After we had been to the last winery it was time for supper, but we had gone off the plan and were too far away to want to fight traffic and then parking from the square in Sonoma and so we started googling places to eat supper to finish out our day. Our friend Tim had chosen Italian as the food choice and pulled up a name and directions on his phone, so off were went through the streets of Santa Rosa. We drove through some of the outskirts of the town and finally landed at the destination, unfortunately it was closed. Of course that was frustrating, but we were all of good spirits about it and we let Tim pull up a second place. While we were waiting I snapped a couple pics of the vintage store parking lot we were sitting in...one day I would love to go back and explore...it looked like fun don't you think? Who could pass up European Vintage clothing??
Once again we were on our way, but sadly, once again the location we ended up at was not open, and it looked as if it was not even Italian food any longer. Our turn. Hubby used our GPS system to locate a place to eat, and we called ahead to make sure that it was indeed open and that we had a table set aside. So back on the road we went, back tracking a bit and taking a few side roads and a country road through open fields we ended up on a back road behind the downtown area of Santa Rosa, and we almost thought we would have to second guess our GPS system when I saw the sign....
I saw the sign and the glorious gingerbread of this beautiful home peeking out amongst tall trees and lush gardens...we pulled into the parking lot and I was already so smitten with where we were going to eat that I was practically gushing. I have a real soft spot for Victorian homes...I have always adored old homes, and to get to eat in one , spend time soaking it all in over a lovely meal, well that was Heaven to me.
|The side entrance...wish I could have gotten a street view, but will post web link so you can see.|
"Ca’Bianca's home is the charming and historic Santa Rosa setting The Marshall House. James Marshall, a true Californian pioneer, built the home in 1876.
Throughout the late Nineteenth & early Twentieth centuries the home was a noted gathering place of prominent Santa Rosa residents.
The Marshall family owned and maintained the home until 1963 when family friend Harriet Watson purchased the property. Harriet made sure that the house maintained its structural and design integrity, retaining many of its original fixtures such as the ceramic fireplaces, stained glass, and crystal chandeliers.
The home is now owned and operated by Marco & Karin, who have brought the Marshall House to its current splendor with a thorough and recently completed renovation." * web site You can read about the owners on web site.
As we rounded the street entrance we were greeted by a lovely sight....a beautiful courtyard with fountains and lush gardens that in the warm air had become intoxicating with a heady scent of greenery and floras. I of course had to snap off a few photos before the guys rushed me in as they were hungry. I could have spent all the rest of the evening out in the gardens. I kept telling our friends I could happily live my days out right there!
|Next time I intend to sit here and have my meal. Have already told hubby this!|
I reluctantly came inside and was greeted by a beautiful stair way...to one side was the dining room, to the other was the bar ...which if I was a local, I know I would visit quite often to sip a lovely cocktail or two from time to time.
|How I wish I could have taken more photos and explored the upstairs portion of this historic home.|
We were ushered into the dining room, past a large wedding rehearsal party...so sweet to hear all the toasts and see the happy couple from our dining room that was close by....and we were greeted with a beautiful interior....an environment that just made my senses swoon. We were told by our server the Chandeliers ( wish I could have gotten a photo...but hubby and friends were starting to get annoyed with me and my camera *giggle* ) were original imports from France as was a lot of the word carvings. The plaster reliefs were all original to the home as well as the fireplace...though my friend Tim who remodels homes said the colors could not be and I argued they were indeed...but what do I know...after reading the web site though I found out I was correct *grin*
1 shot cointreau
|One of two of the original fireplaces we saw...this one was across from our table.|
|Original plaster work|
|Hand painted murals surrounded us at every turn of the head.|
|Tables were set with real white roses and oil lamps...I was so excited for table clothes and real cloth napkins with napkin rings!|
After we settled I ordered a cocktail by the name of a Magnolia. I am including a recipe for a drink that is pretty close to what was listed as being in it.
1 shot orange juice
Add the cointreau (orange flavored liqueur) and orange juice to a Champagne flute. Top off with Champagne. Admire the gorgeous color, and then drink!
Then it was time to order...to be polite to other diners and well to avoid looks from my friends and hubby that included a rolling of the eyes...I did not take photos of supper...But it was divine...Hubby and I had Gnocchi, mine with cream sauce, his with a lamb and tomato sauce with a side salad ( that was pretty big) of Spring organic greens , a vinaigrette dressing and shaved parmigiano. Our friends shared a Caesar salad , Tim having a rigatoni with red sauce and Robbie linguine and clams and we all shared wonderful hot French bread with butter. The menu changes on a regular basis and seasonally, but you can read the current menu here.
|This is NOT the original dish, but looked so close...right down to the white bowl/plate.|
Of course we had to have dessert. Hubby had a chocolate torte type of cake, I had a puff pastry with apple tart topped off by Cinnamon gelato and our friends shared a creme brulee ...the server accidentally also brought a pana cotta covered in a raspberry sauce...that was a wonderful bonus, it was divine! I managed to sneak a photo of my dessert and hubbies before the eye rolls ..... Hubby is slightly used to my camera always going off, but not our friends....and I was blinding the waiter on a regular basis...such is life, at least I was able to snap these ....
Soon after lingering over dessert and then just relaxing for a bit afterwards, we headed outside as it was time to head home. We said our goodbyes, and hubby snapped a few last pics of me in the garden....
|Had popped on a little coat as the temps had dropped and a cool breeze had come about.|
Our day had been one of surprise and spontaneity, which ended up with the perfect place to break bread, CA'Bianca in Santa Rosa California. I highly suggest that if you are looking for a lovely area to spend a day, a weekend or even a week that you head towards the Sonoma Valley, do your research ( reading my blogs & clicking here for coupons to do it all on a budget) and also explore the outlining areas of Glen Ellen and Santa Rosa...I promise you will have a delightful time! I know we did! I will close this series of posts with a few shots of the surrounding area as we headed back home.....
Have a wonderful weekend, and get out there and explore what is close to you! You might just have a grand daycation in the works!