indoor and outdoor venues. It is designed to compliment and enhance the visual enjoyment of art. Known for its fondue selections, Palette makes art a delicious exploration.

Palette Art Cafe
235 Healdsburg Avenue Suites 105/106
Healdsburg, Ca.
707 433 2788
www.palette-art.com

 


 


 


 
 

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