The story: The quaint Girl and the Fig restaurant first opened in 1997 in Glen Ellen but moved to the historic town square of Sonoma in 2000. A regular stop for people checking out wine country, the restaurant is known for its rustic French brasserie-style dishes and service.
Why I went: I mentioned I had some high school friends visiting from Hawaii and after checking out a winery in Kenwood, we headed to the Sonoma town square where I luckily made reservations for lunch at this popular spot. It’s a good thing because there were crowds of people being turned away as we approached the hostess counter.
The vibe: Country charm, like dining in a home with colorful artwork by a resident artist. There’s an outdoor space that is, of course, popular on sunny Sonoma days.
The menu: A French brasserie with a lot of comfort dishes and a charcuterie program by its own house brand called Mano Formate, as well as a lot of cheese to order for a simple cheese and wine snack. There are huge salads and soups, and classic French options like quiche Lorraine and croques monsieur. I ended up getting the pork belly tartine ($14), an open-faced sandwich that was almost buried in a lot of arugula. I felt the pork belly was on the dry side, but my friends all seemed to enjoy their dishes.
The booze: A nice selection of wine since we’re in wine country, and several tables had a glass of wine (if not a bottle) with their meal.
My favorite dish: While a bit simple, the house charcuterie platter ($16) offered some fresh tastes with its daily selection of home-made meats such as coppa and prosciutto, and spreads like terrines and pate. It’s a great way to nibble your way through lunch.
Insider tip: Definitely make a reservation if you’re planning to be in the area. While other new places have opened nearby, people still enjoy the charm of this Sonoma standby.
The last bite: The fairly large portion sizes and rustic dishes make The Girl and the Fig a value dining spot in wine country, which explains the popularity. While the flavors might seem straight-forward at times, it’s not fussy and the service is friendly and welcoming. The mood matches the calm and serene vibe of wine country.
The rating: 2 out of 4 camera snaps
The deets: The Girl and the Fig, 110 W. Spain St., Sonoma. PH: 707.938.3634. Open daily 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (till 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday). Reservations, major credit cards accepted. www.thegirlandthefig.com
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