Sondra Bernstein is well known as “the girl” of the girl & the fig restaurant, a Wine Country destination right on the historic square in Sonoma. Her inspiration for the girl & the fig is “country food with a French passion,” and this lively spot, popular with locals and visitors reminds you of a bistro in Provence. But “the girl” loves Italian food too, and what Sonoma locals know that not all visitors do, is if you venture just a bit further down Spain Street, beyond the Plaza, you will discover Sondra’s other Sonoma restaurant ESTATE. Sondra is the only restaurateur in the California Wine Country to offer the California version of Wine Country cuisine from both France and Italy—two wine country regions whose micro-climates match that of Sonoma.
The Huffington Post recently observed, “Sondra Bernstein’s restaurants have focused on seasonality since 1997,” and the fig’s “Italian sister,” ESTATE is no exception. A beautiful Victorian house on almost 2 acres boasts olive and fruit trees, herbs and vegetable plantings amidst the lush landscape; ESTATE evokes relaxed dining on a veranda savoring an Italian feast with friends and family.
Inside ESTATE are several warm, romantic rooms highlighted by the dramatic artwork of Christopher Butler’s interpretation of old Italian films. Sondra describes the connection between the food and the art: "My inspiration is not limited to beautiful raw ingredients, perfect flavors, celebration and laughter. I am also inspired by the imagination and creativity of artists, poets and musicians everywhere. I find myself mesmerized by the early works of eccentric Italian filmmakers. These films capture and recreate a mood of reverie, mystery, intensity and often an avant-garde sense of place which I wanted to conjure up at ESTATE.” The transporting sense of place continues outside to the expansive patios complete with a stone fireplace and a climbing rose over 100 years old entwined in a gazebo shading the tables.
ESTATE, featuring country food with an Italian accent, is housed in an elegant historic building, but the experience is contemporary in tone, cuisine and style. Highlights of the menu are award winning house cured salumi, farm inspired antipasti, hand made pastas, wood-fired pizza, rustic Italian dishes, specialty cocktails and an extensive wine list celebrating Italian and California vintners. In addition to a dinner menu served Wednesdays through Sundays, ESTATE offers their exclusive La Cena di Famiglia, a 4-course $26 prix fixe dinner served family style. Bubbles & Brunch are served Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm.
ESTATE also offers a unique grappa bar with over 20 varieties of grappa, domestic and imported. The extensive selection rivals any in the Bay Area introducing guests to the subtleties of grappa and how it can complement and finish a meal.
Friends of 7x7 are encouraged to mention this blog post at Sunday brunch for a complimentary plate of zeppole, ESTATE’s signature brunch doughnuts from the Chef.
For more information, complete menu and to make a reservation, click here.