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Friday, March 3, 2017

Top-Notch Dining in Sonoma County

Besides an abundance of premium wine Sonoma County offers lots of great restaurants. I mean dozens and dozens. But if you want to get a world-class meal where should you go? You won't find a lot of pretense, but you will find great food and a great experience.

 Bodega Bay

Drake's Sonoma Coast Kitchen (used to be the Duck Club) is at the Bodega Bay Lodge -- lodging and eating are both outstanding.

Terrapin Creek calls themselves casual international dining. It's a Michelin star restaurant in little ol' Bodega Bay.


The Farmhouse Inn restaurant is first-class, Michelin-starred, difficult to get into, and isn't inexpensive, but it's an experience.


Underwood Bistro in little Graton lets local grape growers and tourists mix. Excellent food in a casual atmosphere.


Disclaimer: Trying to pick the best in a town full of great food like Healdsburg (or Sonoma) is tough.

Barndiva Maybe known for their cocktails more than the dining. The outdoor area makes a great lunch stop. Hundreds of wines to choose from. Local ingredients with flair.

Dry Creek Kitchen was Healdsburg's first high-end restaurant when it turned from a slow-moving farm town to a top wine country destination. A huge wine list. You owe it to yourself to have a Zinfandel from nearby Dry Creek Valley.

Madronna Manor has good food in a great setting.


River's End has the best dinner sunset opportunity in Sonoma County.

Santa Rosa

Bistro 29 is in a nondescript block of downtown, a bit small with the tables a bit too close together, but then it is a bistro in the French meaning of the word and in the food. And is that food ever good.

John Ash In restaurant-years they've been around seemingly forever. A huge selection of local wines and outstanding grilled meats. The bar area is excellent for a happy hour drink before dining. My favorite spot for our anniversary dinner.


The Girl & the Fig is the most well-known restaurant in a town full of excellent restaurants. There's a reason it's famous and a reason it has been around for many years.


I have left out dozens of restaurants that could be on the list, but am trying to hit some ones I'm more familiar with. Healdsburg or Sonoma each probably have a dozen other restaurants that would make you quite happy.