My wife and I live in San Jose CA, better known to some as "Silicon Valley", just about 100 miles south of the Sonoma and Napa Valleys. My son and his family live in Sonoma. We have more family in the general area. We gathered, 9 of us, in Sonoma and then proceeded to Kenwood to VJB. It was Fathers' Day, so a lot of places were very busy or filled to capacity. However, the staff here pulled some tables together and we were seated almost at once. We ordered lunch, wine and appropriate drinks for the underage and non-drinkers. Unhappily, this included myself, as my doctors tell me I have used up all my "E-tickets" and thus wine is Verboten after 50+ years of indulgence! Everyone else seemed to enjoy the selections however, and the food was quite marvelous.
We sampled wood-fired pizzas; My wife had one with red grapes and bleu cheese. My son tried one with prosciutto and sausage. Both were pronounced excellent. One of the ladies ordered a salad with nuts, cranberrries and pomegranate vinagrette. I had a sandwich with a crusty roll, prosciutto, Jarlsburg and pesto. Very good! Two others orrdered a Butcher's Board, with various cheeses and charcuterie, plus candied walnuts. They shared it and it was quite sufficient for two.
I didn't go wine tasting (see above) but those who did seemed very pleased. After lunch, most of us visited the gelato concession. I had a very nice black-cherry. There were numerous selections available, and they would give you a taste if you wanted. My wife and I have made several trips to Italy: there is no such thing as bad gelato! ( I have a beautiful memory of strolling past the Trevi Fountain one warm night, with gelato cones melting and running down our hands and arms because we couldn't lick fast enough to keep up). This brought it all back---minus the melting!
At 1:00 PM the opera singers (an accordion player and two tenors) came out and strolled among the tables, rendering various operatic and semiclassical songs. They were very good, personable and seemed to be having as much fun as the diners! In summary, this is actually a relatively inexpensive restaurant for the Valleys. The quality of the food is very high, the staff is attentive (although one pizza was somewhat delayed) and the ambience on a beautiful, warm California day was superb!
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