We have rented the most wonderful vacation home high above the Russian River near Guerneville, Northern California, for two weeks.

Above is the view from the kitchen and when the evening fog from the coast 10 miles away rolls in by 7pm and out by 8am, it gets pretty dramatic.

It’s hard to leave this place, but the pull of the Russian River, Dry Creek, Alexander and Sonoma Valley wineries is strong and today we did our trip to Napa Valley, about 45 minutes drive from here.
It’s definitely the most expensive place to sample wines and the most touristy and I must admit to preferring the Dry Creek and Alexander Valley wines more.

Everyone has been saying to us, “You must go to the French Laundry” or “you must try …….. restaurant”

I cannot get excited about the French Laundry and so far we have just loved little places like “Canneti Roadhouse Italian” in Forestville which is terrific,

The front of Canneti from the street

The lovely back patio and garden
The food was divine, fresh and adventurous. What more can one want!

“K&L Bistro” in Sebastopol was really nice and again the food was super.
We were out in Sonoma/ Alexander valley the other day and asked someone at a winery where we could eat something tasty but not in one of the towns and she told us about the the “Jimtown Store”.
It looks deceptive from the outside but they actually have their own recipe book and the food was super!

That same evening we drove to where the Russian river meets the ocean at Jenner and had a super dinner, again, a little different and really beautifully cooked and a spectacular setting.
It is called “Rivers End” We were there for the evening’s sunset and this below is the view from our table.

Today we went to  “Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen”in St Helena for lunch and again we had a delicious, imaginative meal, in a very pretty restaurant, one street back from the touristy main street.

I find these days that it is more fun to get a pleasant culinary surprise than have one’s expectations slightly dashed, as is often the way in the more well known and often overpriced eateries.

Our trip has another week to go and I have several more places marked for us to eat at, that are small
and interesting.