Doce Lunas Restaurant & Antiques
8910 Sonoma Highway
Kenwood CA 95452
I recently took a trip up to Sonoma to see my best friend who lives there and works at a winery. This is her all-time favorite restaurant. It's so great because the food is THE BEST but the prices aren't too bad. We were in a group of 7 (myself, my boyfriend, dad, his fiancé, brother, best friend and another family friend) and we had the best dinner ever!
This is a very small restaurant that is very warm and inviting. It has a quaint atmosphere. There are couples dining, but also local couples and families were there with small children (who were very well behaved). It was just the right mix of having enough people in the restaurant but it wasn’t too crowded and we got excellent service. Doce Vitas is run by a married couple. He is the cook and she's the manager and assisting customers on the floor. They are both just such wonderful people. He has cooked in 5 star restaurants all over the world (yes, all over the world) and now they're settling down in wine country. Plates from all of the chef's restaurants that he's cooked at are up on the wall. The restaurant has been there for 4 years and they are doing modestly well... most of their business comes from regular locals. It's hard to describe the cuisine because it's an extremely varied menu. There are family recipes and specialties from all over the world.
We decided to get the "family style" dinner where it's $27 for each person to have salad, soup, entree and dessert. Quite a good deal considering that entrees are around $20 each (from what I remember). If you want an appetizer, my best friend highly recommends the crab cakes. The salad was excellent and soup very good.
Wine Note: We brought our own wine from my friend’s winery. The wine prices are a bit steep, so you might want to bring your own bottle and pay the $10/bottle corkage fee.
Most of the entrees come in a small cast iron pan and included the main dish along with grilled vegetables, so thinly sliced potato "chips" and a wonderful sauce on each of the main dish meats/chicken/protein.
I chose the family recipe of Schnitzel (fried breaded pork cutlet) since I love schnitzel from my trips to Germany and Austria. The sauce on the schnitzel was INCREDIBLE. I've never had anything melt in my mouth like that before. All of the other entrees were similar in having a perfectly complimentary sauce. The other entrees were: ribs, NY steak, chicken and fish dishes. I can't remember if there was a duck entree.
We were so full at the end of the meal, but since we had already ordered "family style"... we just decided to get one of each of the desserts (with duplicates of 2 of them). The best dessert hands down is the Sticky Toffee Pudding. We loved it so much that I'm having my best friend bring some down to me in San Diego the next time she comes to visit. The other desserts were peach pie (excellent), mint-chocolate chip gelato, mango sorbet and some sort of chocolate something (I can't remember, I wasn't in a chocolate mood). We were also drinking Port with the desserts and it was paired perfectly with the mango sorbet. So delicious and refreshing.
There was also an excellent guitarist that plays during dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. He covered light/relaxing songs by artists like John Mayer and James Taylor, as well as a few standards/classics. It was such a great ambiance and we were sure to tip him at the end of the night.
All in all, this was one of the best meals of my life. Part of it was the company I shared, but the meal, atmosphere and service we received from Doce Lunas was incredible. I will definitely be going back there on my next trip up north!