My husband and I spent some time in Santa Rosa, California last fall while touring wineries in the Sonoma Valley. On our last night in the city, we wanted to do something unique that would allow us to maximize our experience in a short amount of time. We decided to do a progressive dinner, stopping at a different restaurant for each course of our meal.
Our first stop was at the Russian River Brewing Company, which came highly recommended. Judging by the crowd, it was clearly a local favorite. With 15+ local beers on tap, we observed many patrons visiting the bar simply to renew their growlers. My husband thought their beer was great, but unfortunately due to the brewery’s popularity, it was very busy and hard to find a spot to sit. We didn’t stick around to try any food, so I’d like to head back there sometime and give it another try for dinner.
We then walked over to a French restaurant called Rendez Vous for our appetizer course. We shared a glass of wine and decided to try mussels for the first time. I was a little nervous, mainly because I was unsure what the texture would be like. To my surprise they tasted better than I expected and the texture didn’t bother me. I would definitely eat them again.
We then ventured over to Flavor Bistro, a small Italian place, for our main course. The waiter recommended their homemade pasta, so we both ordered ravioli; I tried the duck ravioli and my husband had the butternut squash ravioli. It was some of the better ravioli I’ve ever had and it inspired me to someday venture out of my comfort zone and make my own homemade pasta!
For dessert, we found a unique candy shop called Sweet Tooth that reminded me of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. We enjoyed frozen yogurt and also bought some old-fashioned candy we hadn’t had since we were kids. It was a fun way to end our night filled with delicious food!
Our progressive meal was one of the highlights of our trip, and it was something we did on a whim. I can’t wait to try it out again next time we’re on vacation in a new city. It’s definitely a great way to maximize your experience in a city when staying for a short amount of time.
If you’re interested in trying out your own progressive dinner, I’d recommend checking out Yelp and other restaurant review apps to find restaurants that are highly rated and specialize in certain types of food. You could also contact any friends that may live in the area or utilize the opinions of locals to find out about the popular places that are well-known for their cuisine.