Lesson : Sunny in Sonoma

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On Wednesday, we drove up to Sonoma for lunch.  We visited Sonoma quite a few times last year, but have not gone there this year.  So, it was time.  We chose a historic Italian restaurant up the street from Sonoma Plaza called The Depot Hotel Restaurant.  The hotel was constructed in 1870; a restaurant and saloon were added in 1890.

For those of you not in the know, Sonoma Plaza is the main downtown area of the town of Sonoma. In the center of the plaza is a small park.  Paths criss-cross the park, along which are strategically placed chairs to sit and relax.  There's even a small fountain and pond.  Roads surround the perimeter of the square-shaped park, and are lined by restaurants and small shops.  It's a charming little town center indeed.

In the spirit of the times, we had lunch outdoors.  Restaurants are still prohibited from serving people indoors per the Sonoma County coronavirus guidelines.  That was OK with us, as it was a splendid sunny day, though a little brisk when we arrived.  The wife wanted to be seated near a heater, so the hostess took us to a table adjacent to a pool of water situated between two floor-standing, gas-powered heaters.  The pool had a makeshift fountain floating in the middle of it, which I thought was out of place and actually took away from the overall ambience.  It was easy to see that the pool was once the hotel pool for guests. It is no longer used for guests because the establishment is no longer a hotel, despite its name.  The hotel owners decided to stop taking overnight guests in 1922, but kept operating the restaurant.

So what was on the menu?  Well, there were a number of traditional Italian dishes, and not anything that I would call "original".  We ordered the CAESAR SALAD and ZUPPA VIAREGGIANA, which is a clam soup with saffron, orzo and fennel.  The salad was as good as any Caesar salad I have had it the past.  The soup, on the other hand, was nothing to get excited about. In fact, it was practically tasteless.  Oh well.

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For the main dishes, the wife ordered the TAGLIATELLE BOLOGNESE while I ordered the CHICKEN PARMIGIANA.  So, about the bolognese, well, it was one of the most unusual pasta meat dishes I have ever tasted.  It clearly tasted like it was spiced with Mexican spices. The meat sauce tasted like the meat that you would normally find in a taco.  That said, it was tasty.  It was just different from what we expect a bolognese dish to taste like.

My chicken dish was superb.  Very nicely done, tasty, fresh. Perfect.  I could see from what the other people at the restaurant were ordering that this was a very popular item.  It came with some broccolini and tortellini pasta in a red sauce, which was very good. 

So, in summary, not a bad lunch, but there was nothing about it that would make us come back again.  

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Vocabulary Flash Card Drill

criss-cross     交差(こうさ)する
  • The students criss-crossed the campus square on their way to their classrooms.  
  • 生徒たちは教室に行くのにキャンパスの広場を縦横無尽に交差しました。
perimeter     周囲(しゅうい)
  • We all waited around the perimeter of the park until the mountain lion was caught.  
  • マウンテンライオンが捕まるまで、私たちは皆公園の周囲で待っていました。
makeshift     ()()わせの
  • He prepared a makeshift window covering to replace the broken one.  
  • 彼は壊れたものを交換するために間に合わせの窓覆いを用意しました。
orzo     オルゾー
  • Our soup, which contained chicken, lentils, and orzo, was delicious.  
  • 鶏肉、レンズ豆、オルゾーが入った我々のスープは美味しかったです。
saloon     バー
  • The cowboys entered the saloon and ordered whiskey and beer.  
  • カウボーイ達は バーに入り、ウイスキーとビールを注文しました。

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