Tag Archives: wonderful atmosphere

The Sonora Room Restaurant

On Father’s Day, when my husband returned home from his annual golf weekend with his two sons and 14 others, we were off to celebrate Father’s Day in  style.

We went to the Sonora Room Restaurant (part of the Burrowing Owl Estate Winery) for dinner. We were greeted by a young man with a big smile who actually asked questions to engage in a welcoming conversation as he seated us at a window table. Our server comes over with a wonderful presence to offer us a beverage, or water (still or bubbly) and leaves the menus for us to peruse.

I ordered my glass of wine and Don ordered a Beck’s. I asked our server (who had the most delightful accent) where she came from and she told us and that she spoke Swedish. Then, she says to us, you were here last year for Father’s Day and you sat over there (pointing across the room). Now, this is a memory!

Don ordered the Clams Vesusius. This consisted of steamed outlandish Manila clams, black garlic, cherry tomatoes and chilies. The bowl was piled high and, yes he did, he consumed it all. He said it was great.  I ordered the pan seared Scallops. Oh my, this was with paprika and honey bacon, spinach, apple butter and apple chips. They were the large scallops, perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious.

Now for the main course.  Don ordered the Firehall Stout marinated pork loin. It came with an Apricot chili sauce, braised greens, and pearl barley. The pork was cooked to perfection and the plate was pretty clean when he finished. I ordered the roasted game hen and was definitely not disappointed. It came with roasted yams (cut and piled up like a handful of poker chips,  sweet chili marinated tomatoes and jus roti. Believe me, there was nothing left. During this slow dining time, I ordered another glass of wine.

Our delightful server comes over and offers Dessert. Did we refuse? Not! Don and I both ordered the same one. Napolean with a fine point strawberry, hazelnut puff pastry, crème fraiche mousse, basil and white chocolate ice cream and we each had a cup of coffee. Wow!

This was truly worth it. It was the only winery restaurant in the Valley that had a menu of great variety. Some were serving pretty basic – same menu as ever and I was looking for something a little different. This is one restaurant that, with a new Chef, has made the food really awesome. Make your reservation and enjoy.

Friendly note to Manager – when new menu is printed up, the word is cherry not chery. Just sayin’.


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Insight Vacations Trip Through Spain and Portugal

We are coming to the end of this segment of our vacation and I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on what we received, where we went and how we were treated.

We have been on the road now for two weeks with this company. We have a wonderful, careful, pleasant young driver from Portugal we call Joel. Sorry ladies, as handsome as he is, he has a girlfriend. A wonderful gentleman.

We have received with great passion more history on the different areas we have been to; hints about shopping, foods to try or avoid as the case may be, and always with a smile, cute joke or assistance from our wonderful guide, Elena. This lady had a monumental task ahead of her when we first met.

For example, she has to advise (warn?) the various hotels we will be staying in, trying to please 39 passengers from different parts of the world with foods, places to go to, assistance and understanding for those who may require it.

Through it all, we were plied with information, pictures of historic people, events and architecture, finding lost or late passengers and keeping a schedule. Elena does all this and more, and truly is a gem in the Insight diadem.

Did we have an easy time booking this vacation? Absolutely.

We asked them to book our airflights, advising them who we preferred . Insight to the rescue, again.

The biggest question people ask us is; would we travel with them again? Absolutely with great haste. There is no better way to travel and see new places, things and a history lesson as well. Fascinating.

We began as 39 strangers and we end as 39 friends.


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