Jeff and I are vehemently against expensive fixed-menu Valentine’s Day meals. Nothing personal really–we’ve just had some bad experiences with restaurants jacking up prices and rushing service to fit in more seatings. Instead of going out for a fancy dinner on Valentine’s Day, we decided to take a trip through wine country last weekend to do some wine, beer, and food tasting.
Here are a couple of shots from our trip!
First stop, In-n-Out Burger to class things up.
We had brunch in Sonoma at a lovely little restaurant called The Girl and the Fig. We had a delicious cheese platter, fresh grilled sardines, a sirloin burger, and their signature arugula, fig, and prosciutto salad. The prosciutto was house-cured and oh so delicious. If you are in Sonoma, don’t miss Hawkes Vineyard & Winery for Cabernet Sauvignon and Rosseler Cellars for Pinot Noir. These are two of the least pretentious tasting rooms you will find in the area.
Instead of staying in Sonoma or Napa, we decided to stay in a little town called Petaluma. I wasn’t expecting to find anything spectacular here. But to my surprise, we found Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, a giant heirloom seed bank housed in a vintage bank. I went full blown nerd in this place. Special thanks to Jeff for letting my have my moment.
This location is one of three Baker Creek storefronts in the country. You can also order seeds online or subscribe to their annual catalog. I ended up buying daikon, french finger carrot, and summer squash seeds. In this genetically-modified world, I have such great respect for the people who help preserve these rare varieties of fruits and vegetables. It’s truly a special place.
Last but not least, we headed to Santa Rosa for the release of a beer called Pliny the Younger at Russian River Brewery. Pliny the Younger is a strong, hoppy IPA that is only offered once a year for about two weeks. It has a high alcohol content of 10.5% and went straight to my head. Despite the long lines, we had a great time tasting beer and enjoying the sun while it lasted.
Happy boyfriend; tipsy girlfriend.
Alas, it was time to go back to reality. Nothing like a drive across the majestic Golden Gate Bridge on a moody Sunday to wrap up an unforgettable weekend trip.