The Girl & the Fig
Wine Country’s Destination Eatery
The Girl & the Fig: Wine Country's Destination Eatery
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To dine at The Girl & the Fig is to fuse scrumptious, elegant cuisine with a relaxed country setting. For 20 years, proprietor Sondra Bernstein has orchestrated a foray into all things fig in Sonoma, CA. Recently voted the “Best Small Town in America to Visit” by US News & World Report, this quaint little burg is nestled in some of America’s richest agricultural bounty and beauty. With so much available, is it any wonder Bernstein chose to choreograph The Girl & the Fig here? By pairing exceptional French-inspired recipes with superb Rhône varietals (six of which are under their own label), the eatery has become a destination in its own right.
Introduced to simple, yet fresh cuisine at a young age, it became inevitable that Bernstein would migrate from her East Coast beginnings to Sonoma Valley. After cutting her teeth at local wineries, Bernstein put her Culinary and Restaurant Management degree to use and created The Fig Cafe & Wine Bar in Glen Ellen in 1997. With a grander vision in mind, she added the upscale The Girl & the Fig in the historic Sonoma Hotel in 2000. “I loved the experience of French food, its relative simplicity,” quips Bernstein, who soon discovered, “I could translate that experience here.” And translate she has!
Farm (and Vineyard) to Table
Sonoma Valley provides readily fresh ingredients that invigorate each dish. “I always loved to entertain,” says Bernstein, which is evidenced by her attention to detail coupled with immense creativity. Indeed, her hospitality muscle is as strong as her business savvy. “I knew I didn’t want to cook or be a chef,” says Bernstein, “but I love the dishes we create here, and I write the menus.” Managing Partner and Executive Chef John Toulze further defines the fresh food cuisine. Selftaught and immersed in the local farming element, Toulze furthers The Girl & the Fig’s seasonal recipes that not only tantalize repeat customers but easily draw in new ones.
From the menu is a lovely light and flavorful salad that includes arugula, goat cheese, pancetta, pecans and grilled figs. Additional imaginative recipes include native entrees featuring local seafood, lamb, rabbit and duck served with grains, pastas and fresh vegetables. Their easily affordable wine list, a Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast award-winner, showcase wines made from Rhône varietals from California and abroad. Plus, local artisan cheeses paired with wine flights offer guests a light meal.