The Sonoma County that we love!

Archive for the ‘New’ Category

Whiskey Tasting

Wednesday 4/15/09 Tax Day! 8pm
Jack and Tony’s Restaurant and Whisky Bar

One foggy morning I was driving to work and I was listening to KZST and I heard the owner of a new restaurant, Jack and Tony’s Restaurant and Whisky Bar, doing a tasting with Heather Irwin of The Press Democrat (find her @biteclubeats on Twitter). It was early and they were so animated in their conversation about whiskey, it made it really a good listen. I had to turn the radio off before the interview was over but it made me want more. I decided then and there that I was going to do a tasting.

I finally got the chance to go there last week. It’s modern/contemporary, I think, dark wood, big booths, cigar and whiskey classic. I asked the waitress what she recommended on the whiskey tasting flights available. She asked what kind of coffee I drank and what kind of alcohol I liked. I told her French Roast and vodka. She looked a little flummoxed then finally recommended the most expensive flight they had. The price range of the flights is $14-16 so it wasn’t that much of a difference. I randomly chose one in the middle, the Irish. It had Jameson, a 12 year old whiskey I can’t remember the name for, and a Red Breast. The Red Breast was definitely the one I liked. But for the price of the flight, I was happy because it took me the rest of dinner to get through them all. All you need is one, I’m telling you.

I had their pork loin and my husband had the lobster stuffed crab. He gets lobster a lot and, let me tell you, it was THE BEST LOBSTER I’VE EVER HAD. My pork loin was awesome too. Highly recommend the food. And it’s a good idea to have reservations or eat a little late (we arrived at 8:45p) like we did. Next time I go, I’m going to sit in the cocktail area and try an appetizer and another set to expand my horizons a little more.

All around, thumbs up!


Problem Solvers

I love problem solvers. Much of what I do is solve my clients’ problems. I am enthusiastic about those that solve my problems.

I work a lot on the resale/secondary market and met a woman that wanted to buy commercial mailboxes from me. She was very nice, we had a personable conversation, she got a good deal and I made money for my client. Everyone was happy. Never have I received an update from a buyer, sellers yes, but never buyers. She sent me a lovely email telling me about her new business being up and running and the mailboxes were a service she was looking forward to providing in her community, thanks to our connection.

Since that email, I visited the Business Copy Center and have used several of their services. Virginie, the owner, is wonderful. Our first personable conversations over mailboxes has blossomed into a prolific business relationship. From copies, to design, to mailboxes, to office supplies, every time I talk to her I have a new project and she solves a new problem for me. Love it!

We’re constantly thinking of ways to avoid the big corporations these days. Rather than succumb to my old knee-jerk reaction of going to the big conglomerate 24hour copy store (ahem), I can take my projects to Virginie (or email them to her) and she’s got in handled so much quicker and with a “real person” vibe that I am really starting to embrace in the places that I do business. And the prices are great too!

I am Alligator Roast

So as a Sonoma County native, I’m doing my best to buy local, eat local, stay local. I own my own business which means I go on a lot of coffee dates. You say, “I’d love to get together with you to learn more about you and your business.” So then you decide where to meet. It had gotten to the point where I got myself a frequent coffee card from the biggest coffeeshop we all know of *hint hint*. I don’t want to support their corporation so I was at an odds with what to do.

As a disgruntled yut (“My Cousin Vinny” reference), I spent much time wandering/loitering in downtown Santa Rosa. There was a coffee shop named Sonoma Coffee Company that went out of business recently. It was dark and bohemian. Cool when I was 16 but had too many teenage associations for me as an adult.

Enter Cafe Azul. This new business takes over the old SoCoCo spot and has done wonders with what they had to work with. I think my favorite thing is their decor. It’s lighter, more open, airier and BLUE! My favorite color is blue and they’ve done it just right. I’ve now switched my coffee dates to Cafe Azul because I really like to go there and they are a new business that recently joined the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce.

So next time you are downtown and need a dark roast, I recommend the Alligator Roast.

Newbie in Town

6pm 3/11/09
Rendezvous Bistro, 514 4th Street, Santa Rosa

I heard that Rendezvous Bistro opened up last week but decided to wait until the hubbub had died down before checking it out (I also wanted to give them some time to work out the kinks). So I waited a whole six days before going!

Now my disclaimer is that I don’t really like French food, I didn’t realize that that was their category until minutes before I arrived. I figured I’d check out the menu and make a decision then. I found a few items that I thought I’d like and was seated in the main dining room.

First and foremost, the front and rear dining rooms were both packed and stayed that way throughout our meal, which is a good sign. The decor is really lovely but a tad contrived, kind of like a Disneyland version of a French bistro. But it was beautiful with rich colors. The tables are very small and I felt like (in the words of Chris Farley) “a fat man in a tiny coat”. I actually gave my server back my regular water because I needed the real estate and I’d ordered a bottled water and it would’ve just been duplication.

My friend and I both ordered the steak and frites. It was absolutely lovely. I don’t claim to be a restaurant critic but I know a good meal when I scarf it. The steak was tender, well garnished, with a dollop of spinach (thank you!) and I ate every last bite.

Dessert was another matter. We ordered the special but there may have been some kind of kitchen mishap and it took awhile to learn that they were going to give us a dessert on the house to make up for it. When I told them we were trying to make a showtime, they stepped up the speed. They served us a crepe with, I believe, rum drizzled over the top, it was set aflame and in front of me. Needless to say, I did not bend over the plate until it had extinguished itself. Unfortunately, the alcohol didn’t really burn off and after two bites I had to retire my fork. I felt I was breathing fumes of ethanol out of my nose, it was so strong.

Our server, Manuel, was not only excellent but well spoken and very helpful (cute too!). The owner, Justin, met us at the door and escorted us out. I couldn’t help but mention the note I had on the crepe. He was very open to suggestion and lovely to talk to.

I look forward to sitting at their bar, enjoying an espresso or a drink with my friends. I know all whom venture downtown are happy to have the wonderful location up and running again.

Support our local establishments by Buying Local/Eating Local/Staying Local!

I Am Sonoma County

I was laying in bed this morning asking myself, “What does my intuition tell me to do today?” and within a couple minutes I had it.

I Am Sonoma County

Simple. I was born and raised here. I know more about this place than your average bear. I love it and even though I lived in Southern California for 5 years, I never did feel the need to leave this area.

So this is an account of my travels and adventures. If I’m going, I’ll let you know what I see and do.

Sonoma County, I love you!


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