Mother’s Day 2011

Restaurants, brunches and breakfast in bed ideas for mom

Take it from someone who knows: The best gift for a hard-working mother is a meal she doesn’t have to make. Want to really make her heart sing? Clean up after yourself, too.

Mother’s Day (which is Sunday, May 8, in case you forgot), is the one day each year we moms get a pass to put up our feet, be showered with affection and appreciated for all we do. We accept with equal gratitude tissue flowers and finger-painted masterpieces as well as wildflower bouquets, cards and hug coupons.

But for the lady who serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner without fail day after day, a reprieve from the kitchen is worth its weight in gold. So if you’re searching for the perfect idea, even last minute, there’s still hope for the lollygaggers and late-comers among you.

Shower her with Flowers: Luther Burbank Home & Gardens
From petunias to tomatoes, a variety of perennials, herbs, annuals and veggies are on sale from $2 to $9, along with a free corsage. Propagated from the historic gardens of this horticultural landmark, these starts have serious green-thumb cache for backyard gardeners. 204 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, 524-5445.

Where to eat nearby: Bliss Bakery (gluten-free goodies, 463 Sebastopol Avenue
Santa Rosa, 542-6000),  Taqueria Las Palmas (spice up mom’s day, 415 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa, 546-3091); Dierk’s Parkside Café (404 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa, 573-5955), Rendez Vous Bistro (10am to 8pm, kids under 10 eat free, $5 mimosas, 614 4th Street Santa Rosa, 526-7700).

Head To The Country: Get a little fresh air on a drive through West County, destination unknown.
On your way, Lynmar Estate Winery is offering moms a taste of their new rose release paired with Meyer lemon pound cake and strawberries (the dessert is free for moms, $10 for everyone else, 3909 Frei Road, Sebastopol, 829-3374.)  On the way, stop for a to-dip into the cool Russian River, a stroll through the Sunday farm market in downtown Sebastopol and end the day with a slice of pie from Mom’s Apple Pie (4550 Gravenstein Highway North Sebastopol, CA 95472-2240 – (707) 823-8330). Stroll with mom along the beautiful West County Trail (you can park behind the old Graton Fire Station, but watch for bikes while walking!)

Where to eat nearby:  Zazu Restaurant & Farm: $37 per person, kids under 12 half price. 9am to 3pm, 3535 Guerneville Road, Santa Rosa, 523-4814; Henweigh Café ($16.95 Mom’s Day Brunch 9:30am to 2pm, 4550 Gravenstein Hwy North, Sebastopol 829-7500, ; Sarah’s Forestville Kitchen (cash only, but great southern-inspired favorites and a kid-friendly patio, 6566 Front St., Forestville, 887-1055). Willow Wood Market and Café, 9020 Graton Rd., Graton, 823-0233.

Valley Venture: Sonoma Valley reminds us all why we live here…the views, the hills, the farms and of course, the wine
Both Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and Jack London State Park have mild to adventurous hikes to work up mom’s appetite. Afterwards, stop in for a wine tasting along Highway 12 (Chateau St. Jean and Landmark are particularly mom-friendly) or a biodynamic vineyard and cave tour at Benziger Winery.  In Glen Ellen, the Red Barn Store is a hidden gem with Martha Stewart-perfect wreaths and flowers along with herbs and vegetables from the coveted Oak Hill Farm. (10am to 6pm Wed through Sunday, 15101 Sonoma Hwy)

Where to eat nearby:  Big 3 Diner (18140 Hwy, 12, Sonoma, 939-2410); girl and the fig, 110 W. Spain St., Sonoma, 938-3634;  Red Grape Pizza, 529 1st Street West, Sonoma, 996-4103); Epicurean Connection (grab and go sandwiches, cheeses, fresh salads and picnic fare, 18812 Sonoma Hyw, Sonoma).

Grab a Picnic and Go: 
Seems like pretty much everyone has the same idea on warm, sunny days – head to the park.
Be prepared to jockey for parking and be sure to bring a blanket to sit on, as picnic tables are at a premium. But if you’re headed park side, make sure to stock up with plenty of yummy picnic fare beforehand. Many wineries are happy to have picnickers, but it’s usually necessary to purchase a bottle of wine beforehand.
Dry Creek General Store, 3495 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 433-4171
Fresh By Lisa Hemenway: 5755 Mountain Hawk, Santa Rosa, 595-1048.
Oakville Grocery: 124 Matheson Street, Healdsburg, 433-3200
Andy’s Produce: 1691 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, 823-8661
Glen Ellen Village Market: 13751 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, 996-6728.

Breakfast in Bed: Don’t worry if you can’t boil water. There are plenty of local bakeries who’ll let you take all the credit.
–    Downtown Bakery and Creamery: Best sticky buns in the world. 308 A Center St., Healdsburg, 431-2719.
–    Village Bakery: 1445 Town and Country Drive, Santa Rosa, 527-7654
–    Blue Label at the Belvedere: 727 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, 542-8705.
–    Bovine Bakery: 23 Kentucky Street, Petaluma, 789-9556
–    Café des Croissants: 2444 Lomitas Avenue, Santa Rosa, 544-6710, also Montgomery Village and Oakmont.
–    Donut Hut: 555 Healdsburg Avenue, Santa Rosa, 544-2085.