Sonoma Valley Events: Valentine's Day Edition

It is less than two weeks before Valentine's Day and love is in the air in Sonoma. We know sometimes it can be a bit daunting to figure out your Valentine's Day plans, so we have rounded up a list of a few of our favorites here in the valley. Turns out, you won't have to go very far to have a wonderful, romantic evening with that special someone. All photos are linked to additional information, so click to explore! 

Ramekins "Love To-Go: Valentine's Day Gourmet Pick Up"

Staying in this Valentine's Day but don't feel like cooking? Don't worry because Ramekin's has you covered with their special gourmet to-go menu. Featuring braised short ribs and seared pacific king salmon, you can count on a delicious meal without all the work.


Pizza & Pinot at the General's Daughter

Although this pairing is available every Tuesday, Pizza & Pinot is first come first serve so its the perfect plan for those of you who forgot to make reservations! Enjoy a glass of wine, side salad, personal pizza, and handmade dessert with your sweetheart, or galentines. For only $20 a person, its a steal and the food is fantastic!


The Red Grape: Dinner with the Family

This is the perfect place to take the whole family on Valentine's Day. The Red Grape's casual, relaxed vibe, and excellent thin-crust pizza make for the perfect family night out. Plus, they have a great wine selection so you can sip while the kids chow down on some of the best pizza in Sonoma. New February specials include a chopped salad and a chicken apple sausage pizza. We can't wait to try!


A Luxurious Spa Day at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn

The Willow Stream Spa is the perfect place for a romantic day of relaxation. Whether you are soaking in the mineral baths and pools, or indulging in a luxurious massage, the spa is sure to pamper you and your love this Valentine's Day. If you're single, this might be the best #treatyourself option on the list. Grab a friend or two, a glass of champagne, and hit the hot tubs!


Alex Cole: Paint Your Heart Out Workshop

What better way to celebrate v-day than to paint your heart out? Paint, doodle, or collage your way to 3-4 small Acrylic paintings to keep or give as gifts. Great for beginners and experts alike. The workshop is from 10:30am-12:30pm, so you can still make your dinner reservations if you decide to join in! Space is limited with only 12 seats so book soon.


Dinner for Two at Cafe La Haye

Cafe La Haye is a "must-dine" in Sonoma for date night, or any occasion for that matter. It boasts some of the best food in wine country, along with a tightly curated wine-list. The dining area has an air of unfussy sophistication, with only about a dozen tables and an open two-level floor plan. The restaurant doubles as an art gallery, with beautiful pieces (all for sale) lining the walls. Getting a reservation can be challenging at times, so make sure to call ASAP to reserve a table for two!

Sonoma is certainly full of fun and romantic options for Valentine's Day this year. We can't wait to explore with our loved ones, and hope you'll let us know if you choose to spend your Valentine's Day at any of the places on our roundup. Happy Valentine's Day to you all!


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The Perfect Paring: A Valentine's Day Feast with Speak Wines

If you're in a pinch for what to cook this Sunday (Valentine's Day), don't worry a second longer, we've got you covered!! While in Tahoe earlier this month, the ASE girls suggested I reach out to Becca of Cooking with Confetti to ask for her take on a perfectly paired Valentine's Day dinner menu. 

I couldn't be more excited to share what she dreamt up!

We teamed up with Speak Wines and Cooking with Confetti to share this amazing menu with you. Regardless if you decide to cook this for Valentine's Day or not, it's a great menu to keep on hand for impressing your honey, or even a group of friends. Plus, Becca shares how to create the perfect Risotto (did you know that Risotto is actually a dish, and not an ingredient? Mind blown!). 

Valentine's Day DInner Menu: Skirt Steak & Gorgonzola Risotto

Simple Skirt Steak 

with Gorgonzola Risotto, Caramelized shallots & asparagus

When I think of a dish to cook my significant other, my mind instantly and most always goes to the two S’s… Starch and Steak. My guy is a big meat eater so I always try to incorporate that. With Risotto being a heavier dish, I opted for a lighter meat - skirt steak is simply not as heavy of a steak, and to me when I eat it, it just seems lighter. (I mean, as light as steak can get!) 
 
So impress your date with this yummy dish and see how well it goes with Speak Wines YUMMMY Malbec. And I mean so yummy, my taste buds sang after every sip paired. 

Valentine's Day DInner Menu: Skirt Steak & Gorgonzola Risotto

Risotto 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 box (2 cups) Arborio rice
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2 boxes of Chicken Stock
  • ½ cup dry white wine (I used Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio)  
  • 2-tablespoon butter
  • ¾  Parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz gorgonzola (you can use a creamy blue cheese if you don’t like the flavor) 
  • 1-tablespoon thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper

Pour both boxes of stock into a saucepan and simmer over medium low heat to warm the stock.  In a Dutch-oven, or large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Dice your shallots finely and throw them into the olive oil over medium heat, and season with a big pinch of salt. Constantly stir and watch as the shallot becomes translucent, 9-10 minutes.

Add the 2 cups of rice on the same heat, and continue stirring until toasted, 3-4 minutes. Add the wine and bring the temp up high to a boil and let the wine evaporate (1-2 minutes). Meanwhile, continue to stir and scrape the bottom of the pan, this dish does need lots of attention. 
 
Begin adding the stock 1 large spoonful at a time. I use a ladle, but if you don’t have one, use a large deep spoon. Add each ladle one at a time until it's absorbed into the rice, stirring gently. Keep the temperature at a low simmer while you add all your stock. Depending on the rice you buy this process can take up to 20-25 minutes as you slowly add more stock to get the consistency you like. (I like to taste after every 2 ladles).
 
Now for the good stuff, add the cheese, the butter and the thyme and stir together until it's melted all together. Season with salt and a big pinch of pepper. 

Asparagus

Ingredient: 

  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 bundle Asparagus

Pre Heat oven to 375 degrees
Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

Skirt Steak

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 1 ½ pound skirt steak
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper  

Heat a large pan with olive oil on the highest heat. Wait 1-2 minutes until the oil is hot. You want the pan to be hot enough so that the steak immediately begins to sizzle once you add it!

Meanwhile, generously salt and pepper both sides of your steak.  Pick up the steak with your tongs and place It on the steaming pan and sear each side (1-2 minutes, depending on the how rare or cooked you like your steak). 
 
Take the meat off the heat, and let rest for 1 minute. Slice the steak at a slant or slight angle. Serve immediately accompanied by asparagus and risotto! 
 
Enjoy xo -Becca
 

Valentine's Day DInner Menu: Skirt Steak & Gorgonzola Risotto

You spent all that time hovering over you Risotto, don't worry about whipping up a dessert. Chocolate covered strawberries, or sweet treats from the Whole Food's bakery are the perfect ending to this delicious dinner! What is on your menu for this weekend's romantic night? Be sure to share with us in the comments below!!