Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 1: Sonoma

Sunset over our private patio at the Garden Snuggery
We made it up to Sonoma in just over 6 hours from Los Angeles, which isn't bad.  We stayed a couple miles north of downtown Sonoma at the Garden Snuggery, a place I found on VRBO.  So far, between Santa Barbara and now Sonoma, VRBO has not failed us; the Garden Snuggery was cute and cozy, with a lovely patio and adirondack chairs overlooking the hills of Sonoma.  The room was clean and nicely appointed; my only complaint would be that there is only a bathtub and no shower.  I would definitely stay there again for one or two nights, and at $125 a night, it is cheaper than most motels in the Sonoma / Healdsburg area with more character and privacy.  We enjoyed relaxing and watching the sunset when we arrived and eating breakfast and having coffee outside on the patio in the morning.

The outdoor mural of the girl and the fig
For dinner, we went to the Girl and the Fig in downtown Sonoma.  The setting is so lovely; we sat in the outside patio by the firepits and under the twinkling lights.  The food was fairly straightforward and tasty, K. had the steak tartare, sauteed bay scallops, and a trio of ice creams: avocado, port and ?, and raspberry rhubarb.  The bay scallops were good, but I prefer my scallops more seared and close to rare, as opposed to sauteed and fully cooked.  I also prefer large scallops; bay scallops are small, about the size of a nickel.  The avocado ice cream (which sounded weird to me) was actually K's favorite.
 Steak Tartare: I love the deconstructed presentation with the lavender salt and mustard
I had the bistro special prix fixe: fried oysters, arctic char,  and the cheese plate, which was a good deal at $32.  The oysters were huge and creamy, although the batter was too thick and cornmeal-y.  I still prefer the fried oysters at Malibu Seafood.  The arctic char was cooked perfectly; the skin was fried so that it was nice and crispy and the fish was still moist and flavorful; I'm not that familiar with arctic char but it reminded me of salmon.  You can never go wrong with cheese, and I liked the fig cake and spiced nuts that went along with the cheese plate.  I wouldn't say any of the dishes was particularly outstanding, but the whole ambiance was just lovely and we had such a nice meal, I would definitely return and also recommend the restaurant to friends.  To top off a perfect evening, our friend Jenny texted us that the Lakers beat the Celtics for the championship!!!
 I loved the little chive blossoms that accompanied the arctic char.  They had a mild oniony taste to them
For our anniversary every year, it has become a fun tradition to open bottles of our wedding wines to celebrate.  We brought in all of our wine to our wedding: we served Morgan 2006 Metallico Chardonnay, Chateau D'aiguilhe 2005 Cotes du Castillon Bordeaux, and Schramsberg 2005 Blanc de Noirs.  Not only were we able to serve wines we actually enjoyed, as opposed to being forced to pick out of a narrow list, we also saved a lot of money and had plenty of bottles leftover to drink on our anniversaries.  We brought a bottle of Schramsburg's 2005 Blanc de Noirs to the Girl and the Fig help kick off our anniversary weekend, which was delicious as usual and went well with all of our food as champagne usually does; to make it even better, the restaurant was nice enough to comp corkage for our anniversary.
The Girl and the Fig
110 West Spain Street
Sonoma, CA  95476
(707) 938-3634

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