Restaurants near "A Modern Sonoma"

El Dorado Kitchen

California Cuisine, Contemporary Decor, Outdoor Patio - Lunch & Dinner daily

One of our favorites for dinner - Executive Chef Armando Navarro’s award-winning and locally-loved menu is crafted from Sonoma ingredients that change with the season. Trained under some of the best chefs in the country, including JeanGeorges Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud, Traci Des Jardins and Richard Reddington, Chef Navarro sources the best of Sonoma to create a beautiful menu of options from morning until night. Soups, salads and fresh oysters are among the offerings for lunch and dinner starters and could include dishes such as the Pork Belly & Scallops, Wagyu Beef Carpaccio or Roasted King Trumpet Mushrooms, giving way to main courses of a selection of meat, poultry and fish options including Petaluma Chicken, their signature EDK Burger or King Salmon. A sweet selection of desserts as well as artisan cheeses round out the experience of dining at El Dorado Kitchen.

Heavily tilted toward local Sonoma and Napa wineries, the robust wine list is a virtual tour through California wine country and includes more than 200 selections, with additional international wines from France, Italy, Australia and Spain. They also strive to seek out and showcase wineries that promote organic and biodynamic agriculture.

Signature cocktails are made with passion and a sense of humor, using only the best spirits and fresh juices. Exploration is encouraged and they even offer spirit flights for those who want to delve into their favorite particular spirit such as grappa or brandy. Their bar offers one of the best artisan craft beer selections in all of Sonoma with cult favorites like Stone Brewing’s IPA and local favorite, Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’.

El Dorado Kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch, Sunday brunch and dinner daily. 

Cafe La Haye

Cafe La Haye Zagat Review

Wine Spectator

Saul Gropman and Jeffrey Lloyd from Cafe La Haye

Located just off Sonoma Plaza, Cafe La Haye offers an appealingly unfussy sophistication. The split-level dining room holds just a dozen or so tables, but its open kitchen, raftered ceiling and walls adorned with modern art create a vibrant energy that’s contagious.

Convivial owner Saul Gropman and chef Jeffrey Lloyd make a formidable team. Lloyd, former executive chef of restaurant Michael Mina, offers a seasonal menu that’s discreet in its complexity, featuring the sort of dishes that seem to get better with each bite. Wolfe Ranch quail is paired with a sauce of black olive and white wine, while petrale sole comes with a delicate porcini cream sauce.

Gropman’s wine list comprises a modest 100 bottles, but it’s a smart, well-focused selection that ranges from value choices such as Bedrock Zinfandel Sonoma Valley Old Vine 2010 ($47) to splurges such as Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche 2005 ($3,500). 

Harvest Moon Cafe

Californian, Farm to Table, Outdoor Patio- Menu changes daily

Harvest Moon Café is located on the main town square in Sonoma. Without an obvious facade, this place has become popular by word of mouth. They are know for their great weekend brunch where locals sip and oversized cappuccino and perhaps indulge in a savory dish of tender gigante beans served with chewy pieces of pancetta, sautéed garlicky Swiss chard and kale, and heartily topped off with two fried eggs. Tourists join the mix at dinner. The café serves California fare made from local, seasonal ingredients, such as crisp chicory salad in tangy blue cheese dressing with caramelized grilled onions and smoky-salty bacon. The charming café is adorned with wildflowers, an open kitchen and bar, as well as an outdoor patio for warm days.

Delightful memories" are made at this "little jewel on Sonoma Square," where a husband-and-wife team provides "friendly, attentive" service while turning out "sublime," "reasonably priced" Cal-Med dinners (and Sunday brunches) based on "whatever is fresh that day"; the "casual," "homey" interior is somewhat "cramped" so insiders head for the "pleasant" back garden that's like "a bit of Provence."  A must visit!


Oso Sonoma

Rustic & Modern

Small plates, Raw Bar, Tasting Menu Option, Open late

Oso is a place to relax and enjoy the finest wine country has to offer in a casual and relaxing environment. Sit at the bar for drinks or lounge for drinks and small plates, including a raw bar.  Chef David Bush maintains a dynamic menu that is constantly evolving so expect a few surprises during your experience at OSO.   Nestled in the charming and historic Sonoma Plaza creating an ideal wine country experience.

The Glen Ellen Star

California Cuisine, Rustic Setting, Wood Fired Oven

Established in 2012, Glen Ellen Star is a rising culinary establishment in Glen Elllen, minutes away from "A Modern Sonoma"  that strives to provide a personable yet refined dining experience for those who love food. Led by Chef Ari Weiswasser and his wife Erinn Benziger-Weiswasser, and their talented team, Glen Ellen Star specializes in a wood-fire cooking technique that brings out the best flavors of their California inspired dishes.

Weiswasser, a Food & Wine People’s Best New Chef 2015, spent his formidable culinary years in numerous fine-dining establishments in New York City and Philadelphia, mastering the fundamentals of elevated cuisine and service before moving to California and deciding to do things differently at Glen Ellen Star. He then spent two years at Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry in Yountville before opening Glen Ellen Star across the street from his wife’s family’s Benziger Family Winery, planting gardens in the vineyard to provide much of the kitchen’s produce. Weiswasser also works on expanding the restaurant’s private party operations, under the name Stellar Catering.

Aventine Glen Ellen

Located in Jack London Village- Modern Italian in a Rustic Atmosphere
Aventine Glen Ellen brings the neighborhood ambiance and exquisite cuisine of a traditional Italian Osteria to heart of Sonoma’s vibrant wine country. With their new takes on classic dishes, extensive wine menu and pairing options, and beautiful location along the Sonoma Creek, Aventine Glen Ellen is the perfect setting to enjoy a memorable evening—whether its dinner for two or your own private event.  

El Molino

Casual and 3 minutes away on Hwy. 12.  Authentic Mexican cusine, homemade tortillas, Beer and wine and outdoor dining.


El Molino Central

By Patricia Unterman / July 26, 2015 / No Comments

Authentic Mexican Cuisine, Homemade Tortillas, Beer and Wine, Outdoor dining, very casual.  Our favorite!!

Tall, blonde, and larger than life, Karen Taylor Waikiki seems improbable as the chef/owner of the best taco stand in Northern California, but she knows exactly what it takes to cook luscious, fully realized Mexican food. At her destination taco stand in Boyes Hot Springs on the outskirts of the town of Sonoma, she starts with the basics, masa made with organic dried corn, stone ground daily on site, for tortillas, tamales and chips. Upon these she builds a small menu of vibrantly fresh, local-ingredient-driven dishes that I personally long for whenever I feel the urge to eat Mexican. If you’ve ever stoically stood in the never-ending line at the Super Rica taco stand in Santa Barbara, so beloved by Julia Child, you’ll understand the pull of El Molino Central. Thankfully I have yet to wait more than five minutes for the Sonoma experience.

At El Molino, the thick, super crisp chips need all their heft to scoop up guacamole ($5.50) made of bright green avocado halves barely crushed with green chiles, cilantro and white onion. These sturdy chips, equally good dipped into green tomatillo or smoky red chipotle salsa ($4) can easily turn into a meal by themselves.

I never liked tamales until I started eating El Molino’s. Most tamales seem so bland and heavy, a chore to get through for a few spoons of filling. But the tamale masa here tastes like buttered fresh corn and is as compelling as their ample fillings– pork ($11.50); Oaxacan chicken mole ($12.50); or mushroom, spinach, chipotle and cheese ($9.50). The tamales sometimes get a sauce but always a high-note topping of piquant vegetable relish.

During recent hot weather, I’ve been eating octopus tostadas ($12.50), of cooked–not raw–diced octopus, provocatively chewy in a ceviche-style salsa of exactingly cut tomatoes, red onions and avocado scented with a whisper of dried Mexican oregano. This cool, juicy mixture spooned onto two crisp, fried-to-order tortillas hits the summertime spot.

El Molino’s fish tacos ($9.50), battered, impeccably deep fried fingers of satiny local rock fish splashed with avocado-lime mayonnaise and a drizzle of hot salsa de arbol achieve perfect balance. Tender, warm tortillas take the fish taco to new heights. (To get anything close, you’d have to travel to Ensenada in Baja California where you’re handed a tortilla with a naked log of deep fried fish which you dress yourself with thinly sliced radishes, cabbage, crema and salsa.)


9/19/2015 El Molino Central | Patricia Unterman on Food

El Molino elevates enchiladas ($12), the workhorse of the Mexican-American menu, with lush fillings and sauces, using the best ingredients in every layer. Look for chicken-filled enchiladas suizas in vibrant green salsa and the sour cream that turns them “suiza,” Swiss; and chard-filled ones with tomato salsa, crema and cheese.

But the dish that really seduces me right now is chile relleno ($13.50), a roasted and peeled medium hot green chile poblano filled with unctuous sweet corn and melted white cheese flanked by fresh tomato salsa, rice, and an incredibly delicious puree of black beans on the the side. Put a little of everything on the plate in a torn piece of tortilla and you attain nirvana– over and over.

To drink, have fresh cantaloupe aqua fresca, sweetened just enough to be fun but still be refreshing. There are good beers and respectable local wines as well.

The screen door slaps shut as you enter the colorfully painted shop. Place your order at the counter and walk through the buzzing kitchen to find a table on the small patio under a trellis at the back. You’ll get the whole picture. Cheerful Spanish speaking cooks and food runners move efficiently in cramped, immaculate quarters. They work precisely. Everyone is kind to the customers and each other, something lovely to behold.

That attitude and work ethic flows directly from the owner, someone who has traveled all over Mexico and cooked at the shrine, the authentic Mexican kitchen of Diana Kennedy. Karen strikes me as a wanderer open to adventure, a free-spirit and a consciously evolved human being. Underline “human.” Her instincts about food, people, service and generosity ennoble everything she directly or indirectly touches–not the least, those of us who make the pilgrimage to her stand.

Note: You can get a good sampling of El Molino’s dishes, plus chips, salsa, tamales and fresh tortillas to take home at Karen Taylor Waikiki’s Primavera food booth at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market every Saturday.

11 Central Avenue, Sonoma. 707 939 1010 Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


The Girl & The Fig

Country French, Outdoor Patio, Rhone Influenced Wine List

The girl & the fig features a wonderful antique bar with French aperitifs, unique and traditional cocktails, an award-winning Rhone-Alone winelist, a seasonal menu, cheese & charcuterie platters, and outdoor garden patio seating.  our favorites are the fig & Arugula salad and duck confit and don't forget the fries & mussels!

all-day menu - monday - thursday 11:30 - 10

all-day menu - friday - saturday 11 - 10

late night brasserie menu - til 11 pm  - friday - saturday

breakfast menu - 8 - 11 am - friday - saturday

sunday brunch 10 - 3 

sunday dinner 3 - 10

bar open til last call