Coming Home – The Bay Area 20 Years Later:
I wanted to come back to The Bay Area and reminisce about my glorious youth and my time here. See the new and remember the old, but keep an open heart and a cleansed palate, and enjoy all things here in The San Francisco Bay and beyond.
Dinner at Saddles – March 29, 2012 – Sonoma, CA.
Saddles is the restaurant at MacArthur Place, an upscale hotel in the town of Sonoma. I did not have the opportunity to stay there, but saw the beautiful grounds. The gardens are lush, and exotic, with some interesting sculptures. The property and buildings; which comprise 29 E. MacArthur Street have a long and distinguished place in local history. Located in the middle of Sonoma, the former Burris-Good estate is comprised of fantastic gardens, majestic old trees, and historic architecture. The two-story Victorian house, which dominates the property, was built in the 1850s and is reported to be one of the oldest Victorian homes in Sonoma.
The restaurant is fun and engaging. But what can you say about a saddle and a horse? Makes you feel like you’re a cowgirl with a mission. My mission, if I choose to except it, is to eat a big ole piece of gloriously cooked steak in a fun upscale restaurant, that oozes all things western, including it’s vast array of cowboy boots that line that stair case when you first walk in. There’s an awful lot of horsing around going on here!
Here’s what I had:
Stuffed Mushrooms with house made Italian sausage. Great fennel flavor in the sausage, and the mushrooms are moist and fluffy.
Fried Calamari & Rock Shrimp with a Meyer lemon aioli and a spicy cocktail sauce. Good crispy batter, and very fresh calamari and shrimp.
Cornmeal Dusted Haystack Onion Rings with blue cheese aioli. If you’re a true onion ring aficionado, you will dig into these bits of heaven.
Steamed Mussels and Clams, with champagne, shallots and pancetta. Great flavor, with more fresh shellfish.
Beef Carpaccio with mustard aioli and scallion oil. Very light, a nice way to get your taste buds ready for the serious meat.
Soup of the Day: Red Bell Pepper Bisque. Smooth, with a lot of pepper pleasure in my palate.
Classic Caesar Salad with house made asiago croutons. This salad is crispy, crunchy, and with a good dressing too.
Filet Mignon with mashed potatoes, wild mushrooms and Cabernet demi glace. All of the steaks are aged a minimum of 21 days and are completely hormone and antibiotic free. Yes, I was right and can gladly now except my mission. What a stellar steak!!
Pan Seared Halibut with spring vegetables, asparagus puree and beurre blanc. The fish melts in your mouth, and the sauce equally is astounding.
Creamed Corn, this is by far the best creamed corn ever.
Chocolate Cake, with great chocolate consistency, not too sweet, just perfect.
Strawberry Cheesecake, with a handsome presentation, very good as well.
Here are the fantastic wines that I tried:
Walter Hansel, Sauvignon Blanc ‘01, Russian River Valley. This wine is very drinkable, and was terrific with the seafood.
Benzinger, Chardonnay ‘09, Carneros, Sonoma. Also a great wine, and stood up to the Caesar salad.
Athair, Chardonnay ‘09, Russian River Valley. Very creamy, with hints of caramel and vanilla. Good with the halibut.
Sharp Cellars, Pinot Noir ‘07, “Keenan’s Cove”, Sonoma Coast. This wine paired well with the stuffed mushrooms.
Green and Red, Zinfandel ‘09, “Chiles Canyon” Napa Valley. This wine went well with the beef Carpaccio, didn’t over power this dish.
St. Francis, Merlot ‘07, Sonoma County. This wine was terrific with the steak.
Enkidu “E”, Cabernet Sauvignon 09, Sonoma Valley. Very yummy with the steak.
Saddles might be so far the best Steak house in the Sonoma Valley. You have got to be ready for a really good steak. As much as I loved all the rest of the menu items, next time I would cut to the chase and just order the steak with all it’s fixings. Of course the steak would be nothing without the great wine selections, so make sure you pair it with the glorious nectar, and above all enjoy.
29 East MacArthur Street