(View from the Bella Cellar...)
This should have been a terrible evening. The El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma did not honour our 8:30pm reservation, making us wait another 45 minutes to get a table (and were terribly rude and unapologetic). By 12:15am Montreal time I nearly ate my wallet. Actually, I should have - it would have been better knowing that the cash was safely digesting in my empty stomach rather than funding a night of binge drinking for that punk who "lightened up" my wallet. And that cash would have come in handy for the $100 cab ride from Santa Rosa. But I digress...
Arriving on time for our reservation, we cooled our heels in the bar, sipping on a beer while I fondled the 2005 Bella Lily Hill Syrah that would be our dining companion. Fortunately, the food (and the wine) was fantastic.
Once we were seated the service dramatically improved, and the menu was terrific. For a starter I had local yellow tomatoes with shaved fennel and arugula - delicious. The entree, a grilled free range chicken with gnocchi and garlic sauce, was absolutely perfect. Rob went for the pork osso buco, another winner. And the main courses paired very well with the Syrah (tasting notes some other day). A minor gripe - was that a baguette?! Anyway, if the first paragraph were a lie this could have been a perfect evening.
So, was the wait worth it? Not sure if I can let any restaurant get away with that reservation idiocy, and they seemed rather unapologetic that a regular lifted the cash out of my wallet (which wouldn't have happened if my reservation had been honoured).
In the end, the food was really good. The Bella Syrah was really good. And at least the he left my credit cards and ID. I can't wait for Day 3 - a verical tasting of one of the world's greatest wines!