I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz around Michael Mina’s newest restaurant – Wit & Wisdom – located at the Lodge at Sonoma. I believe it’s been open for about a month or so. Personally, I was conflicted by this announcement. You see, twenty years ago – almost to the day – I visited California Wine Country for the very first time. I stayed at the Lodge at Sonoma and enjoyed breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant. I have such fond memories of that stay. I loved soaking in my tub after a day of tastings while looking out through the plantation shutters at the fire in my fireplace. In the mornings I dined on eggs benedict for the very first time in my life at that restaurant.
Typically I embrace change. But, last fall I stayed at the Lodge at Sonoma for the first time since that original 2000 trip. I was SO excited to soak in that tub overlooking the fire. And I was SO disappointed when I checked into my adorable cottage to find that tubs no longer exist. It’s now a big shower. There’s no overlooking the fireplace while you’re soaking. When I heard Wit & Wisdom had taken over the restaurant space, I was excited to try it but also sad that another piece of my wine history was no more. My excitement far outweighed my disappointment. But, it was still there. No more changes, please (mostly kidding)!
So many items on the Wit & Wisdom menu just sounded SO good. And, since they have a “snacks” section, I figured I’d create my own Tapas Party! I explained it to my server who was totally on board with the idea. Though that Lobster Pot Pie did sound divine. I ordered a pre-dinner cocktail – The Call of the Wild. I loved the little details like the owl (for Wisdom) stamped in the ice cube!
Next came an onslaught of dishes and my two glasses of wine – one white and one red! Ha Ha! I just giggled as the plates began to fill the four-top table I had all to myself.
First out was an item I hadn’t ordered. And, as I looked around the restaurant it didn’t look like everyone received them. I wonder why. It was a little crock of potato chips and dip. I wasn’t complaining. They were super yummy!
The first item that I actually did order was a plate of a 1/2 dozen oysters. Their shellfish items can be ordered ice-cold or hot charcoal-grilled. After discovering grilled oysters earlier this year, I did not hesitate to choose hot.
The next few items came out in very quick succession. How can you go wrong with Duck Fat Fried Potatoes with Whipped Ranch Dip and Ketchup? OMG.
Then there were the Liberty Farms Duck Wings made with Grand Marnier & Black Pepper Gastrique. I was so sad that I was only able to eat half of them. But duck wings! What an idea! Can we get that idea to catch on???
The next item was the only item I finished besides the oysters. It was the star of the show, in my opinion. The pop tart (to follow) has its own cult following. But this Cheddar-Scallion Biscuit Stuffed with BBQ Pulled Pork was AMAZING!!!!!
Then there was the “Pop Tart”. Oh golly! This guy is savory. The pastry is so light. It’s Braised Short Rib with Horseradish Cream and Au Poivre. And it’s just so photogenic. Ha Ha!
The last “savory” item I ordered were the Warm Parker House Rolls. So heavenly.
I truly think the staff thought I would give up and be done. But, nope. I wanted to sample dessert. I only ordered one. I ordered The Chocolate Bar featuring Caramelia Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Crumble paired with a glass of Port.
I felt like a King at a feast with all of this goodness surrounding me. I just picked at each dish and had tons of fun sampling it all. It should be noted that while I’m typing this I’m craving another dinner at Wit & Wisdom. I’ll be dining there again tonight and I think I’ll take a very different approach…..one that includes that biscuit!