.15th Sonoma County Restaurant Week

Coming off of Super Bowl Sunday, when everyone’s taste is reduced to the lowest common denominator, it’s easy to be distracted from the bounty of culinary brilliance available in Sonoma County.

No worries there—from Feb. 19 to 25, dining enthusiasts will have the unique opportunity to explore an array of special menus and discounts offered by some of our best local restaurants as part of Sonoma County Restaurant Week.

Now in its 15th year, the week-long promotion functions as an organizing principle and marketing effort, courtesy of its namesake county government. That said, Sonoma County Restaurant Week, or “SoCo RW,” as the abbreviation goes, seems to have ramped up its outreach efforts with a thriving social media presence (@sonomacountyrestaurantweek on Instagram and Facebook), a standalone website (socorestaurantweek.org) and tie-ins to Sonoma County Tourism’s app (available in iOS and Android flavors here: sonomacounty.com/sonoma-county-app).

More to the point, the annual event is a showcase, a celebration and a great deal for fans of the county’s dining scene. The event’s site lists 96 participating restaurants, representing a spectrum of cuisines made from the bounty available from our local land, air and sea.

Each establishment will offer at least one prix fixe menu, with lunch options priced at $10, $15 or $25, and dinner options at $25, $35 or $55. One of the highlights of Sonoma County Restaurant Week is its simplicity and accessibility. No tickets or passes are required, making it easy for everyone to participate. Diners are encouraged to explore the culinary landscape by visiting as many participating restaurants as they wish.

As an amuse-bouche, one may consider the three-course dinner experience designed by executive chef Shane McAnelly at Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Kitchen. The menu features two choices for each course, beginning with kanpachi crudo (blood orange, fennel, basil) or a beet salad (arugula, walnuts, roasted carrot, Laura Chenel chevre).

This is followed by a choice of either grilled Painted Hills NY prime, with potato pave, creamed Swiss chard, sauce au poivre or the chef’s signature porcini strozzapreti (wild mushroom, Meyer lemon, parmesan cream, rosemary), and finished with yuzu cheesecake or an orange caramel tart (mascarpone cream, Grand Marnier fudge sauce). All this for $55.

In the same price range, diners might visit the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn to indulge in the prix fixe dinner menu of its signature on-site restaurant, Santé. Featuring dishes like wild mushroom soup, pork chop with asparagus or sweet potato ravioli, the experience is topped off with a chocolate hazelnut crémeux or apple crisp.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the county, Penngrove Market offers a three-course special consisting of a half wood oven roasted chicken, organic braised greens & mashed potatoes and a final course of either a peach blackberry crisp (gluten-free) or tiramisu—all for $35.

Also in the same price range, HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol offers a positively sinful-sounding fried cheese curd with a chipotle aioli as a first-course preamble to its second course Cajun cod po’ boy, and third course lava cake & vanilla ice cream.

Some participating restaurants offer an added incentive: the “Sweet Perk” option for $5 more, providing an affordable way to indulge in a dessert or treat a la carte. The Penngrove Market, for example, offers housemade chocolate cookies as its perk.

The event promises to be a week of culinary delights that will not only please the palate but also strengthen the bonds within the community.

Organizers remind diners that this year’s event is not just about savoring delicious meals—it’s a chance to support small businesses and contribute to the sustainability of Sonoma County’s local economy. By dining out during Restaurant Week, patrons are directly contributing to the success of small businesses and helping to preserve the unique culinary identity of Sonoma County. Moreover, it’s an opportunity to (re)discover new favorite spots and experiment with different cuisines.

Reservations are heartily encouraged. socorestaurantweek.org.

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