Scenic Sonoma County spots to enjoy takeout
New at Cornerstone Sonoma, this farm-to-table Cal-Mediterranean cafe features the work of Chef Casey Thompson. She’s got a nice resume, including working under celebrity Chef Dean Fearing at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Texas, being a finalist on the third season of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and opening two restaurants in San Francisco.
On a fine winter afternoon, my friend and I placed our order online, tucked up our takeout and settled in at a metal picnic table in the wine tasting room courtyard.
Chef Thompson whips up fancy al fresco fare. A trio of chicken hand pies makes an excellent appetizer — piping hot, flaky, butter-burnished and stuffed with tender meat kissed with black truffle ($15). We nibbled a harvest salad alongside, the crisp kale tumbled with crunchy apple, persimmon, creamy ricotta salata and pecans in sweet-tart pomegranate vinaigrette ($14).
On a chilly day, a bowl of hot lentil stew is soul-satisfying, slow-braised with peppery greens, soft poached egg, parsley salsa verde and a sprinkle of crispy shallots ($15). I like to add crispy pancetta, for extra richness and chew ($2).
The kitchen sends out a very good croque madame, as well. The sandwich is plump with French ham and buttery, nutty comté cheese; griddled to a crunchy edge; bathed in Béchamel and all crowned in a runny-yolk fried egg ($18).
Then we treated ourselves to banana créme pie, a classic delight made with roasted banana, whipped cream and chocolate shavings ($8).
And since it’s chilly now, we warmed up with a large Golden Bear Latte crafted with honey and cinnamon ($6) and a large, spicy London Fog of hot chai tea foamed with steamed milk ($4.75).
After we ate, we explored Cornerstone’s elaborate seasonal gardens and sculpture displays, inspired by the International Garden Festival at Chaumont-Sur-Loire in France. Wandering the beautiful, restful spaces, it felt like, pandemic, what pandemic?
Details: 23584 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, 707-356-3569, folktable.com
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