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Valentine’s Day Dining 2011 in Sonoma County

Where to dine on February 14. That's Valentine's Day in case you forgot.

Okay lovers, here’s the annual wrap-up of romantic eats around the North Bay. Almost all require reservations and most will sell out. On your mark, get set…Valentine!

$ = Lower-cost menus.

Got a question or something you want to add? Shout out!

SANTA ROSA
Jackson’s Bar and Oven: If you failed to make a resy, take heart, Jackson’s doesn’t take ’em anyway. Last minute Romeos can check out the three course menu including a chilled shellfish plate with half a Maine lobster, oysters, prawns and scallop ceviche, veal osso bucco and Valrohna chocolate fondue with brownies, fruit and crispy marshmallows. $85 for two, $20pp for Mauritson Estate wine pairing. Regular menu also available. 135 4th Street. Santa Rosa, 545-6900.

Zazu: We dare you to try and choose just three items from this prix fixe whopper. Poutine with truffled fonduta gravy, hamachi poke, red curry and lobster soup, potted foie gras, teleme ravioli, Kalua pig, Delmonico steak for two, frozen woopie pie, s’more dacquiose. $69. 3535 Guerneville Road. 523-4814.

Bistro 29: How many courses may just depend on how very in love you are. Chef Brian Anderson goes from a demure four-course prix fixe to a hot and heavy six-course menu. Selections include oysters on the half-shell, Maine lobster bisque, seared foie gras, buckwheat crepe with duck confit, grilled quail with pain d’Epice bread pudding, duck confit with duck fat potatoes, Beef Wellington, bistro escargot in buttered brioche, roasted shrimp with paprika garlic butter baguette. Wine pairings available for $32, $39 and $46. 650 Fifth St. 546-2929.

Santi: New chef Douglas Richey dives into Valentine’s Day with a 4 course menu ($75) including crudo of yellow tail and sea urchin with Meyer lemon granita; potato leek soup with fried Miyagi oysters; rock shrimp gnocchi; chicken “Saltimbocca” with prosciutto, fontina and sage; wood roasted sturgeon, braised beef short ribs and steamed chocolate cake with raspberries and mint cream. Wine pairings available for $40. 2097 Stagecoach Rd. 528-1549.

Jack and Tony’s: $45 three course menu. Menu items include seared sea scallops, potato leek soup, braised lamb shank with noodles, filet mignon with prawns, seared sea bass, bananas foster with vanilla ice cream. 115 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, 526-4347.

Syrah: Chef Josh Silvers outdoes himself with a four-course, prix-fixe menu Valentine’s Day with dishes including champagne poached oysters, lobster bisque with tarragon cream, black truffle gnocchi, Liberty duck breast, whiskey creamed lobster vol-au-vent, braised short ribs and a dessert tasting plate. $85, with wine pairing an additional $40. 205 Fifth St. 568-4002.

Blue Label at the Belvedere: The menu’s still in the works, but chef Miriam Donaldson plans a four course prix fixe and a glass of bubbly on Sunday (they are closed Monday) for $50 per person.  Reservations at 707-542-8705, 727 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, 542-8705.

$ Sizzling Tandoor: A solid choice for vegetarian couples, the downtown Indian eatery offers up a meat-free feast including lentil soup, veggie pakoras, Nine Jewels Korma (local veggies in creamy tomato gravy) along with fresh naan, and homemade mango ice cream, $24.99. Their omnivorous V-day menu includes Mulligatawny soup, salad, heart-shaped aloo tike, tandoori platter, chicken tike masala and a a dessert platter for $34.99. 409 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, 579-5999.

La Gare: Starting on Friday, February 11th through Monday the 14th, the restaurant will  offer Lobster Tail and is available for combining with one of Roger’s popular steaks to create a surf ‘n’ turf feast. 208 Wilson Street, Santa Rosa, 528-4355. For reservations: 707-528-4355.

John Ash & Co: On Valentine’s Day, Chef Tomas Schmidt creates a passion-inspired menu that includes  Oysters on the Half Shell, Duo of Sonoma Foie Gras, Sesame-Coated Ahi Tuna with Crispy Sticky Rice Cake, Pan-Seared Liberty Duck Breast with Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Blood Orange Sauce, or Fillet of Beef with Asparagus, Potato Gratin and Zinfandel Reduction. Desserts: Warm Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Lemongrass Cheesecake or Chambord Cream Tart with Toasted Almonds and Fresh Raspberries. For additional information or to make a reservation, call (707) 527-7687, or www.vintnersinn.com. Barnes Road, River Road exit, just west of Highway 101.

El Coqui Puerto Rican Cuisine: Surf and Turf for $45.99. Steak and shrimp dinner for two with wine rum punch, coconut flan and live acoustic guitarist Victoria Holman from 6-9pm. 400 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, 542-8868.

Sift: Custom cupcakes with your Valentines’ name, $45. Or, why not pick up a heaping helping of their new sweets, including french macarons, profiteroles and a frosting shot. Want to really get sweet? Sign your cupcake up for a decorating classs with Andrea Ballus and Corey Fanfa at the shop. $55 per person. 404-A Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, 703-4228, Cotati, 7582 Commerce Blvd,, Cotati, 792-1681.

Rendez Vous Bistro: Three luxe courses for $59 (with wine pairing) includes choices of Maine lobster bisque, grilled apple salad with Spanish serrano ham, herb crusted filet mignon, Dungeness crab stuffed Dover sole, chocolate lava torn with goat milk caramel, Limoncello pound cake or French cheesecake with fresh raspberries. Each reservations receives a gift bag with a bottle of Amarosa Bella sparkling rose, soy candle and chocolate. 614 4th Street Santa Rosa, 526-7700. Reservations required.

Viola Pastry Boutique & Cafe: Special prix-fixe dinner Friday, Feb. 11 through Monday the 14th. Menu items include salad of Dungeness crab with blood oranges, braised shortribs with polento or homemade ricotta gnocchi, warm beignets with chocolate sauce. $35. 709 Village Court, Montgomery Village Shopping Center, Santa Rosa, 544-8830.

HEALDSBURG
Barndiva: A special Monday opening for Chef Ryan Fancher, who serves a special six-course dinner on the 14th that includes chevre croquettes with wildflower honey, Dungeness crab salad, truffled risotto and mushroom tempura, seared filet of beef and lobster mashed potatoes, plus a variety of sweet endings. The menu is available through the following weekend in addition to the regular menu. $70, $45 additional wine pairing.  231 Center St., Healdsburg, 431-0100.

Spoonbar at h2hotel: During Valentine’s Weekend, Chef Rudy Mihal offers a four-course menu featuring Dry Aged Creekstone NY Strip Steak for two with local mushrooms, Pan Seared California Sea Bass with Grand Royal Caviar Sauce, Crispy Dungeness Crab with Caper Remoulade, and Hazel-n-heart Meringue Torte, one of Pastry Chef Tosha Callahan’s “desserts to be shared” available in February.  $55 per person, 210 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg.  Reservations at (707) 433-7222 or www.OpenTable.com.

SONOMA
Estate, Girl and the Fig: Though they’re sister restaurants, the menus have personalities all their own.  At Estate, Chef John Toulze features a seven-course family-style tasting menu — all the better for intimate sharing or, well, appreciating your romance with more than just you two. Served Friday, February 11 through Monday menu includes antipasti, winter citrus salad, goat cheese terrine, diver scallops, beef ribeye, broccoli rabe and strawberry semi-freddo. $41 per person. 400 West Spain St., Sonoma. 933-3663. At girl and the fig, it’s a five course menu for $46 pp that features roasted baby beet salad, chanterelle mushroom soup, crispy pork belly, diver scallops and panna cotta. 110 West Spain St., Sonoma, 938-3634.

Carneros Bistro: This menu isn’t pulling any punches with its Valentine’s Aphrodisiac Tasting Menu. Chef Janine Falvo and sommelier Chris Sawyer put together a toe-tingling $85 prix fixe that includes Pt. Reyes Oysters with yuzu gelee; poached lobster salad with spicy jalapeno bubbles; foie gras with cinnamon apple tarte tatin, dayboat scallops, duck poached eggs and ginger forbidden rice, coffee braised short ribs with cabernet cocoa nib jus, and Mexican hot chocolate with warm churros for dessert. $120 with wine pairings. 1325 Broadway, Sonoma, 935-6600.

$ Breakaway Cafe: This funky little restaurant always serves up great food. On the menu: Shrimp Bisque; Petit Filet & Sauce Bernaise
Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes; Winter Greens or Linguini with Bodega Bay Dungeness Crab, Mushrooms, Arugula, Chives, Meyer Lemon Cream & Zest with chocolate gelato and a true love cookie. $23 per person. 19101 Sonoma Hwy., Sonoma.

SEBASTOPOL
French Garden: Chef Patrick Quellic serves up prix-fixe menus on Valentine’s Day, from 5:30 p.m. $60 for three-course, $70 for a four-course menu, with wine pairing for an additional $30. On Monday’s menu: Delicata squash ravioli with black caviar, seared ahi tuna salad, Sonoma foie gras cream; lobster bisque, lobster and potato gnocchi, roasted beef tenderloin, duck breast with forbidden rice risotto. Valentine specials throughout the weekend. 8050 Bodega Ave. 824-2030.

COAST
Nick’s Cove: If oysters are an aphrodisiac, there are few spots you’ll find more to love. Executive Chef Adam Mali does a three-course, prix fixe menu on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with menu items including plenty of oysters, crab cakes, Dungeness crab stuffed prawned, Chateaubriand for two. $65. 23240 Highway 1. 415-663-1033.

$ Casino: Mark Malicki’s got one of the best V-day deals in town. For $24pp, he’ll hook you up with steelhead crudo, pickled beets,
potato cracklings & blood orange aioli; grilled sonoma duck breast and warm endive salad with pancetta and green garlic or sheeps milk ricotta cannelloni with collard greens and a pink lady apple tartlet with muscat sabayon. 17000 Bodega Highway, Bodega, 876-3185.

NAPA
Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant:  On the mneu: a half dozen oysters on the half shell with golden whitefish caviar and a glass of J sparkling wine for $18; truffled fonduta cordoni, red endive leaves and baquette for $12; petit filet and crab Louie for $32;  classic chocolate souffle for $9 per person. Dishes will be offered from February 12 through the 14th, in addition to the regular menu. 2555 Main Street, St. Helena. Call 707-967-1010 for reservations or visit www.ciachef.edu/restaurants/wsgr.

$ The Black and Pink at Gott’s Roadside: In honor of St. Valentine, all three Gott’s Roadside’s will be serving the Black & Pink (not to be confused with black & orange) – a Strawberry Milkshake swirled with rich chocolate syrup made even better with the addition Double Rainbow ice cream. $5.99 and available from Feb 11 through Feb 20.

Editor’s Note: Travel, dining and wine tasting can be complicated right now. Use our inspirational ideas to plan ahead for your next outing, be it this week or next year. If you visit restaurants, wineries, and other businesses during the pandemic, remember to call ahead, make reservations, wear a mask and social distance.

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