Restaurant Reviews


Finding a good restaurant in Vacaville, CA is like finding a needle in a haystack.  In a city filled primarily with your standard chain restaurants (e.g. Applebee’s, TGI Friday’s), there’s not a lot of variation to speak of.  When we go out to eat, we usually take a trip over to the Bay Area or to Napa.

Thanks to our friend, Scott, we finally found a restaurant that has all the casual atmosphere that you want from a local establishment, with food that I’ll actually eat.  The best part is that it’s Thai food.  Mmmmm…

Spice Thai Kitchen and Bar
1679 E Monte Vista Ave
Ste 108
Vacaville, CA 95688

(707) 455-7150

3.9 Stars

$-$$ (of $$$$)

Food to try:

  • Cucumber Salad
  • Spicy Pork
  • Spicy Noodles (order with Prawns)
  • Thai Egg Rolls
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I’ve been keeping something from you.  I won’t say that I did it for some noble or lofty reason– it was just plain selfishness and it has to stop.  So here it is…my husband and I have been going to Ficelle just about every other Friday for months (well, actually more like a year).  Ficelle is this wonderful little restaurant in Winters, CA (up the 505 if you have any idea what that means) that serves Lunch on Wed. and our personal favorite: tapas, on Thurs., Friday, and Saturday nights.  The food is fabulous, constantly evolving, and extremely reasonably priced….and it’s mine–you hear me?  MINE!

Sorry–right, I was saying how I was going to try to be good and share.

So if you’re local or not, come out for a casual dinning experience on the patio under the oak tree.  I’ll see you there.

5 E Main St # C
Winters, CA 95694
(530) 795-9593

4.8 Stars
$-$$ (of $$$$)
Food to try:

  • Beef Skewers
  • Any mixed platter
  • Spicy Shrimp

A wonderfully warm and sunny day, Sunday found Trevor and I wanting to eat out of doors. Providentially we were out in Sonoma and remembered a cafe that a friend of ours had recommended. The Sunflower Cafe, located in the Sonoma Square (right along with the Basque Boulangerie), offers a light and inexpensive menu to the local by-passers. Although the indoor seating was quaint enough, we walked through to the patio area and found an oasis of lush greenery and trickling fountains.

A bit disappointed to find that they were out of their duck sandwich, I reluctantly chose an alternative poultry sandwich. Yet, with the grilled chicken before me, dressed in a citrus and cilantro salsa, I knew I would have little to complain about. Trevor proclaimed his roast beef with melted cheese on focaccia the best he’d ever had (and I was able to weasel a bite out of him for posterity’s sake). If I was to do it over again, I would ask for my sandwich on the same. The current bun it was served on was far too much bread to meat ratio. To top it off, Trevor and I split a lemon bar that was clearly freshly made.

A truly genuine place to enjoy and soak up the sun.

421 1st St W
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 996-6645

4.7 Stars
$-$$ (of $$$$)
Food to try:

  • Roast beef on Focaccia
  • Duck Sandwich

Welcome to my kitchen–or at least what I believe mine would look like had I the space and funds. Upon entering Bistro Jeanty I was struck, not only by the similar preference in style and posters common to both of our dinning areas, but its casual inviting atmosphere. Being a true California girl at heart, I have come to want wonderful delectable food in a restaurant where I’m not concerned about my attire, and Bistro Jeanty is my answer. Although not for the faint of heart when it comes to culinary exploration (bone marrow, rabbit, and the like are welcome on this diverse French menu), those with a more open adventurous palate should be delighted. My selection was the mussels in Red wine (that’s right, I said red), and although a little saltier than I would have liked, the red wine was a refreshing take on a dish that ‘s becoming a quick staple in our home. Would I want to serve it that way from now on? No. Yet, the change of pace was more than welcome. All other appetizers and entrees were perfect (see recommendations below) and their wine list was the same. Only the best quality bottles made their list. An overall great dining experience.

Will Bistro Jeanty become our next Celadon**? Probably not–distance and price being what they are. Yet it’s a shinning reason to travel to the quiet little town of Yountville.

6510 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599
707-944-0103

4.0 Stars
$$$ (of $$$$)
Food to try:

  • Tomato bisque soup appetizer (with a lovely flaky puff pastry topping)
  • The Rib eye
  • Lemon curd tart with meringue (wonderfully tangy)

**See “A very merry un-V-Day” post

We don’t tend to think of ourselves as Mad-Hatters, but from some of the looks my husband and I received yesterday we certainly had reason to second guess ourselves. Baffled, no–flabbergasted that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s day (especially as a younger and fairly affectionate couple), we had a lot of explaining to do. The heart of the matter is this: we don’t believe one should need an excuse to show love and affection toward others. The kind, unsolicited and nonobligatory gestures are the ones I always tend to remember and cherish. So, on what happens to be Valentine’s Day to most, Trevor and I found ourselves not so uncommonly out to dinner with his parents at what is quickly becoming one of our favorite restaurants in Napa.

In a search last year to take Trevor out for his birthday (we do celebrate those), I stumbled upon Celadon. Tucked back into the historic Napa Mill, Celadon’s charming patio dinning experience has yet to disapoint with its exposed brick, greenery, and spacious seating. Despite its lovely exterior, Celadon’s greatest asset is its menu. Thus, it wasn’t all that surprising last night when fine dinning turned to family-style and endless plate swapping amongst the many cries of “you have to try this.” Were we not attempting to retain some modesty and self-pride, I think we’d have licked the plates clean. The service? Average, but with no complaints.

500 Main St., Suite G
Napa, CA 94559
707-254-9692

4.7 Stars
$$$ (of $$$$)
Food to try:

  • Duck Confit Salad
  • Grilled Polenta Napoleon
  • Fillet Mignon with Blue cheese potatoes gratin


** Also, this is one of the few places you can find Storybook Mountain Zinfandel, so enjoy! …and a very merry un-V-day to you too!

It’s fairly safe to say that there are very few movies that can claim that its remake is just as good as the original. Yet, Sabrina (old and new) manage to remain among my favorites.** Whether it’s cooking or photography, I must admit that I too have often dreamed of “finding myself in Paris.” Sadly, even with my head in the clouds, my feet often find themselves firmly planted on the ground. Nevertheless, despite the dismal lack of travel, I was able to have a taste of Paris that I dare Sabrina herself to conjure up.

The Basque Boulangerie in Sonoma provides coffee, breakfast, and lunch with a lovely view of the square. It’s almost always packed, but if you can’t find a place to sit inside, right across the street is a park with plenty of benches. Oh, and just in case you were thinking this was just your run-of-the-mill cute cafe, I would encourage you to consider purchasing your bread for the week here as well (great prices for artisan baking). Just like their employee shirts suggest, I believe we should all take this opportunity to “eat bread.”

460 First St. East
Sonoma, CA 95476
707-935-7687

5 Stars
$-$$ (of $$$$)
Food to try:

  • Whole Wheat croissant (although it doesn’t really make up for all the butter, the nutty flavor the whole wheat gives is great)
  • Morning Bun
  • Prosciutto and Brie Sandwich
  • Whatever the daily special is


**I’ve always thought of us as alike: “amber dropping hair,”
awkward, and a book-lovin’ nerd. (Where else are you going to find a literary reference to Comus?!?!?!)

Ever since our 3 year stint in Chicago, Trevor and I have been on the hunt for a great Irish pub. The streets of Chi-town, with the haunting sound of Danny Boy lingering in the air, seem to be overflowing with Guinness and Harp. Thus, Stout Brothers Irish Pub was a welcome surprise to our cloverleaf dry spell here in Nor Cal. With beautiful woodwork straight from Ireland’s coast and dozens of seating alcoves, I was fairly impressed. As far as the food goes, everything that we had was just what I expected it to be, delicious, and refreshingly affordable. I have since heard murmurings of the menu being limited to the classic staples and I must admit that I didn’t realize it was my right to walk into an Irish pub and order Kung Pao Chicken. My only real complaint was that the bar didn’t seem to have a consistent handle on the mixed drinks (in all fairness it wasn’t even my drink, but it was a minor issue at the table). Nevertheless, the staff was great. It felt like you were asking an old friend to get you a beer from the fridge (it just tasted better and got to the table quicker).

Stout Brother’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
527 4th St
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

4.1 Stars
$-$$ (of $$$$)
Food to try:

  • The garlic chips (amazing, but be forewarned that you’ll sink for days….mmmm…gaaarlic)
  • Corned beef Sandwich
  • Lamb Stew

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