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Sonoma: Harvest Moon Cafe

487 First Street West , Phone: (707) 933-8160
Closing day: Tuesday

Reviewed by: Jonathan from UK, review #4044

When: 2012

Imaginatively prepared food, beautifully prepared and vividly flavoured.

We were in Sonoma for two nights, and ate here the first night, and at the girl and the fig the second. The g&f often receives rave notices on the ST messageboard (it was, indeed, excellent) - but we thought Harvest Moon was every bit as good.

It was a warm late-July evening, so we ate in the attractive patio garden. Lots of interesting choices on the menu, so the three of us each had something different. My Umbrian lentil soup with marigold blossoms sounds pretty straightforward, but the flavour was much more complex and many-layered than your average lentil soup. P and N had Gravadlax with sauce Gribiche and a salad of beets, and breadcrumbed oysters with a shaved fennel and lemon dressing, served with smoked chilli mayonnaise; both were pronounced excellent (and, indeed, my samples tasted pretty good!).

My main again sounds prosaic: lamb meatballs with chickpeas and carrots. But again, the depth of flavour was spectacular: superbly balanced but vivid Middle-Eastern spicing. Good mains for the other two: rigatoni with sausage meat and rapini, chicken and courgette Risotto.

Great desserts, too: bittersweet chocolat pot de crème with cocoa nib cookies, blackberry buckle with lemon verbena ice cream, ice cream sandwich with chocolate meringue and chocolate sauce.

A good selection of wines by the glass, and bottled beers (but I forgot to note down what we chose...). Very friendly service. The restaurant is in one of the old adobe buildings on Sonoma's lovely central square, and I strongly recommend it!

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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