Restaurants/Dining Travel

The Red Grape: A Sonoma Pizzeria

Written by Emily Buys

As part of a girls getaway weekend, we were treated to a night out at The Red Grape, in Sonoma, California. All opinions expressed are my own.

Every woman should have the opportunity to go on a Girls Getaway some time in her life.  In honor of my fortieth birthday and Emily, The Clever Housewife’s, thirtieth birthday, our mom made that happen for us and our other sister, Megan.  We all met up in Sonoma, CA, where the fun began.  Sonoma is located in the heart of Napa Valley, one of the world’s premier wine producing regions.  Although none of us drinks alcohol of any kind, we found plenty to do and see in this beautiful setting.

The Red Grape, Sonoma California

The agricultural bounty of Napa Valley, which has made it famous for wine, has also resulted in an abundant variety of quality restaurants in the region.  The second evening of our girl’s getaway, we had the opportunity to dine at The Red Grape, a moderately priced pizzeria in downtown Sonoma.

The Red Grape Chef

Shortly after being seated and greeted by our server,  the chef introduced himself to us, and even let Emily take a picture with him. With this warm welcome, we knew we were in for a pleasant evening.  We settled into the cozy, casual atmosphere and looked over the menu.

The Red Grape Appetizers Bolognese Fries and Grilled Olive Flatbread

For a starter, we shared an order of Bolognese Fries (priced at $7.25) and Grilled Olive Flatbread ($6.75).  Anyone who has enjoyed chili cheese fries is sure to marvel at the imaginative combination of french fries and Bolognese.  The French fries were fresh and fried to perfection.  The Bolognese sauce was also fresh and flavorful.  The Bolognese covered French fries were topped with a creamy white cheddar mornay. As for the Grilled Olive Flatbread, this was a tasty combination of Grilled dough with mixed olive, piquillo pepper, and artichoke tapenade. An excellent way to begin the meal for sure.

The Red Grape Dinner

We wanted to get a taste of a variety of the menu options at The Red Grape, so we each ordered something from different sections of the menu.  This way, we were each able to sample a little bit of everything.  

The Red Grape Butternut Squash Soup

From the seasonal menu, Megan ordered the Butternut Squash Soup with pomegranate molasses and crème fraiche (a cup is priced at $4.75 and a bowl is priced at $6.95).  The soup was beautifully served with the pomegranate molasses and crème fraiche as a decorative garnish.  The soup itself was a little bland, but the molasses and crème fraiche served to enhance the simplistic flavor of the butternut squash.  

The Red Grape Gorgonzola Salad

I ordered the Gorgonzola Salad (priced at $9.75).  This salad was a spring mix with sliced apple, red grapes, spicy pecans, aged gorgonzola and cider vinaigrette.  According to the restaurant’s website, The Red Grape gets its produce from Jo Anna Romanini.   Everything about this salad was fresh and yummy.  It also complemented everything else we ordered.

The Red Grape Radiatori and Pesto

Mom ordered the Radiatori and Pesto (priced at $14.25).  The radiatori pasta was served in a flavorful basil pesto, with sundried tomatoes, pinenuts, goat cheese and parmesan.  This was my first experience with radiatori pasta.  This pasta resembles small radiators.  The “grills” of this pasta did a magnificent job of soaking in the flavorful pesto sauce.  The pasta at The Red Grape is supplied by Joe Wade’s Wine Country Pasta.  I think we all fought for the last bite of this dish! This is a dish I would definitely love to try recreating at home.

The Red Grape Bacon and Caramelized Onion AND The Tuscan Sun Pizza

Emily ordered a pizza.  Emily was undecided on whether she wanted to try a white pizza or a red pizza.  Our server informed her she could have both by dividing the pizza into halves.  Perfect for the indecisive eater! She opted for the Bacon and Caramelized Onion (priced at $14.75), from the white pizza menu, and the Tuscan Sun (priced at $14.25), from the red pizza menu.  Let me just say, I love caramelized onions!  The Bacon and Caramelized Onion pizza had a crème fraiche base with applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, mozzarella and smoked gouda.  The Tuscan Sun pizza was topped with roasted garlic, fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, arthichoke hearts and black olives, topped with feta cheese.  Despite my love of caramelized onions, I actually preferred the Tuscan Sun pizza.  I just couldn’t resist the tangy Mediterranean flavors.  Emily also favored the Tuscan Sun pizza.  The pizza was made with a thin crust, which was baked to perfection.   

The Red Grape Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

Finally, we opted to order dessert to go.  The Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake (priced at $7.35) was a bit of heaven with a creamy chocolate mousse and raspberry puree filling and garnished with shaved white chocolate and mint.

The Red Grape dining in Sonoma, California

The Red Grape is a fun setting for a group of friends or even for the whole family, yet not too noisy for an intimate date with a significant other.  The staff was friendly and eager to please.  We received outstanding service, and really had no complaints.  It was a great way to unwind after a busy day shopping and enjoying the history and natural beauty of Napa Valley.

andrea

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Emily Buys

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