* Click here for rating key
Sante Restaurant Restaurant Review: Santé grabs the prize for sleeper restaurant of Sonoma County. It resides within the unfortunately located Fairmont Hotel (along a lowly section of highway between Sonoma’s historic square and its valley of vineyards), which surely prompts potential patrons to keep driving. But venture in and join the overnighters populating the serene dining room overlooking the pool. A choice of divine butters, French Echiré and Straus Family from Marin, immediately reassure. Amuse-bouche such as a wide spoon of parsnip foam (actually a delicate mousse) and asparagus en gelée topped with goat cheese signal an elevated experience of seasonal delights. Crack through a wispy brown sugar shell hinting of caraway to plow for creamy caramelized onion risotto, or indulge in meaty pork belly and root vegetables. A pristine Parma ham broth glorifies ling cod with chive gnocchi. There’s a splendid wine list for accompaniment. Don’t pass up the far-from-mundane desserts---also from the hands of the chef; in particular, warm chestnut milk with chestnut dumpling or a plate of chocolate treats.