Friday, November 19, 2010

Best Sonoma County Restaurants - 2010/2011

The new "Zagat 2011 Bay Area Restaurants" and "The Michelin Guide San Francisco, Bay Area, and Wine Country Restaurants 2011" were recently released. Here's an update on the critics' favorite restaurants in the Sonoma County.

Cyrus in Healdsburg is the top rated restaurant according to Michelin, receiving two stars.   The Sonoma County recipients of one Michelin star are Applewood Inn and Restaurant in Guerneville, Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant in Forestville, Madrona Manor in Healdsburg, and Sante in Sonoma city.

Only 1 of the 25 most popular Bay Area restaurants according to Zagat is in Sonoma County: Cyrus. Not one other restaurant in Sonoma County made Zagat's most popular list.  The top rated restaurants for food in Sonoma County according to Zagat are Cyrus and Hana Japanese (Rohnert Park) (28 points); Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant (27 points); Cafe La Haye (Sonoma), Rosso Pizzeria (Santa Rosa), and Madrona Manor (26 points); and Bistro des Copains (Occidental) (25 points).

"The San Francisco Chronicle's" top rating is four stars, which were awarded to one Sonoma County restaurant: Cyrus. Two Sonoma County restaurants received 3.5 stars: Madrona Manor and Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant.  Seven restaurants are the recipients of three stars.

Lunchtime on my tours in Sonoma County usually finds my guests in either Healdsburg or the town of Sonoma. My favorite lunch spot in Healdsburg is Willi's Seafood, which features small plates of the freshest seafood. In Sonoma city, I recommend The Girl and the Fig for French influenced California food and Della Santina's for Italian cuisine. If you would like to take a private tour in Sonoma County that includes a meal at one of these great restaurants, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 or Rick@BlueHeronTours.com.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Best Napa Valley Restaurants - 2010/2011

The new "Zagat 2011 Bay Area Restaurants" and "The Michelin Guide San Francisco, Bay Area, and Wine Country Restaurants 2011" were recently released. Here's an update on the critics' favorite restaurants in the Napa Valley.

Joining the The French Laundry in Yountville as the only restaurants to receive three stars from the Michelin Guide in the entire Bay Area is The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena. Thirty-nine restaurants received one star from Michelin. The Napa recipients are Etoile at Domaine Chandon, Bouchon, and Redd in Yountville; La Toque and Ubuntu in Napa city, Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford, Terra in St. Helena and Solbar in the Solage resort in Calistoga.

Only 4 of the 25 most popular Bay Area restaurants, according to Zagat, are in the Napa Valley: The French Laundry, Bouchon, Ad Hoc (Yountville), and Auberge du Soleil. Other Napa Valley restaurants on the 50 most popular list are Bottega (Yountville), Bistro Jeanty (Yountville), Mustard's Grill (Yountville), Redd , and Hog Island Oyster (Napa city).

The top rated restaurants for food in the Napa Valley according to Zagat are The French Laundry (29 points), La Toque (27), Redd (27), Ad Hoc (27), Auberge du Soleil (26), Terra (26), Ubuntu (26), The Restaurant at Meadowood (26), Martini House (26) (now closed), Bouchon (26), and Bottega (26).

"The San Francisco Chronicle's" top rating is four stars, which were awarded to two Napa Valley restaurants:  French Laundry and The Restaurant at Meadowood. The following Napa Valley restaurants received 3.5 stars: Bistro Don Giovanni (Napa city), Etoile, Redd, and Terra. Fourteen restaurants are the recipients of three stars.

My favorite lunch spot in the Napa Valley remains Auberge du Soleil. The combination of food, service, and view can't be beat. I've taken many happy guests to this restaurant. If you would like to take a private tour of the Napa Valley that includes a meal at one of these great restaurants, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 or Rick@BlueHeronTours.com.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Winetasting in Paso Robles and Touring Hearst Castle.

The November issue of Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel's free, quarterly newsletter, "Rick's Tips," has just been released.  The feature articles are on winetasting in Paso Robles and touring Hearst Castle. To see the issue click here.  To receive future issues of "Rick's Tips," click here.