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Greetings from Sonoma

February 1, 2013
The staff worked incredibly hard during the days we were closed to get the restaurant in tip top shape for the new year. On our very long to-do list there were many cleaning projects, repairs and new additions that I think you will see right away on your next visit.
Beautiful new fabric covers the banquettes in the dining room. The color is similar, but the texture is firm, luxe and it feels good to sit on. The old cheese bar was removed and replaced with a new one made with reclaimed wood. Don George, our friend from Ecowood who built our bars and barn doors at Suite D did a gorgeous job. With this new design, we concentrated on the ease of use and that included an additional 8 inches of aisle space and a new ice bin. Sometimes it is the little things that are the ones that make the most difference.
We’ve added a clear tent onthe patio for the colder winter months. We worked with Wine Country Party (one of our favorite catering vendors), who were extremely helpful in erecting a terrific tent and went even further by helping us soften the space with use of fabric and burlap to create a look that brings the girl & the fig outside even in the rain. It is cozy out there with the heaters, but if you need a bit more warmth, we have plenty of blankets.
We’ve also replaced a 20 year old stove/oven with a workhorse, one that I hope will last just as long; an improvement that you won’t be able to see, but I know this one was extremely appreciated by our kitchen staff.
The Fig Cafe logo
Chef Bryan and his team have also been doing quite a bit of their own deep spring cleaning. Not necessarily a fun job but definitely one which is needed after a busy year. Artist in residence, Julie Higgins installed some new art, and we’ve added a few tiles to the floor.  It is recognized that the fig cafe is such a family, neighborhood comfort spot; always a friendly face from guests and staff alike. Most of the fig cafe regulars know our crew by name.Follow the fig cafe FACEBOOK page – Chef Bryan keeps it updated with his menu changes. The dish below is one of the recipes which Chef Bryan created for the Cookbook, Fig & Verjus Braised Pork Shoulder.

G & F Caters logo

The 2013 catering season launched with our participation in a fun wedding collection called The Lab Event. We were one of the caterers offering delicious nibbles as prospective brides networked with event planners, florists and cake designers, including our good friends at Crisp Bake Shop. There were almost a dozen different decorated nooks, each with a different theme. It was great to see what these amazing, talented vendors were doing and what the new trends of the year might bring. Of course, everyone loved our Truffled Mac & Cheese and were curious to taste our “fig elixir” (a warm tonic of water, maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne). It was also a wonderful night to reconnect with old friends.
Another fun event to kick off the year was Michael Muscardini’s grand opening of his new tasting room in Kenwood. Chef John and Chef Uriel fired up the Pizza Oven and they were tossing pies for hours. Combined with another win and a step towards the Super Bowl for the 49ers – it was a great weekend!
Somehow, we work through the busy season thinking that January will bring relief to the long days of summer and fall, but not this year. We are sending wedding and party proposals out like mad. 2013 is going to be a terrific year to celebrate – and I hope we can do that with you!
In the news:
We are anxiously waiting for Gaia’s new baby and at the same time we are welcoming Aimee Hanson into our company as an Event Manager.

I would love to hear what recipes you have made from Plats du Jour. Producing the book was a gratifying experience, and the only thing that could make it even better is to have friends actually cook from it and create memorable meals. Feel free to shoot me an email with pictures and stories, and if you made some changes to the recipes, I would be interested in hearing about that, too!
photo by Steven Krause   
Since Dungeness Crab season is in its glory, I definitely recommend preparing the Dungeness Crab & Avocado Salad on page 44. This is a simple recipe to follow and the result is a salad with an amazing combination of flavors.
Friday, February 15
The Lodge at Sonoma
Annadel Winery Winemaker Dinner
Saturday, February 16
Annadel Estate Winery
Prospect 772 Winemaker Dinner
Saturday, February 23
Prospect 772 Winery
March 11 – 14
Rhone Valleys, France
March 18 – 26
the girl & the fig
the fig cafe & winebar
March 22
The General’s Residence
Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting
March 23
Fort Mason
Silversea Cruise with Sondra
April 2 – 11
Hong Kong – Vietnam – SingaporeSonoma Valley International Film Festival
April 10 – 14

We keep our Public Event Calendar current . We do however add events when new ones are booked. Check it out to keep up with us and get in our 2013 Sonoma groove!
There are still cabins available on my Silversea Cruise going to the South China Sea. I can’t tell you how excited I am to go to a country where I’ve never been: Vietnam! Food, friends and photography will be the focus – I hope you will consider joining me on this adventure!

In our newly designed retail section at the girl & the fig, we made some room to offer some of the finest packets from Baker Seeds. Sitting next to the Sonoma Valley Sharecropper jars and pickling spices, these heirloom seeds are just waiting to be snatched up and be planted.
Our products are available in over 100 stores across the country. If you don’t see them at your favorite cheese shop or specialty market, please ask for them. Or, you can certainly order all of our products online through the FIGSTORE.

2012 was an impressive year for Suite D. We were able to provide a good return to our KICKSTARTER backers who helped us figure out what works best in our crazy industrial space.
The backer rewards included: cocktail parties, music, family style dinners, cooking classes, sponsorship gatherings, board meetings, staff gatherings, baby showers, and a ping pong tournament to round things off.

This year the space will be used for tastings with our upcoming wedding clients as well as D Cafe at Suite D.  We will give you all the details once they’ve been ironed out and hope that you’ll be able to experience Suite D soon.
Just so you don’t think that I am all work and no play, I wanted to share some of my favorites from last year in hopes that they’ll bring you much fun this year.
Eat Your Books – For when your cookbooks and recipes need some organization …
Pandora – For when you need to discover new sounds …
(I found some great bands that I had never heard before; The Lumineers, Seryn, Fleet Foxes and more …)
Alameda Flea Market – For when you want to unearth some new treasures …
Paper 53 – For when you feel the need to doodle …
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