5 things to do on Date Night in Sonoma

Whether it is your first date or your usual weekend on the town, it’s always nice to have a few new suggestions for an amusing and enjoyable night out. Sonoma County offers some of the best options for fun things to do, because this area is incredibly rich with entertainment, amazing views, and delicious restaurants.


Hiking

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Going for a hike in Sonoma County is a great way to get to know your special someone better, while also taking some of the pressure off, because you will be distracted by how beautiful Sonoma County is.


Picnic

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While exploring Sonoma County make a day trip out of it and plan a romantic picnic. Enjoy your picnic on the beautiful grassy areas in the Sonoma Plaza Park. Then explore Downtown Sonoma  and visit all the darling stores and wine tasting shops, to continue this fun day trip.  Fig caters offers amazing box lunches, if you don’t want to pack your own picnic.


Quarry Hill Botanical Garden

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Quarryhill Botanical Garden, in Glen Ellen is a beautiful Asian Woodland Garden. The flowers, waterfalls, and ponds provide the perfect space to have a relaxing and romantic date. If you find that you are hungry after meandering through the gardens, stop by the fig cafe and continue your amazing date!


Live Performing Arts

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Forget going to the movies, instead go out and experience live performances. Come to our Murder Mystery @ Suite D on Saturday October 29th. Enjoy amazing food and wine, while also solving a murder together. It will take entertainment to the next level, and it will keep you interacting with each other!


Tree House

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Why would you want to spend the night in a hotel when you could have a romantic overnight date in one of these stunning tree houses in the beautiful Sonoma Valley? It will be a night you to remember for years to come.


Sometimes it’s fun to mix up date night and go out and explore. Now get out there and plan your next date, we hope it’s a remarkable one!

 

 

Wine Wednesday: Stolpman 2014 Syrah, Ballard Canyon

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As you may know, since the very beginning the girl & the fig has boasted an exclusively Rhône-alone” wine list.

We’ve always loved that featuring unique Rhône wines gives us an opportunity to begin a conversation with our guests, perhaps introduce them to something new, as well as to present talented and innovative producers we believe in.


In honor of “Wine Wednesday,” a little about one of our beloved Rhône producers –

This week: Stolpman 2014 Syrah, Ballard Canyon

About the winemaker: Sashi Moorman

In 1996, Sashi moved to Ojai, California to work a five-year apprenticeship with Adam Tolmach at The Ojai Vineyard.  In 2001, Sashi joined Stolpman Vineyards, integrating the winemaking and vineyard direction under one program.  Today, Sashi continues his work at Stolpman Vineyards, his largest winemaking project. Sashi also makes his own label, Piedrasassi, and is a partner with Rajat Parr in Domaine de la Cote.

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Tasting Notes:

The dark density of the wine compliments the bright fruit profile bursting with tangerine and fresh red fruit. While the 2014 Estate Syrah certainly reflects the warmth of the vintage, the wine still shows a lively tartness that indicates a long life ahead of it.

Pairings:

At the girl & the fig we’d recommend pairing Stolpman 2014 Syrah, with polenta cake (peperonata, broccolini, fried garlic & chili oil), Sonoma mountain beef burger (grilled onions, house-made pickles, frites), soft cheeses.

At home try it with filet mignon with herb compound butter, whipped potatoes, and string beans.

Cheers!


(Thirsty? Book your next reservation at the girl & the fig!)

 

from the kitchen: dill pickles

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Ingredients:

  • 18-20 pickling cucumbers, scrubbed
  • 4 quarts filtered water
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoons chili flakes
  • 1 Tbs. whole peppercorns
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 large bunch of dill, preferably going to seed, washed
  • 3 one-quart pickling jars (wide mouth), sterilized

 

Directions:

In a large pot bring one quart water to a boil and add salt.  Stir slowly until salt has completely dissolved.  Remove pot from heat and add the remaining water.

Pack cucumbers vertically in jars and evenly distribute garlic, spices, bay leaves and dill among the three jars.

Fill jars with salt brine so that cucumbers are completely covered.  Cover jars with cheesecloth (secure with rubber band) and place in a cool, dark place to ferment.

After three days, taste one!  Pickles can ferment anywhere from three to 6 days, and will continue to become more sour during this time.

Allow them to age to your taste, then lid jars and refrigerate.

from the kitchen: shrubs

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Oftentimes in the summer season we find ourselves with a bumper crop of beautiful fruit that is so very ripe it must be put to use that instant.  It’s a wonderful dilemma to have – and one that’s led to the delicious addition of in-house shrubs to our line up at the girl & the fig and fig cafe.

A little history – shrubs originated as a food preservation technique that dates back to the days before refrigeration.  To prolong the life of ripe fruits, adding them to a crock with a good amount of sugar would transform them within a few weeks to vinegar.  This vinegar, though, has the bright, fragrant fruit flavors and could be better described as a vinegar “syrup.”

As Serious Eats better puts it, “a proper shrub has a flavor that’s both tart and sweet, so it stimulates the appetite while quenching thirst.”

Without further ado, the girl & the fig’s take on the traditional shrub:

Ingredients:

  • 3 pints fresh blackberries or figs
  • 3 cups red wine vinegar
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water

Instructions:

Thoroughly wash fruit and pat dry.

Add to vessel of your choice (glass or plastic, not metal) and pour vinegar over fruit.  Cover and place in refrigerator for two days.

After two days, combine sugar and water in a saucepan and slowly stir until sugar is completely dissolved.

Combine all ingredients in a large blender (or blend in batches) and puree well.  Pour mixture through a sieve and return to the refrigerator for long term storage.

 

from the kitchen: Brussels sprout kimchi

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Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lbs. Brussels sprouts
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 Tbs. fresh garlic, crushed
  • 2 bunches of scallions (approximately 6-8)
  • 4 oz. good quality sea salt
  • 3 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 4 Tbs. clam juice
  • 2 Tbs. coriander seeds*
  • 2 Tbs. fennel seeds*
  • 2 tsp. chili flakes
  • 1 wide mouth canning jar (with lid)

Directions:

Thinly slice Brussels, yellow onion and scallions; combine in large mixing bowl

Sprinkle salt over chopped vegetables and massage leaves until they begin to soften and release liquid; add enough water to the bowl to cover and place a heavy plate or dish on top in order to fully submerge; allow to stand at room temperature for a minimum of one hour

Transfer slaw to colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water; allow to drain for 20 minutes

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine garlic, soy, fish sauce, clam juice, coriander seeds, fennels seeds, and chili flakes; whisk thoroughly

After 20 minutes, gently squeeze any remaining water from chopped vegetables and return them to your large bowl; add seasoning brine; work ingredients together until leaves are completely coated

Pack the entire contents into the jar; be sure to press kimchi so that it is fully submerged in the brine, with at least one inch of headspace to allow room for fermentation/expansion

Cover the jar with cheese cloth (secured with a rubber band) and ferment for 3-5 days; check kimchi at least once a day, pressing contents down with the handle of a clean spoon to be sure that they remain well below the liquid line

When kimchi is actively bubbling and aged to taste, transfer jar to fridge for storage; kimchi may consumed immediately or aged for a week (or more) before use


*We recommend toasting your spices for the most robust flavor, however this is an optional step.