Friday, July 04, 2008

Food in Wine Country

I had a wonderful time in Sonoma County visiting with family, touring wineries and tasting wine, but the food....oh the food.

Three outstanding meals at three outstanding restaurants cap off the food segment of my trip to California.

First was at a restaurant in Graton, CA called Underwood Bar & Bistro. We dined there on a Friday night and it was busy, but thankfully my hostesses made reservations.

We started with drinks. I had a Mercury Margarita, which was lovely. My dining partners had the Lulu and Champagne Brandy Cocktail. Both were pleased.

Then came the food. As tempting as the tapas were, I found myself drooling over the offer of creamed fingerling potatoes, so I opted for the Roasted Chicken with a Meyer lemon-rosemary rub and green beans along with the aforementioned potatoes. Good choice.

One of my dining partners did go for the tapas and ordered the roasted beets and hoisin glazed baby back ribs. We all tasted each others and I have to say I felt a twinge of regret in not getting these ribs. They were scrumptious.

The other one chose the Ravioli and it was wonderful and fresh.

We decided to share a dessert. As tempting as the Meyer lemon panna cotta was, we decided on the special which was a mixed fruit cobbler with ice cream. Good choice.

The fruits were warm and tangy. The fruit was peaches, apricots and cherries.

Another fantastic meal out was in Healdsburg, CA at a restaurant called Ravenous. It was in a quaint little house turned restaurant with tangerine painted walls and wood floors.

Because the rooms are small and ceilings low - it was loud. It was packed when we were there and I get the feeling it always is. We dined in the expansive back patio/yard/deck. It was a beautiful day to eat outside.

Service was poor but in browsing the web for a link to their web site which apparently doesn't exist, I see we aren't the only ones who think so. Apparently it hasn't hurt their business.

But the food was worth waiting for.

I ordered the Roasted Pork Quesadillas. What I got was so much more.

The tortilla was obviously homemade and nice and thick and puffy - stuffed with tender, flavorful pork slices, red onions and MJ cheese.

Served with the quesadilla was a salsa/salad combo of avocado, roasted corn, black beans, red onions and a lime vinaigrette. This was soooo good.

I tried duplicating this at home last night, but with sirloin steak that I put a spicy dry rub on and grilled. It turned out great.

I changed the salsa to match the veggies I got in my farm share basket yesterday so it contained roasted corn, black beans, red onion, cucumbers, and zucchini.

I consider it a success.

The last restaurant was in Sonoma, CA. It was called The Red Grape.

We were there for lunch so I ordered the Pork and Brie Grilled Panini. It was wonderful - roasted tenderloin of pork with French brie cheese, caramelized onions and green apple, served with rosemary potato wedges. Delicioso!


LisaRene said...

I'm jealous, your trip sounds wonderful :)

Melody said...

I really had a great time.