The Girl and the Fig in Sonoma is a restaurant that has been around for a while. Perhaps it was even one of the first in California to promulgate farm to table eating, as they pride themselves with their home-grown produce.
And that is what you find on the menu a lot. Vegetables from the gardens, and everything that surrounds it. If they don’t make something themselves, then it most likely comes from a farm or producer nearby. As laudable as such a committment is, its no more than a start. What you want when you go to a simple restaurant like this, is food that is straightforward and prepared with some care. However, this is not necessarily the case here. Take for instance the burger. What looks like a pretty tasty burger at first, is a disappointment as the patty is totally overcooked. You can ask for medium-rare, but if its cooked well-done, its just no good. Pity, as the bun here is quite interesting with its more crunchy crust and denser texture.
The same goes for a plate of deep-fried oysters. These are fried quite well, not too greasy and crunchy. However, the problem here is the quality of the oysters themselves. Impressive in terms of size, they taste like they’re not the freshest and don’t manage to impress at all flavour-wise. When one prides oneself on the product quality one serves and then either overcooks this product, or serves very poor ones, things aren’t going well.
Luckily enough, there are also dishes that don’t involve cooking. One of these is a classic beef tartar. Simple and well done, this is just the kind of food you’d hope for in a restaurant of this kind. Unfortunately, its a rare pleasant surprise on this menu, which is very large indeed.
This being said, the Girl and the Fig is perhaps not as good as it would like to be in terms of food, but it has other characteristics that make it a nice place for lunch. In Sonoma its probably one of the few places you want to go to, and the service and terrace are quite enjoyable indeed.