The Girl and the Fig in Sonoma

After a long day of tasting wine, the body needs a good, hearty meal with enough creativity to pique your palate but not enough to overwhelm your taste buds.  The Girl and the Fig, located in the heart of Sonoma, hits all of those points, making it the perfect place for our first dinner on our trip to wine country.

The girl and her fig, by artist Julie Higgins, whose art decorates the restaurant.

The girl and her figs, by Julie Higgins, whose art decorates the restaurant.

Sonoma Square is so adorable that it seems almost fake, like something out of the movie Pleasantville.  (Turns out several movies have been filmed there but Pleasantville wasn’t one of them.)  There are quaint shops and mom-and-pop restaurants lining the historic square and everyone walks around wearing happy smiles on their faces.  There must be something in the water.  Or maybe it’s just all the wine.

Cochon Old Vine 2012 rose, cheese and charcuterie plate at Girl and the Fig

A refreshing rose to go with our charcuterie plate.

The Girl and the Fig was just as cute and comforting, with a homey feel and cozy casualness to it.  But don’t let that fool you.  Awarded with a 2013 Bib Gourmand nod by the infamous Michelin Guide, the Girl and the Fig is serious about its food.  They label their food as “country with a French flair,” which translates to a lot of French comfort food with a heavy emphasis on cheese plates and wine (it is, after all, wine country).

The Croques Monsieur is a French-ified version of a ham and cheese sandwich.

The Croques Monsieur is like a ham and cheese sandwich.

As expected, their wine list is extensive but (not so expected) full of reasonably-priced libations.  We picked a Cochon Old Vines Rosé ($34), a deliciously light wine, to accompany our cheese and charcuterie plate ($15).  From there, we picked a range of French favorites for our meal, like the Croques Monsieur, with applewood-smoked ham, cheese and topped with a farm egg with a summer salad and fries on the side ($13, plus $2 for the egg).

Chicken on dumplings with artichokes at Girl and the Fig

Familiar flavors served in an unfamiliar way.

Two of us ordered the Local chicken thighs ($19) after our server said it was one of her favorite dishes on the menu.  Once it arrived, on potato dumplings with artichokes and pancetta, we understood why.  It was amazing.

Duck leg with spinach spaetzle.

The duck was good but the spinach spaetzle was better.

We also got the Duck Confit (one leg for $15/two for $24), served with spinach spaetzle, red pearl onions and carrots in a walnut vinaigrette.  An excellent, well-rounded dish, the vegetables were incredibly fresh and the spinach spaetzle had a wonderfully soothing texture.

lavender crème brûlée and vanilla profiteroles at Girl and the Fig in Sonoma

The lavender crème brûlée was simply incredible.

But the highlight of The Girl and the Fig was the dessert, especially the Lavender Crème Brûlée with wild flower honey ($7.50).  It tasted intensely of lavender, but because that is such a subtle flavor it wasn’t overpowering, especially when balanced with the honey.  We also ordered the Profiteroles ($7), tahitian vanilla bean ice cream-filled cream puffs topped with a bittersweet chocolate sauce, which were delicious but paled in comparison to the the crème brûlée.

Go to The Girl and the Fig for :: a casual but scrumptious meal.  Don’t miss the lavender crème brûlée!  Notes :: Reservations are recommended and available online.  Keep in mind they do not accept American Express credit cards.

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