Sunday, October 25, 2009

Road Trip Part II - Sonoma County, Day 1

After another early breakfast, we hit the road for the 5 hour trip to Forestville. We had a quick but tasty lunch at Taco Bell on the road. It was no El Cid.

Once we got to the Russian River Valley, we bought picnic supplies at Sophie's Cellars before going to our next bed and breakfast, the Farmhouse Inn. We had heard that if you bought a bottle of wine at Sophie's Cellars, you could take it to one of several restaurants in the area and corkage would be waived. We bought a 2006 Paul Mathew Ruxton Vineyard Pinot Noir at the recommendation of the owner, as well as some cheese and some salami for our room.

We arrived at the Farmhouse Inn, checked in and opened the door to our HUGE beautiful room (#17). The room is in the "Barn" which was recently built on the back of the property, and #17 is on the second floor in the back facing the woods, and has lots of privacy. The bedroom has a super-comfy high four poster bed that faces a gas fireplace, whose glass box enclosure is also open to the balcony. A spacious adjacent living room had a sofa, 2 armchairs and small fridge stocked with water (complimentary sodas are also available at the main office) makes this room already roughly the size of our condo! The bathroom is similarly generous, with a shower big enough for two, a two-person jacuzzi tub that looks out onto the deck and the woods beyond. Heated floors in the bathroom were a nice touch on cold mornings.

After checking out our room, we went back to the main office and stocked up on complimentary bath products (handmade soaps, brown sugar scrub and a milk bath powder). We also picked up the makings for gormet s'mores (homemade graham crackers and marshmallows and dark chocolate, also complimentary), which you can make at the firepit in the garden.

We spent the afternoon in our room, enjoying the cheese and salami from Sophie's Cellars, taking a bath in the giant tub and reading in the bed. The only bummer of this room we found is that the Inn's wireless internet signal is not strong enough to make it to us, so we had to go down to the main office to get internet access. It may seem like a perk, but with our lifestyle, internet access has become more and more like electricity, phone, and plumbing. Just really a necessity...

After our relaxing afternoon, we headed into Santa Rosa to eat at Syrah. This restaurant boasts a 4 or 7 course tasting menu where the chef choses the menu for you (meaning you have no idea what you'll be getting). We shared a wine pairing. An amuse bouche, a crostini with a warm goat cheese and mushroom spread, had been placed under the broiler until it was golden and perfectly heated through. This paired with a J Vineyard sparking wine, also for the first course, which was an heirloom tomato salad with Humbolt Fog goat cheese and basil oil and balsamic vinegar reduction (I thought this might be too plain, but it was perfect). The second course was a scallop and pork belly combo that was just amazing, which was served with a local chardonnay. The third course was a new york strip with mashed potatoes and a cabernet reduction, paired with a Napa cab. Dessert was a sampler of three items, mango and passion fruit sorbet, chocolate bread pudding and a plum crisp (all were very tasty), paired with a late harvest white dessert wine from a local winery. All in all, the food, wine and service were very good, and if we lived around here, this would definitely be one of our favorite spots! The bill totaled about $270, including tip.

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