Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Fall For Sonoma

Sonoma Wine Garden, with its large outdoor patio and breathtaking ocean and sunset views, Sonoma Wine Garden, has been a hit with customers since its opening in August 2010, and its large wine selection, and special wine events have kept customers engaged, returning for more.

Showcasing bold Mediterranean flavors with a contemporary Californian twist, its locally-sourced, organic produce based menu changes seasonally.

Now, it has a new Executive Chef Garee Battad who came on board in June, with Gordon Ramsey's London Hotel, Tom Collichio's Craft, Charlie Palmer's and Nobu Restaurants on his resume. Continuing the emphasis on farm-to-table, fresh ingredients and flavorful dishes, Battad has refreshed the menus, and is currently busy revamping the Fall menu.

Highlights from the upcoming menu are tempting; they include:

• Branzino Filet - easonal squash puree, cherry tomato, green & yellow patty pan, caper, brown butter.

• Curried Mussels - PEIs, lemongrass, galangal, Thai chili, coconut milk, pickled fresno chili, herbed crostini.

• Beet Arancini - Risotto, goat cheese, lemon aioli

• Falafel Sliders - House-made chickpea falafel, cucumber tzatziki, lettuce, tomato, red onion, brioche

• Pesto Farfalle - Grilled chicken, roasted red pepper, broccolini, cream

• Lamb Meatball Linguine - Castelveltrano olive, marinara, pickled fresno chili, parmigiano.

• Prosciutto & Fig Pizza - Mozzarella, caramelized onion, thyme, balsamic reduction.

• Desserts - Kaiserschmarr'n - Caramelized Austrian pancake soufflé, whipped crème, almonds, golden raisin, apple.

Despite the `wine' affiliation in its name, the restaurant also offers a full bar, featuring specialty cocktails meant to emphasize fresh garden ingredients. Its cocktail menu is also getting a serious bump up with the arrival of top mixologist Rob Floyd who worked most recently at the Bazaar at SLS Beverly Hills and has been designing cocktails for the Emmy's, Grammy's and Oscar's. Here's a few of his new concoctions.

• Old Fashion on Fire - Bulleit Rye, simple syrup, angostura bitters, orange twist, rosemary

• Martini Bisou - Grey Goose, jalapeno, blackberries, lime juice, simple syrup, elderflower foam

• Kanpai Pumpkin - Japanese pumpkin, bourbon, cinnamon, butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, Combier orange liqueur, Angostura Bitters.

Sonoma Wine Garden's next event is wine tasting dinner under the stars on Friday, November 14, offer a 4-course meal crafted by Executive Chef Garee Battad with wine pairings by Summerland's Nebil "Bilo" Zarif. On the menu are a first course of Diver Scallops, Roasted lobster mushrooms, manila clams, and nutmeg-infused blue hubbard squash puree; a second course of Sesame Crusted Yellow Fin Ahi Tuna with Quinoa tabbouleh, and pine nut pesto; a third course of New Zealand rack of lamb and a fourth course of Duck Confit. Of course, there's also hors d'ouevres and dessert.

Of special note for Santa Monica residents is the restaurant's new "Love the Locals" special on Sundays from 4 pm until close, offering local residents all entrees for $8. Other specials include wine and a weekly pairing of a bourbon or a beer. Eligible zip codes are: 90401-90405, 90291-90296, 90272, 90262-90265, and Proof of residency is required.


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