We met up with Mo's stepson, Kenneth, for lunch at Le Jardin. The restaurant served mostly tapas, and it was outside, between 2 street blocks. I had some sangria, which was refreshing, but still didn't beat the sangria we made at my house on Sangria Night. Kenneth pulled what Mo calls an "Eremita" and dropped food on floor. This actually became a point of humor several times this weekend, as we pulled many Eremitas throughout the trip. No, Kenneth had not been drinking at all, unlike the rest of us. We talked about celebrating Kenneth’s 21st birthday, with different options of entertainment. I don't know about y'all, but I never planned my 21st birthday with my parents and their friends. Kenneth was being quite the sport.
Mo, Lo and Sher at Le Jardin, Happy to finally be on Vacation!
We went to Krina’s house to split to 2 Hondas, because Krina would need to leave our trip earlier than the rest of us. Krina & I took a detour to San Francisco to pick up something from her cousin, and during the ride, the "hot DA" called to tell her that she had helped him to get a guilty verdict. We're proud of you, Krina! You definitely need to go out for drinks with him to celebrate. :)
We drove up to Sonoma, checked in to the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Lo and I checked into our room, where there was a bottle of Kenwood table wine, which Lo opened with expertise, although she had never opened a bottle of wine before.
Look how perfectly she opened that bottle with a corkscrew!
Sherry starts with the Wine drinking -- Thanks, Lo!
After unpacking our bags, we walked down to the lobby to confer with Mo & K about dinner. After speaking with a couple of hotel staff workers, and checking out the menu, we decided to have dinner at Sante, a restaurant inside the hotel. Sante boasts to be the only AAA 4-diamond restaurant in Sonoma, whose Chef Andrew Cain was formerly the sous-chef at the well-known restaurant French Laundry. When we arrived at our table, we saw beautiful chargers, which, we learned, were hand-blown in Colorado and custom made for the restaurant. Our server for the evening was Morgan, who pretended to remember Krina from when she was there with another friend & had lobster mac and cheese and stayed until they closed. At least I think he pretended. I don't know. Morgan was very friendly, and when we mentioned our flight, he said that he wanted a Zombie for his backyard, and not a Yeti, from the SkyMall catalog.
Sommelier Eric Henson approached our table, and we asked for his advice. All of us except Lo are red wine drinkers, but Lo hadn't yet met a red that she enjoyed. So we asked Lo to be our taster for the evening. Eric brought over a pinot noir, and Lo thought that it was bitter. Eric was doubting her because she had previously said that all red wine was bitter to her, but he really thought that this wine should have been OK for her. He tasted it himself, and AGREED! It had been corked or something, because he also made that "eew, it's bitter" face. Lo ROCKS! Then he brought over a nice, smooth 2007 Rochiole Pinot Noir from Russian River. All of us at the table enjoyed the wine, including Lo, who did the tasting this time also. Have I told you that Lo ROCKS!?
We were served a choice of slices of Sourdough Bread or Fig & Walnut Bread with Organic Butter, French Butter and Sea Salt. Some of us opted for both, but I stuck with the Fig & Walnut bread. It was delicious. I had never put sea salt on top of my buttered bread before, but it was quite nice.
We then received a Complimentary Amuse Bouche from the tasting menu: Chilled Asparagus Soup with Crème Fraiche, and Maine Lobster Remoulade. It was quite tasty. I'm not usually a fan of asparagus, but I liked this soup, and the chilled factor made it very refreshing. The remoulade was wonderful. I could have had just this stuff all night, but that wasn't the point.
Our appetizers were Mac & Cheese with Maine Lobster & Truffles, and Escargots with Sweetbreads. Since we had forgotten what was actually described in the menu, Mo thought that she had tasted corn, but they were actually the Sweetbreads. Now, all of my foodie friends, don't be alarmed, but a couple of us didn't know what sweetbreads were, and I didn't want to describe them incorrectly. Morgan advised us that they were actually the Thymus gland from veal. Whatever it was, it was delicious. As was the Mac & Cheese. Y.U.M.
My main dish was a Filet of Red Snapper with Dungeness Crab wontons, sugar snap peas, baby bok choy, in lemongrass sauce, or soup, or something. (I can't remember what it was called). The Snapper was delicious, the wontons were tasty, and I ate all of my vegetables, and wanted to slurp up the soup. It was wonderful.
For dessert, I asked Morgan, "What is a Financier, besides an Accountant?" He explained that it was a type of cake, and this one was made of almond flour. Being a fan of almonds, I ordered the Almond Financier with Lemon & Thyme Ice Cream and Blueberry Reduction. It was beautiful, although my picture didn't do it justice, and on top of it was a sugared lemon slice as garnish. Yummy.
This is a picture of Mo's dessert: I don't remember what it is, but doesn't it look scrumptious?Afterward, we were given a yummy box of sweets for us to share in each of our rooms. It contained a truffle, jelly candy, meringue cookie with filling & a lavender-flavored marshmallow. We were too full to eat it before we went to bed, though.