By Jamie Rushing
(SONOMA, CA) -- Imagine realizing that after just 24 hours you are personally obsessed with a girl and a fig. A super delicious foodie brand out of Sonoma… well not just food more like innovative dining, wine pairings, fabulous take-out , best coffee in Sonoma, bakery goodies, artisan sauces and jams, cookbooks, whoopee pies and bottled wines … oh my.
I was first lured into the restaurant, The Girl and the Fig, which sits on Sonoma Square.
The cuisine is Californian with a French twist. Atmosphere relaxed and warm, I settled into a sunny window seat and couldn’t resist ordering a glass of wine with lunch.
The afternoon spread included crab cakes with fresh corn relish & garlic herb aoli (aka the best version of mayo anyone has put in their mouth), a side salad with shaved fennel, salty olives and champagne vinaigrette. Now I know you are saying “but where are the figs.” Don’t worry, grilled and open faced, a sandwich of proscuitto, fresh sliced black figs and handmade mozarrrella drizzled with fig vinegar filled my final culinary cravings.
We paired lunch with a little Sonoma Viognier, Monterey Marsanne and Central Coast Rousanne- a true mouthful of delicious French varietals, not always well done in California. The wine list itself was admirable as the focus was clearly food friendly wines, more on the European style, but most all were from unique areas of California.
Too full for dessert just then, I headed off to my lodging at MacArthur Place. I decided to take the side road- Napa Road (yes, still just off Sonoma Square), to peruse the beautiful homes of those living “the wine country lifestyle.”
This fateful path landed me right in front of The Girl and the Fig Pantry? Oh my god, I had to pull over and just “look”. Right. Look. One big fat look later, I ended up with a big fat Chocolate Chip Whoopee Pie, a Coconut Oatmeal cookie, crispy toasted cashews and some dark chocolates- for the evening (I needed a few nibbles for the late afternoon right? And I did skip dessert the first time!).
I did manage to “look” while at the Pantry, passing up items, like savory cracker snacks, cheeses galore, salts and peppers, infused olive oils, wine vinegars and a line of “Girl and the Fig” products including fig caramel sauce and thick jams.
Looking back for a final farewell, whoopee pie already in my mouth, I knew this little gem hadn’t seen the last of me.
As I awoke the next day, after attending a dreamy Sonoma wedding and packing up to leave behind the fall air of wine country, I wasn’t ready to say good-bye. I couldn’t bear the journey back to San Francisco without a little cheery music and a little something to sweeten the ride. (ok so I am being a little dramatic, it is just a 55 minute “journey”).
I decided that maybe a mocha would do the trick… and where did I come crawling back to? The confectionary coffee bar at, what I now like to adoringly call, “the G & the F”. But do you know what was connected to the coffee bar? The gelato bar, so I had to dive into the home churned “fig and port” concoction. It was too good to pass up… “just one scoop please.” Now I was set to hit the road! Or not.
I paused over my first spoonful and thought to myself.. long drive ahead, 5 o’clock and not looking forward to an evening of cooking once arriving home. Hmm, wonder if they have take out. I peered around the corner to find an entire staff ready to package up my 3 course dinner to take home. So I shamelessly, walked over ordered heirloom tomato soup, home style meatloaf, beet gratin and a cheesy breadstick.
And well..let’s just say I didn’t pass up dessert this time… whoopee pie, you’re coming with me.