Sonoma County holds a special place in our hearts since it’s where we got married. But we don’t love Sonoma because we got married there; we got married there because we love Sonoma.
Neighboring Napa may have the upper hand on fame because of its big, bold cabernet sauvignons, but we’ll let you in on a little secret – Sonoma is a much better place to visit. Sonoma has world-class pinot noirs, chardonnays, zinfandels, sauvignon blancs, and even cabernets to rival Napa. In fact, Napa wines often get a fair share of their grapes from Sonoma. It’s also less touristy, has more accessible wineries, is less congested, has charming small towns, and some incredible food.
While you almost can’t go wrong in choosing a place to eat, here are some Sonoma County favorites from a recent weekend trip there to celebrate our first anniversary.
Heading north from the Oakland airport, we almost always route through the city of Sonoma in southern Sonoma County for one reason: to eat at the girl & the fig!
Sitting just off the picturesque Sonoma town square, the girl & the fig is an adorably chic restaurant with a delightful patio where we normally sit. The food is legendary. While we’ve never had a bad bite, our go-to dish is the quiche Lorraine.
The first time we ever had the quiche was the first time we ever eat there. We were being escorted to our table and passed what looked like a beautifully tall, fluffy cheesecake. Only on closer inspection, it wasn’t cheesecake – it was the highest quiche we’d ever seen. And, yes, it tasted as good as it looked. No matter what else we order there, we always get the quiche. Some other highly recommended items play off the fig theme: the fig & arugula salad and the fig royale cocktail.
For dinner, we headed to northern Sonoma County to the one-stop town of Geyersville. Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria was the site of our incredible rehearsal dinner last year. As amazing as we knew they were, they wowed us with our rehearsal dinner and we’re not sure that some wedding guests didn’t enjoy Diavola more than our equally delicious wine-paired wedding menu. Of all the restaurants in Sonoma County, this authentically Italian pizzeria was Mrs. Smith’s choice for her birthday dinner.
While it’s hard to pass up the incredible house cured salami & cheese plate (see what they did for our rehearsal dinner), we can only eat so much.
So we opted for the lighter Dry Creek Farms peach salad with mustard greens, crispy prosciutto, goat cheese, pistachio and muscatel vinaigrette. Beautifully fresh.
Though they do have a variety of pastas and other entrees, we go for the pizzas. Some of the best outside of Naples! Tonight’s choice was the Inferno with roasted red peppers, tomato, basil, provolone, mozzarella and spicy Calabrian peppers. It was perfectly spicy.
Cool scoops of gelato for dessert provided the perfect antidote.