Monday, March 15, 2010

Twinkle Twinkle Little Michelin Star! Dinner at Sante.

When peoples' kids go to school they very often find themselves socializing with new "school friends", other parents from their childs' class. The dog park world is pretty similar. Dog people find themselves getting acquainted with other "dog parents".  As long as nobody bites anybody and everyone has had their's all good.
  Our Siberian Husky  Patsy aka Champion Alpines Absolutely Fabulous is a former "showgirl". She came to live with us after giving up the show ring as a result she's very "friendly".

One of her "crushes" from the dog park is the dashing and athletic Zeus.
Play film below

   Showgirls and Jocks are a natural fit. As a result  Zeus' people, Kelley Cosgrove and Rick Rontiris have become friends of ours.
Kelley happens to be the general manager of the The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa. She and Rick invited us to be their guests for dinner at its' Michelin starred restaurant  Sante with its' amazing chef de cuisine Andrew Cain. The trade off was an Indian Feast at our house. We jumped at the chance.
  Growing up in San Francisco then living for many years in Los Angeles and being a major major food/chef groupie, I have eaten in places graced by a Michelin star before. I haven't however found one of these restaurants in my little town of Sonoma before. All the big foodie news seems to go on in The City  (SF) or the "Other Valley" as Napa is sometimes referred to around these parts.
  Well, shove over Napa because Sonoma has a star and it's Sante.
   The dining room at Sante is an unfussily romantic and tranquil spot. A perfect place for a special dinner or celebration.
   As someone who's used to dining with the chin of a begging Siberian Husky on my knee, I was bowled over by the crystal, roses and the lack of a canine under my chair.

That is me in the background through the forest of glassware. Some of the pictures are a bit on the dark side as we didn't want to be too intrusive taking pictures of the food on our plates "Hey Ma! Look! Lobster!"
    Sante offers a regular a la carte menu, a prix fixe menu and a special tasting menu. We decided to go with the a la carte.
   We ordered and then before our meal was served, were presented with a lovely amuse-bouche of a cream of celery soup with a bit of basil cream dotting the top and a salmon mousse bruschetta. I loved the charming little glassware. Just a sip is all one needs to set the stage for the meal. I also love surprises at the table. They had me at the amuse.
  Alan ordered a lobster bisque as an appetizer

I , on the other hand in the interest of fresh greens on my plate chose an endive salad with beets and citrus or more exactly:
                                                    BELGIAN ENDIVE SALAD
                                                    MACHE LETTUCE
                                                    MARINATED HEIRLOOM BEETS
                                                     CITRUS VINAIGRETTE
  which looked like this
 Just as an example of how serious these appetizers are, I present the following example which by the way I was really controlling myself not to order.
                                         GROWN UP MACARONI AND CHEESE
                                          MAINE LOBSTER, BLACK TRUFFLES
                                          FONTINA VAL D’AOSTA
Chef Andrew Cain of Sante is  a bad bad boy and definitely, most definitely not fooling around.

I know we should have ordered separate entrees and swapped but we are both suckers for duck, that's just the way we roll. Duck it was:
                                               ROASTED SONOMA DUCK BREAST
                                              BRAISED SWISS CHARD
                                              DUCK CONFIT AND SUNCHOKE STUFFED ONION
                                               PORT WINE DUCK JUS
Of course there was wine, a a Failla Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Hirsch Vineyards
And finally, the dessert. Unfortunately there is not a picture of my dessert, as I ate it before one could be taken, so just imagine Alans' dessert, only in chocolate.
   What you are seeing here is a lemon souffle with a lemon creme anglaise. On the other hand Rick ordered this:
                                                  MANJARI CHOCOLATE DARIOLE
                                                  PEANUT BUTTER GANACHE
                                                  BANANNA ICE CREAM
                                                  CARAMEL SAUCE
Which came as part of the prix fixe dinner. I loved the very art deco individual coffee service. It made me feel as though I was on the Italian liner The Rex tooling around the Mediterranean circa 1935.
After this amazing feast, I am going to have to work extra hard to plan an Indian Feast as our part of the swap.
  So what reward do Patsy and Zeus get for bringing us all together? For Patsy it's logging extra Dog Park minutes, for Zeus it's a charming and not too aggressive 2010  Spaulding tennis ball with a hint of crabgrass, undertones of mud and a soupcon of dog park water and just the slightest notes of Siberian Husky.


  1. Omg the amuse ... that soup ... that mac. I am dying! Yum. Also I am in love with your doggie.

  2. I love that I can live vicariously thru you and enjoy this amazing meal... I hope you'll be posting on the reciprocal Indian feast, too!

  3. Thanks for the info, if I ever come up to Sonoma, I will certainly try it. I am quite amazed that the portions are not too small like in most upper-class restaurants. Everything looks delightful.

  4. The dinner looks marvelous and way out of my league but your Patsy, now she's a beauty! Reminds me of Bandit. He was our red husky which we just recently lost. Hubby cried over him more than I. I can so relate the whole "activity friends" concept.



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