Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Best Sonoma County Restaurants - 2012/2013

The new Zagat Bay Area Restaurants 2013 and The Michelin Guide San Francisco, Bay Area, and Wine Country Restaurants 2013 were recently released. Here's an update on the critics' favorite restaurants in the Sonoma County.

No Sonoma County Restaurants received two or three stars from Michelin.  Cyrus, which had received two stars, closed this year.  The Sonoma County recipients of one Michelin star are Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant in Forestville, Madrona Manor in Healdsburg, and Terrapin Creek in Bodega Bay.

None of the 40 most popular Bay Area restaurants, according to Zagat. are in Sonoma County. Zagat's top rated restaurants for food in Sonoma County are Cucina Paradiso (Petaluma), Sea Thai Bistro (Petaluma), Madrona Manor (Healdsburg), Farmhouse Inn (Forestville), and Bistro des Copains (Occidental); all with 27 points.

"The San Francisco Chronicle's" top rating is four stars. Two Sonoma County restaurants received 3.5 stars: Madrona Manor (Healdsburg) and Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant (Forestville).  Fourteen 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, El Dorado Kitchen for American cuisine and Della Santina's for Italian food. 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.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Best Napa Valley Restaurants - 2012/13

The new Zagat Bay Area Restaurants 2013 and The Michelin Guide San Francisco, Bay Area, and Wine Country Restaurants 2013 were recently released. Here's an update on the critics' favorite restaurants in the Napa Valley.

The French Laundry in Yountville and The Restaurant at Meadowood near St. Helena remain Michelin's only three-star restaurants in the Bay Area. Thirty-nine restaurants received one star from Michelin. The Napa recipients are Bouchon and Redd in Yountville; La Toque in Napa city, Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford, Terra in St. Helena, and Solbar in the Solage resort in Calistoga.

Five of the 40 most popular Bay Area restaurants, according to Zagat, are in the Napa Valley: The French Laundry (Yountville), Bouchon (Yountville), Bottega (Yountville), Ad Hoc (Yountville), and Bistro Jeanty (Yountville).

The top rated restaurants for food in the Napa Valley, according to Zagat, are The French Laundry (29 points) (Yountville), Redd (28 points) (Yountville), Cole's Chop House (27) (Napa city), Terra (27) (St. Helena), Etoile (27) (Yountville), and Auberge du Soleil (27) (Rutherford).

"The San Francisco Chronicle's" top rating is four stars, which were awarded to two Napa Valley restaurants:  French Laundry (Yountville) and The Restaurant at Meadowood (near St. Helena). The following Napa Valley restaurants received 3.5 stars: Bar Terra (St. Helena), Bistro Don Giovanni (Napa city), Etoile (Yountville), Redd (Yountville), and Terra (St. Helena). Twelve 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.