Saturday, April 3, 2010

Road Trip Sonoma – Part III (eats)

DSC_1406_3778 We had a continental breakfast at the Ledson Hotel before we started out.  It was wearing thin after touring the Pacific Air Museum; so we headed out to St. Helena to nosh at Tra Vigne.  I’m more of an American diner type gal; but Farmer MacGregor is a complete foodie.  This is the place he enjoys and it was really good.  We started with the organic lettuce salad.  Okay.  Since this plate of greens was $9, I figure that the salad stuff from my garden is well worth $20/salad.  The candied walnuts were my favorite part of this dish.  Next, was the Seasonal Fritto Misto.

This dish consisted of prawns, artichoke, lemons, and calamari all fried up served with a creamy dipping sauce.  Since I’m not a fan of mayonnaise (hate it), I had everything sans sauce.  The very best was the thinly sliced lemons.  Zowee.  Following that was a rosemary pizzetta.

Roasted garlic with a chunk of cambozola cheese was served with this thin, thin crust.  Farmer MacGregor simply smooshed out all the garlic and spread it on the slices.  We each took whatever amount of the cheese we liked to spread on the pieces.  Garlicy!  Next?

The roasted butternut squash ravioli inspired me to search for butternut squash seeds.  This dish had toasted sage and walnut brown butter served with the ravioli and parmesan.  This was really, really good.  Really, really good.  Dessert anyone?

I had a Meyer lemon tart.  This put the POW in powerful taste.  The dish was great from the bottom of its crispy crust through to the tangy lemon filling up to the scant meringue topping.  Too much meringue is just that – too much.  This was just right.  I couldn’t lick all the huckleberry sauce off the plate.

DSC_1392_3764 DSC_1394_3766

Bread pudding was next for the farmer.  Candied orange rinds and raisins joined the pantone bread to make the pudding.  This was topped with Frangelico ice cream.  The farmer loves his Frangelico.DSC_1391_3763 The place was fairly empty so we had excellent service from a very nice staff.  We’ve been there when it’s busy and the service is just as great.  If you enjoy food and flavors, Tra Vigne is really a nice experience when visiting St. Helena.DSC_1395_3767Farmer MacGregor spoke to the chef/owner to extend his compliments and chat about all things food.DSC_1396_3768 Here’s what the rest of the place looks like.

DSC_1387_3759 Entrance

DSC_1400_3772 At the end of this patio is the smoke house.  The waiter recommended the short ribs and said they could be eaten with a spoon because of their tenderness.DSC_1401_3773 View from the roadside through to the patio and back to the restaurant.DSC_1386_3758 The Tra Vigne dude makes a great scarecrow.  I want one for my garden.DSC_1408_3780 We drove passed the Tra Vigne Pizzeria on our way back to the Ledson Hotel in Sonoma and I noticed a huge tomato.  It looks just like the one on top of Frugatti’s in Bakersfield.

The plans for dining at Della Santina’s in Sonoma would have to be cancelled.  There was no room to stuff more food.  Too bad.  The place came highly recommended.  We did see it though from across the street in the bookstore.  The bookstore sells eggs but does not sell newspapers.  We’ll keep Della Santina’s on the list for our next visit.

Sonoma was a nice place to get away for a few days before returning to Spring chores.


Aunt Snow said...

Ummmm Ummmm Ummm. I like reading about good food! Farmer MacGregor sounds like a kindred soul!

Did you dry out from the storm? For us, today was beautiful - it was as if it had never been grey.

USA_Admiral said...

That looks like a great place to go for a nice time.