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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Girl and The Fig

I’ve been making a list (just in my head) of restaurants that sound like they could be children’s books. Intriguing, fairytale-sounding names that sound like they should have a moral, or at least a good lesson to be learned at the end: Baker and Banker. Beast and the Hare. Sons and Daughters. The Tipsy Pig (well, maybe a bit inappropriate for children, but endearing-sounding nonetheless). And Sonoma spot The Girl and the Fig belongs on the list as well.

What a great job on the name. Driving up to this rustic spot off of Sonoma Plaza brings to life all the expected (and appropriate) words the name evokes. Cute. Charming. Quaint. Blackboards announce specials handwritten in chalk.They even have a garden/patio area that’s bright and sunny during the day, and grows cozy and romantic as the sun sets.

They serve the kind of food that can bring you to another place. French country-comfort food ranging from steak tartar to croque monsieur to what Yelpers say is one of the best cheese courses around (though I didn't get to try it this time). Cocktails always help too, and though I was disappointed they were out of their signature Fig Kiss, I did enjoy my strawberry lemonade which offered sweet muddled berries and a tangy meyer-lemon infused vodka.

We started with a bowl of steamed mussels that were toothsome and scented with a pastis and garlic-leek broth. MFM's sirloin burger was served with a chunk of melty brie and perfectly crisped matchstick fries with creamy aioli. We also ordered the duck confit which came atop a warm lentil and ham hock salad.

I can't say it was the best food I've ever tasted. The burger was a slight bit overdone and might have been better off with a less crunchy bun. And the duck dish, though tender and falling off the bone, seemed a little heavy on the salt. But for great service and ambiance, perfectly delightful fries, incredible-looking desserts (we didn't even get to that this time) and a name that deserves to live forever on a book cover, it's definitely worth another try. Or maybe two.



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