My husband and I really love to explore the food scene when we travel. Although we were pretty busy with tastings on our recent trip to California’s wine country, we still managed to enjoy some awesome Foodie Finds. Sometimes we even combined the two!!
Our first Wine Tasting when we arrived in Sonoma was at Jacuzzi Winery. When we made our reservation, we also placed an order for a Charcuterie board. Since our reservation was around 11am, this amble board made a perfect light lunch. The board was beautifully presented with 2 kinds of sliced bread along with their own olive oil and balsalmic vinegar. Additionally there was a second board with 3 kinds of cheese, 3 types of olives, 2 types of Italian meats and some delicious seasoned almonds. It was the perfect pairing for our Wine Tasting!
We stayed at the Double Tree Sonoma Wine Country hotel in Rohnert Park. After completing our first day of tastings, we decided to walk over to the Bear Republic Brewery. It was a lovely evening and it took less than 10 minutes to walk from the hotel. Mark had been a good player with Wine Tastings all day, and this was his chance to have a beer. Although he enjoys a good glass of wine, beer is more his style.
I was surprised by how big the brewery was. It’s a good thing there were lots of different seating areas to choose from, because it was Saturday night and the place was popping. We decided on an outside table near the lake.
Neither of us was starving, so we decided to split an order of wings and a side of fries. We got the wings with the “house sauce” which was crazy good. When we finished the wings there was still sauce in the basket so I dipped my fries into it. Spicy yummy goodness! I was glad I had ordered a Bear Republic IPA which tasted really good and helped cut the heat from the wings.
When we headed out to Goat Rock beach in Jenner, we planned a stop along the way in Guerneville at the Korbel Winery and Deli. It was brilliant because not only did we get to taste some bubbles, we were also able to gather items for our beach picnic from their deli. Their menu had a wide selection of salads, sandwiches and beverages to choose from. I had a delicious Kobb salad and Mark ordered the Wine Country cheese box. Since we had a driver, we also took a chilled bottle of bubbly Brut Rose to go with our picnic. It was the perfect beach meal.
After finishing a tasting at Thumbprint Cellars in Healdsburg, we explored in town for a little while before stopping in at HBG (Healdsburg Bar & Grill) fur lunch. They had an extensive list of draft beers on tap which was a win for Mark. To mix things up a bit, he ordered the Gyro and I had a very intersting Asparagus and Egg Salad plate served with pita wedges and green goddess dressing. Wow, it was so unique and tasty. I love trying new things.
With two very sophisticated tastings scheduled on our last day, we split them up with a stop at nearby V. Sattui Winery for lunch and Wine Tasting. They have a lovely picnic area set up for people to enjoy their meal. When we went into their Italian deli, I was pleased to see a really large variety of menu options. Mark went all in ordering the Italian seafood salad, olives and feta in seasoned oil, and lasagna. I tried to keep it light with the chicken almond salad but couldn’t resist adding an arancini and a canoli. Oh well, vacation calories don’t count and it was worth it because everything was delicious.
I highly recommend stopping here for lunch even if you don’t plan a Wine Tasting.
With Covid restrictions still in place during our visit, our hotel breakfast options were not so great. Mark loves breakfast and you need a solid meal before heading out to do Wine Tastings. One day he planned for us to have breakfast at the nearby Cafe Mimosa. Um….with a name like Cafe Mimosa, I wasn’t arguing!
We chose a table on the outdoor patio to enjoy the beautiful morning. I started us off by ordering a flight of Mimosa’s to share. We got to choose 3 flavors so we had Mango, Raspberry and a Bellini. Although a Bellini is one of my favorite drinks, I thought their Mango Mimosa was the best.
Their beverage menu was pretty sweet. In addition to 7 Mimosa flavors to choose from, you could also order bubbles or the Mimosa of the Month. When we we there it was a Manmosa which was 12 ounces of Blue Moon beer mixed with fresh squeezed blood orange juice. We saw one delivered to a table near us and it looked delightful.
For breakfast I got the eggs benedict with rosemeary potatoes. Fantastic. Mark had a breakfast plate with eggs, toast and chicken apple sausage. The sausage was something new for him, and he really liked it. Not only was the food good at Cafe Mimosa, the service was terrific. They were friendly, sincere and attentive. This really started our day off in the right direction!
Sometimes on vacation you eat 3 lunches, lol. That is what we did on our big FoodVenture Day where we focused on the food and only had one Wine Tasting. There are some food places in this area that are iconic and you just have to see what they are all about.
Our first lunch was at The Girl and the Fig in Sonoma. When planning our trip, we had lots of recommendations for this restaurant. It is incredibly busy, so be sure to make a reservation in advance through Open Table! I was able to secure our reservation for 1:45 which fit perfectly into our day.
We had a nice table on their outdoor patio. The waitress began by bringing us wonderful warm bread to snack on while we waited for our lunch. I ordered a blood orange quencher (non alcoholic) which was quite refreshing, and had hoped to get the cheese tower, because I had heard good things about it. But it wasn’t currently available on their menu. Knowing we had more lunches on the horizon, I simply moved on to the Cheese & Charcuterie. The fig jam was so delicious. I was dipping everything into it. I wasn’t crazy about the nuts because they had some kind of a sweet coating on them, But everything else was spot on. Mark ordered a glass of Sauvingon Blanc and the ham and potato soup. He raised an eyebrown though because he didn’t realize the soup was pureed, which is not his style.
The man at the table next to us ordered a pork chop. It was huge and looked delicious. Good thing we were almost done when we saw it or Mark would have had to order one of those too. After helping me finish my Cheese & Charcuterie, he pronounced that there would be no more cheese boards for him on this trip, lol. They are just so good.
Our 2nd lunch was Hog Island Oysters at the Oxbow Market in Napa. Mark is a huge fan of oysters and I really wanted to take him there so that he could have some fresh local ones. Something that’s hard to do where we live in Michigan. When we got to the Oxbow Market, we walked around for a few minutes looking at all the different shops. About 3:45 we headed to their counter to order. Surprise, due to Covid and the labor shortage, they were currently closing at 4pm. Whaaaat? 4pm? I told the Hostess my sad story that we had no idea and that this was our one shot at eating there. She did end up seating us. In appreciation, we put in a quick and simple order for just a dozen oysters. They came with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce, horseradish, a wonderful mignonette and a baguette. They were fantastic! So glad we didn’t miss out!
There was no way we were still actually hungry when we left Hog Island Oysters, but Gotts Roadside was literally just around the corner. Since they are a Napa must, lunch number 3 was burgers from Gotts. Mark kept it simple with a cheeseburger and I went for their classic California burger. Nom, nom, nom, so good!!! We also ordered some garlic fries to share because we had heard they were amazing, but they were a little too much for me. I wished we still had room for a milkshake. Next time for sure!
a few snacks to share
One evening after our wine tasting adventures, we just needed a little something before settling in. Mary’s Pizza was located a quick 5 minute walk from our hotel. We popped in and were seated immediately on their outdoor patio. You may have notice that we often order food to share when we are not too hungry. At Mary’s we shared the He & She which is 2 huge meatballs covered in cheese and swimming in tomato sauce, along with the Mary’s salad (Grated mozzarella, salami, marinated three-bean salad, coarse black pepper, hard-boiled egg, beets, carrots, mushrooms, tomato and red onion, piled on iceberg lettuce) and an order of garlic cheese bread. Very casual and the food was just right.
I simply adore French bakeries. We planned a quick stop at the Costeaux French Bakery in Healdsburg one morning to see what kind of yummy deliciousness they had in store for us. It was very busy (always a good sign) and when I made my way to the counter, I saw they only had one chocolate croissant left. That was exactly what I had wanted. I got it even though I thought I was going to have to arm wrestle the man behind me for it. With a chocolate croissant on the line, I could have taken him! I also snagged a couple of pistacio macarons for later. Mark had a flaky pastry covered in powdered sugar and sliced almonds that looked pretty good. We sat on a park bench in the Healdsburg square and enjoyed our decadent pastries. Mine was so buttery, flaky and perfect! Pure joy.
Overall, I feel like we experienced a wide range of Foodie Finds during our 5 day Sonoma Wine Adventure. Maybe a few too many cheese plates, but they go so well with wine. It was awesome that we traveled with someone who had a lot of experience in the area and he really knew where to find the perfect lunch stops on our Wine Tasting days.
Breakfast was our biggest Struggle on this trip, but we managed. It is a must when traveling with my husband because it is usually his biggest meal of the day and without breakfast, he gets a bit hangry, lol. So discovering Cafe Mimosa was a real win for us.
Although we did take advantage of our location a few nights with easy dinners within walking distance of our hotel, we also planned out adventures to try out some of the area dining hot spots. It might have been nice to have had a little more time to spread them out instead of having a 3 lunch binge day. But hey, whatever works, right? My husband says that when we go back, we need to plan to have dinner one evening at The Girl and the Fig. They seemed to have some fantastic options for dinner.
Well that’s a wrap on our Foodie Finds for this trip. I’d love to hear about some of your favorite places to grab a bite in the Sonoma or Napa area! Just drop a comment at the end of the post!
Dream, Plan, Save, Adventure…..and eat lots of yummy food!