Eating in Sonoma County – Two Favorites

For the past few weeks, I wasn’t sure if blogging about my September visit to Sonoma County would ever be appropriate. As the fires began to be put out and evacuations were lifted, however, it became clear to me that sharing a place I love, shouting it from the rooftops even, could be one tiny way I can help the region heal and move forward.

When it comes to dining out in Sonoma County, Stark Reality Restaurants  are some of my favorites. Sadly, Willi’s Wine Bar, where I have had many great meals, was destroyed in the fires, but the owners plan to rebuild.

On our September wine country trip, we dined at two Stark restaurants, including Bravas Bar de Tapas, which is a consistent favorite that I discovered on a Savor Healdsburg food tour.  I was excited to bring Healdsburg first timers to their patio on a gorgeous day for a delicious lunch.


 Tapas with friends is one of my favorite ways to eat, especially when paired with a chilled Hanna Winery  rosé.


Plate after plate of food made its way on to our table, a beautifully presented gazpacho, a Spanish and local cheese plate, to-die-for bacon wrapped dates with blue cheese, goat cheese toast, a classic tortilla. . . we just kept eating.







Every bite at Bravas is delectable, and the dining experience is just what you would hope for on a wine country getaway, relaxed, coursed out perfectly, and difficult to leave.


One Stark restaurant I hadn’t been to, Bird and the Bottle, was at the top of my must-try list for this trip, and again, it turned out to be perfect for our group of five. The only downside was that I was impossibly full when we left!


I passed over the creative cocktail list in favor of a glass of bubbly since it had been a day of wine, but I would love to go back and make my way through the list.

sparkling wine


We shared cold and briny oysters on the half shell and hot and garlicky local Dungeness crab to take advantage of the West Coast’s bounty.



And I will never turn down macaroni and cheese, especially studded with fried kielbasa and crispy kale. So good!


Local corn with miso mayo and fried potatoes were our vegetables. :)





If I could have eaten more, I would. Going back to Bird and the Bottle to sample the rest of the menu is a priority for our next Sonoma County trip, which will hopefully be soon!

Sonoma County is largely open for business and could use food and wine loving tourists’ visits or wine purchases to help boost the local economy and beautiful spirits.


  1. Kristen’s avatar

    it would have been a shame to not share all this incredible food. My heart continues to go out to all those wineries and lives affected.


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