Best Sonoma Restaurants. Well, it was the year the kale salad took center stage. Toast became an entree. Meatless dishes got really interesting. Comfort food got even more comforting. Lentils and uni became my favorite foods. Donuts made a bold return and we learned a thing or two about the authentic flavors of Thailand, Mexico, India and Hungary.

In an otherwise (let’s admit it) crap-tastic year, the dishes of Sonoma County’s restaurants were the constant surprise and delight in a 365-day slog of “did that seriously just happen?”

Here are some of the best, most interesting, beautiful, delightful, surprising and most of all delicious dishes of the year in pictures. And here’s to 2018, where the table’s set and our Sonoma County chefs are eagerly waiting to impress us yet again.

Salad with Cheevo goat cheese at Brewsters in Petaluma, one of the best Sonoma County restaurants dishes of 2017

Salad with Cheevo goat cheese at Brewsters in Petaluma, one of the best Sonoma County restaurants dishes of 2017.Heather Irwin/PD

A few restaurants get multiple call outs for their incredible quality, care and passion for food. That, and the beauty of their dishes. I encourage you to click on the links and find out more about them.

– Bistro 29

– Handline

– Tisza Bistro

– Trading Post

Flower and Bone

– County Bench (now closed)

– Drawing Board

Fin. 2017

Please note that restaurants like Single Thread in Healdsburg and a handful of others aren’t included because I simply didn’t take pictures there — not because they weren’t great. All photos by Heather Irwin.