the girl & the fig – Sonoma

Edit: I have since revisited the girl & the fig.
In my recounting of our weekend eating adventures, I’ve saved the best for last: the girl & the fig in the town of Sonoma. Fantastic food. A comfortable and elegant setting. Creative and well-made drinks. Relatively reasonable prices. Great bread and butter. A friendly waitress. A cheese bar. An emphasis on the elusive fig.

This is how dining in wine country should be. Tasty, comfortable, and fun. We had a sunny window table that I wish I could rent as my second home.

Fig Crab

We shared the Dungeness Crab and Salt Cod Brandade with Crostini, Chevre and Grilled Lemon to start, and admired its sweet fishiness mingled with the creamy chevre and grilled lemon juice. Chad got the third crostini topped with it, and I was happy to spoon it out of the ramekin.

Fig Tuna

I had a special: Hawaiian Tombo Tuna Sandwich with Caper Mayonnaise, Rocket, and Applewood Smoked Bacon. Ever since I had Tombo Tuna at the Ferry Buiding in San Francisco, I’ve been smitten by its juiciness and sweetness. Ahi Tuna usually has an unpleasant, almost metallic flavor for me, so I’m happy that Tombo is available for my tuna fix. Tombo is also known as albacore and even “white meat tuna,” so says here; so… basically, tuna comes in white meat and dark meat (if not others that I’ve yet to encounter). It was fantastic seared in this sandwich, and the flavor combination of sweet tuna, bacon, capers, rocket, and mayonnaise makes for an exciting lunch sandwich.

Fig Burger

As much as I loved my tuna, Chad’s Top Sirloin Burger with Cambozola, Bacon, Grilled Onions, and Matchstick Fries made me jealous. So jealous. It was perfectly cooked to medium-rare, and so juicy and flavorful. And again, the combination of flavors of the whole sandwich made one swoon. I don’t know where they get their bacon from, but it’s phenomenal (I’d guess Niman Ranch, but it’s never tasted like this when I buy it). They get their Dutch roll from a bakery nearby, and they’re brilliant; not only naturally pre-cracked on top, they are somehow toasted so that they are just a little buttery all around. The onions were suitably soft and slightly sweet, and I liked that they are served on the side so that you can use them as you see fit, rather than having them arrive all piled up, dripping and slippery on the burger. And the crispy matchstick fries with herbs were the icing on a great dish.

Fig Cheesecake

Chad got the fabulously refreshing, creamy, and just heavy enough Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Blood Orange Sauce and Sweetened Creme Fraiche. We both fell in love with it (even though that sugar garnish is not good eating). Then he tried my dessert… and proposed a trade.

Fig Crisp

I wasn’t quite prepared to part with my Warm Fig & Thyme Crisp with Fig & Port Ice Cream, so we ended up putting both dishes in the center of the table and sharing. The crisp was so soft and buttery, and especially with the ice cream, had a mixture of deep and sweet flavors. The only problem was that we couldn’t taste the thyme, but we were okay without it. I admit I had a quixotic dream of having (terribly out of season yet amazing) fresh figs in this crisp (which I will try to make someday), but they are indeed dried and make for a dessert that all fig newtons only wish they could be.

They had each dessert paired with a liqueur on the menu, which I would have gotten if I hadn’t had two wonderful cocktails earlier in the meal. “The girl & the fig” had Kleiner Fig Vodka & Framboise for a sweet fruitiness, while my “the fig & the girl” had Kleiner Fig Vodka & Campari for a bitter fruitiness. Both came with brandied cherries on skewers. After a Kir Royale, Chad had this beautiful and delicious “the girl & the gaucho” mojito with a float of Myer’s Dark Rum on top.

Fig Mojito

I’d like to try the brunch and dinner at the girl & the fig, but it will long remain where I’d like to be on a sunny Saturday afternoon with only food and drink and pleasure on my mind.

A note on prices: while main courses for lunch, from sandwiches to Provencal seafood stew, are reasonably priced between about $10 to $22, the median of appetizers is about $13… I prefer it when starters are less expensive than mains, but I guess most, especially the cheese plates, are meant for sharing.

Add’l Edited Note: the girl & the fig reminded me of both Bouchon and Chez Panisse Cafe — I suppose because of their prominent French roots, but it was more casual than Bouchon (and with more California touches for a French Bistro) and more consistent than Chez Panisse Cafe (both seem to especially believe in letting great ingredients stand out for what they are).

4 Responses to “the girl & the fig – Sonoma”

  1. Dianka Says:

    Oh how I love The Girl & The Fig restaurant, I go there every time I’m in Napa. I also love their jams- I always get them at Dean & Deluca. Great blog!


  2. Nina Says:

    Thank you 🙂

    I have to try their jams! And their dinner, and brunch (and lunch again). 🙂

  3. Wynne Osborne Says:

    We had a wonderful lunch for 8 in the garden this summer. It was our second group visit and part of a wine tasting day. The food and atmosphere were equally wonderful.

  4. Nina Says:

    Oh, good! Eating a burger and drinking wine in the garden is one my favorite things to do in the world…

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