.Sonoma County Restaurant Week 2023

Days to Indulge

Beginning Monday, Feb. 20 (which just so happens to be the Presidents Day holiday) and running through Sunday, Feb. 26, Sonoma County Restaurant Week is back for its 14th annual culinary celebration.

With foodie destination counties all around Sonoma and in bigger, nearby Bay Area cities, it’s becoming widely known that Sonoma County has an incredible variety of restaurants to suit any palate or pocketbook. Sonoma County Restaurant Week gives everyone a chance to revisit an old favorite or try a spot they’ve been meaning to visit.

Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) conference and communications coordinator Aleena Decker, along with the economic fellows and business assistance team, helps lead Sonoma County Restaurant Week, and Decker is excited things are slowly returning to normal for the popular event.

“For the 2021 Restaurant Week, we departed from the usual prix fixe menus and did a campaign to go out and support restaurants through buying online gift cards, ordering take out and dining out safely,” said Decker. “It was also the first year we launched the new Restaurant Week website (socorestaurantweek.org), which includes features to easily order online and purchase gift cards. 2022 was the first year going back to the prix fixe menu format.”

Here’s how it works: Sonoma County restaurants create menus based off a pricing tier, charging anywhere from $10- $25 for lunch, $25- $55 for dinner and $5 for “sweet perks” and desserts. Patrons simply visit the Sonoma County Restaurant Week website, search through the multitude of delicacies and see what that restaurant has planned for those partaking in the event.

Decker said she’s “happy to say there are new restaurants, less than a year old, that are participating. Many are confirmed veteran chefs and restaurateurs who are opening their first location or a second restaurant.” She added, “At the moment, there are 87 participating locations and counting.”

Here are some of the more exciting (and deal-oriented) restaurants participating this year. While they obviously can’t all be covered, these are diverse picks in out of the way places BoHo readers might enjoy. Note: There’s nothing saying one can’t bring a friend and mix and match dinners in order to get the full experience. As always, one should be sure to check restaurant hours via their website before making the trip.

The Matheson, Sonoma Resort, 106 Matheson St., Healdsburg

(thematheson.com)

Upscale farm to table dining at regular people prices? Look no further than this delicious $55 dinner menu for Sonoma County Restaurant Week attendees. Owner and chef Dustin Valette is offering up a few selections of some amazing sounding dinners. First course choices include burrata with Asian pear, beets, pistachio and sourdough, or a celeriac and chestnut soup with duck carnitas, mole negro and spiced pumpkin seeds. Whoa.

The main course choices include Mt. Lassen steelhead trout with whipped potato, pork belly and brassicas in a smoked clam broth, or a prime beef bavette with potato pave, umami hollandaise, chili crunch and romanesco. If there’s room, dessert choices include “Baba au Rhum” with toffee, blood orange, cardamom and chantilly, or a rich Chocolate Pot de Creme with cinnamon crumble, caramel and chiffon cake. The Matheson also boasts a rooftop bar and lounge.

Grata Italian Eatery, 186 Windsor River Rd., Windsor

(gratawindsor.com)

One of 2020’s best new restaurants, Windsor’s stellar Italian eatery Grata is rolling out two delicious dinner menu options. Option one is a three-course dinner for $35 that starts off with a choice of a house salad or little gem Caesar salad. From there, one may enjoy a hearty spaghetti Bolognese or shrimp scampi in buttery garlic sauce. For dessert, a classic tiramisu is always a good option, or a zesty, creamy lemon ricotta cheesecake may be more one’s speed.

Speaking of speeds, why not kick it up a notch and go for Grata’s four-course menu offering, which also starts off with a choice of a house salad or little gem Caesar salad? From there, a pasta course features “cacio de pepe,” which translates to “cheese and pepper,” or what covers the spaghetti noodles.

Entrees include chicken saltimbocca served with parmesan bread pudding, fried Brussels sprouts and sage gravy. Or perhaps wine braised short ribs served with creamy polenta and roasted carrots is what one’s tummy wants most. Desserts include the tiramisu or the creamy lemon ricotta cheesecake.

boon eat + drink, 16248 Main St., Guerneville.

(eatatboon.com)

Boasting a robust farm-to-table menu that’s all locally sourced, boon eat + drink is offering a scrumptious variety for dinner at only $35. Starters include a choice of arugula salad or flash fried Brussels sprouts. The main course choices include a chili braised pork shoulder with polenta, wilted greens and a ricotta salata; Moroccan chicken with couscous, preserved lemon and smoked almond yogurt; or polenta lasagna with spicy marinara, mixed veggies, rainbow chard and ricotta salata.

Finishing out the well-rounded group of choices is a classic chocolate fudge brownie with caramel and chantilly or panna cotta with seasonal compote and an anise butter cookie. What a way to end a day hanging out in the venerable river town.

L’Oro Di Napoli, 629 4th St., Santa Rosa

(lorodinapolisr.com)

One of Santa Rosa’s newer restaurants, the quaint L’Oro Di Napoli offers up authentic Neapolitan cuisine, as well as providing Sonoma County Restaurant Week connoisseurs with a nice variety of lunch or dinner options. They also are filling the pizza void in downtown Santa Rosa, as the area sadly lost its Mary’s Pizza. Featuring wood-fired, thin and crunchy crust pizza, the lunch menu comes in at $35 for all three courses, with two salad offerings to start.

Insalata Mista has mixed green salad, artichokes, red onion, cherry tomato, black olives and cucumber tossed in a lemon mustard vinaigrette, while Stagionale has wild arugula, roasted butternut squash puree, sliced almonds, topped with pecorino cheese, in an orange mustard honey dressing with balsamic glaze on top. Pizza choices are either a classic Margarita or Vegeteriana (vegetarian) pizza.

The dinner menu consists of three courses for $25 each, starting with a choice of bruschetta pomodori or a pick of the Insalata Mista or Stagionale salads. Main courses are lasagna (beef bolognese) or a choice of the aforementioned pizzas. Dessert options are panna cotta or a Caprese consisting of dark chocolate cake made with almond flour and amaretto. Yum!

EDB’s Decker closes out by saying, “Recovery for restaurants continues to be an uphill battle from impacts of the pandemic, workforce attraction and retention, rising cost of goods and other natural disaster events. We are always inspired by the resiliency of Sonoma County restaurants and the overwhelming support from residents for the restaurant industry.

“We are happy to see restaurants that had to take a break during the pandemic coming back to celebrate with us this year,” she continued. “Also thrilled to see new restaurants and local chefs and restaurateurs expanding their businesses.”

For more information, visit socorestaurantweek.org.

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