Gourmet Food and Wine Tour – Sonoma Plaza Review
Once again, we were off to a new city and wanted to get the lay of the food and wine scene before committing to dinner reservations for our few precious nights in Sonoma. We chose to go on the Gourmet Food and Wine Tour – Sonoma Plaza which exceeded our already high expectations. This tour left us with an appreciation for the rich history as well as the local tastes that Sonoma has to offer. So, schedule time between all the winery visits for this unforgettable experience. Read more about our experience below in our comprehensive Gourmet Food and Wine Tour- Sonoma Plaza review.
What to Expect
The Gourmet Food and Wine Tour – Sonoma Plaza lasts about three hours and has four primary stops where you indulge in farm-to-table dishes paired with local wines. Enjoy a casual stroll around the square while learning about the history of Sonoma and its long standing merchants. Time allowing, you will pop in to local stores along the path so you can learn about their history and hear their stories.
Our tour guide Renee was great at communicating and providing directions to our meeting place. As soon as we walked into the restaurant, she spotted us and flagged us down, making us feel welcome and excited for the afternoon we’d share together. The table even had a small Gourmet Food and Wine Tours flag just to make sure we could find each other. This is a small group tour allowing everyone to sit around one table, creating the opportunity for great conversation while enjoying outstanding food and wine.
First Stop: Delhi Belly Indian Bistro
The first top was Delhi Belly Indian Bistro where we enjoyed traditional Indian cuisine with a California twist. We shared garlic naan served with delicious sauces ranging from sweet to a smokey spice. We also enjoyed organic avocado chaat, which was similar to potato salad but with the surprise of chick peas and pomegranate seeds. Lastly we had ginger lime chicken that you have to combine with the spicy sauce. All this was paired with a local wine, Cline Cellars Viognier. This crisp and refreshing wine offered a moment of relief from the Indian spices.
After our first tasting Renee led our group past the town hall, teaching us about the history of its design. We also had a chance to stop by a local olive oil producer, Figone’s Olive Oil Co. Here you can find traditional extra virgin olive oil as well as more exotic flavors like Blood Orange or Chili. We finished the tasting off with delectably sweet strawberry balsamic vinegar that was reminiscent of syrup.
Second Stop: El Dorado Kitchen
Another quick stroll down the block brought us to the El Dorado Kitchen located in the El Dorado Hotel. We felt like celebrities being seated so quickly as a member of the Gourmet Food and Wine Tour. The food here was as spectacular as the hand crafted table made of a reclaimed bridge from Vermont.
The California inspired kitchen provided us with ahi tuna tacos that were piled high with soft chunks of tuna served in a crunchy wonton shell. The tacos were accompanied by crispy truffle fries feathered with parmesan flakes. This tasty snack was balanced by glass of Trefethen Dry Riesling.
Third Stop: the girl and the fig
We took a few steps across the street and landed at our next stop along the tour. Even at lunch time, the girl and the fig was packed, buzzing with friends enjoying great wine and food. We were served a cheese plate that surpassed most cheese plates we’ve ever tasted. It included creamy goat cheese topped with sweet honey, served along side spiced nuts, decadent fig jam and their signature fig cookie. This cheese plate is one you will dream about long after the tour finishes.
The plate was elevated by the Le Grand Cros, La Rivale bubbles pairing. We loved this stop so much we decided to return for dinner the next evening. To hear more about the rest of our experience at the girl and the fig, check out our 48 Hours in Sonoma City Guide.
On the way to our last stop we passed the historic Toscano Hotel. The guide there taught us about the history of the building from its origins as a general store through its transition to a hotel. Next door was the Presidio of Sonoma, originally built to house Mexican soldiers transferred up. We caught a glimpse of the second produced Bear Flag, which later inspired the California State Flag.
Last Stop: Galatea Effect Tasting Room
We rounded the square to our last stop, which we might have missed if not for the Sonoma Food & Wine Tour. Tucked down an idyllic ivy covered alleyway off the square, the Galatea Tasting Room is not to be overlooked. Fittingly, our last stop included dessert! We nibbled on locally sourced Cocoa Planet Chocolate while sipping two small production red varietals.
The staff here were clearly passionate about their products as they spent extra time describing their wine making philosophies. On top of that, their bottle labels were some of the coolest we’ve seen. After a few glasses, we could see why they were so excited! We even purchased a few bottles to enjoy at home.
Overall, we loved our afternoon with Renee as you can tell from this Gourmet Food and Wine Tour – Sonoma Plaza review. We left with a greater appreciation for the history and wonderful merchants on the Sonoma Plaza. This experience is a must do if you’re spending time near Sonoma. There are a few options for food tours with similar names so, if you’re looking for Renee, be sure to use the links in our post OR you can reach her by calling 415-996-3663.
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