T H E B E S T R E S TA U R A N T S
arugula, pecans, and dried figs; as well as in the Laura Chenel goat cheese with a fig-and-port vinaigrette; and in the hearty pork chop with fig compote, roasted fennel, mashed potatoes, and pork jus. Of course there are lots of options minus the figs, too. Tourists and locals pack the place (and its lovely back patio) nightly, so reserve ahead. See p. 149.
Harvest Moon (Sonoma, Sonoma Valley; & 707/933-8160): My personal favorite for food downtown, this restaurant with a quirky layout, tiny kitchen, and lovely backyard dining area is a must-try for food lovers, thanks to the efforts of chef/owner Nick Demarest and his wife Jen. See p. 150.
Cyrus (Healdsburg, Northern Sonoma; & 707/433-3311): One of Northern California’s most elegant and opulent dining experiences can be yours with a reservation at this restaurant designed to remind you of the small fine-dining establishments of Bordeaux, France. Blow the budget and start by ordering from the caviar cart and the champagne cart, and then let genius chef Doug Keane work his culinary magic. Definitely save room for dessert. Those offered here achieve real star sta- tus. See p. 187.
Jimtown Store (Alexander Valley, Northern Sonoma; & 707/ 433-1212) Part general store, part gastronome’s dream deli and cafe, this roadside attraction is downright adorable, from its old-school looks and toy and candy collections to its excep- tional edibles, from sandwiches to housemade spreads (defi- nitely get the fig and olive tapenade) to pastas and cookies. See