By 707 correspondent, Deirdre Bourdet.
There’s a lot of tasty action going down in Sonoma these days. The gorgeous and historic Ledson Hotel on the Sonoma Square recently began offering Sunday brunches at its CENTRE DU VIN restaurant, with a mostly French-inspired menu of Benedicts, quiches, crêpes, and omelets. They also have a very naughty plate of biscuits and duck confit gravy that MUST NOT be missed. This is franglais at its finest, seriously one of the best brunch dishes of recent memory. The chef confessed that he eats this bad boy every Sunday before he starts service, and you should too. No, seriously. 480 1st St. E. between E. Napa and E. Spain Sts., Sonoma, 707-996-9779.
Up in Guerneville, BIG BOTTOM MARKET has added a new celebrity sandwich to their lineup for the month of January, honoring Sister Sparkle Plenty, one of the founding members of the Russian River chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. “The Exalted One,” as this month’s offering is named, combines roast beef, caramelized onions, arugula, and blue cheese spread on a brioche roll from Sebastopol’s Village Bakery. The market is also offering three healthy salad options in its deli case throughout the month of January, and a new selection of $15 wines to help people stick to their resolutions for 2012. 16228 Main St. between Armstrong Woods Rd. and Church St., Guerneville, 707-604-7295.
Now that Sheana Davis has moved THE EPICUREAN CONNECTION just a few steps off the Sonoma Square, it’s even easier to score her award-winning Delice de la Vallee and Crème de Fromage cheese (served at French Laundry and other discriminating establishments), bacon maple syrup, pinot noir verjus, Black Pig pork, Community Grains pastas and flour, and a million other awesome gourmet groceries. No food-loving individual can go in that store and not find something they want to devour. The little café in the back of the store also serves a small breakfast menu and lunch, with ample community table seating inside. 122 W. Napa St. between 1st and 2nd Sts. W., Sonoma, 707-935-7960.
The 11th annual FEAST OF THE OLIVE DINNER will take place on Saturday January 28th at Ramekins Culinary School. This year, 18 of Sonoma’s top chefs are joining forces to create a multi-course family-style dinner honoring the region’s second largest crop. The team includes chefs from such delicious establishments as the girl & the fig, ESTATE, Santé, Café La Haye, La Salette, El Dorado Kitchen, Depot Hotel Restaurant, Hot Box Grill, and many more—including Jason Rose of Ram’s Gate Winery, who came to Sonoma after stints with the Delfina and TyFlo restaurant groups. The dinner will showcase olive as the star ingredient, as well as olive oils from The Olive Press and Figone’s of California, and wines from local wineries like Imagery, Gloria Ferrer, Jacuzzi, Cline, B.R. Cohn, and Akóma Zoúme. Tickets are $150 per person, available by calling 707-996-1090 ext. 108.
According to the Kenwood Press, French Laundy alum Ari Weiswasser and his wife Erinn Benziger (Mike Benziger’s daughter) will be opening a new restaurant called THE GLEN ELLEN STAR this spring in the space formerly occupied by Saffron. The restaurant will feature local produce—as is now practically required in Sonoma—but in a refreshing twist will be emphasizing the wood-fired traditions of Argentina. Should be an interesting addition to the dining scene in Glen Ellen. An 8-seat counter overlooking the open kitchen, patio seating for 20, and dining room for 32 means lots of options for the lucky few who get in. 13648 Arnold Dr. at Warm Springs Rd., Glen Ellen.