21047 Geyserville Avenue
Geyserville, CA 95441 707 857 1790 Visited November 5, 2005
Taverna Santi has a relaxed atmosphere – it’s a comfortable place to eat. Ella Fitzgerald croons in the background ("Ah, we must be in Sonoma County", Jack quips). We’ve been to Taverna Santi a couple of times – but we hadn’t been there in a while. (We often think of it as too far to drive to from Santa Rosa, but it's really not - it can't be more than an extra 8 minutes (seems less!) North beyond Healdsburg. - Jack)
It was a very good dinner and was a similar experience to our recollections of our last dinner there. Solid food, nice atmosphere, attentive service – an overall great experience. We would return soon and take Trent. They offer a Sunday brunch that would we would also try.
(The lighting was difficult for photos so please excuse them.)
What we ordered:
Minestrone Soup – The Sausage was really good. The stock made the soup great – and was the star.
Scampi e Fagioli – Semolina crusted pan fried shrimp with fresh chickpeas and blackeyed beans.
The shrimps were a good match with the beans. Preserved lemon was a great flavor addition.
Spaghettini con Sugo ala Calabrese – Good solid dish not over the top. Good balance of sauce to pasta. Really good. Recommended.
Duck Crepes – Made with Liberty Duck, radicchio and leeks. The cream sauce was really enjoyable – really tasty (and that’s from Jack who doesn’t usually like cream sauce). He liked this dish.
Filetto di Male - Pork Tenderloin with chestnut gnocchi, bacon and Brussels sprout leaves in a brown butter sauce – Jack didn’t care for the gnocchi – Joanne thought they were great! Perfectly cooked brussels sprouts.
2001 Prunotto Occhetti
Nebbiolo d’Alba $60
Nose of fresh cherries, wild fennel, and pepper. Tight bright cherry center.
Slightly tart acids. Tannins and acids on finish. Clean finish. A young wine with good aging ability. Terriffic! 6
(The wine list is good, focusing on local Sonoma County wines but with some very good Italian selections, too. - Jack)
Overall: We like this restaurant a lot. It's comfortable, its semi-casual atmosphere is alluring and the food is well conceived and made. We will continue to go back.
April 27, 2006 - Joanne
A Special Dinner at Santi featuring Trentino - Alto Adige
& Friuli Wines on April 20, 2006 - $100/person
To Start: MV Carpano Vermouth Antica Ricetta
Sweet with a burnt caramel finish. Slightly bitter finish – but overall really smooth. Great caramelized lemon center. Serve with a twist over ice. I went out and bought a bottle.
MV Borgo Magredo Prosecco
Expressive nose of ripe stone fruits. Crisp center with a green apple finish. Clean. An inexpensive drinkable prosecco.
1st Course Anguilla ai Ferri – Grilled eel with prune, potato and mache insalatina
Eel was freshwater from Maine marinated in olive and vinegar before grilling. Delicious with a tiny salad of perfect mache, slivered prune and waxy potatoes
2004 Marco Felluga Molamatta (Fruili)
A Blend of Tocai Fruiliano, Ribolla Gialla and Pinot Bianco. The wines are filtered before fermentation the varietals are vinified separately and then blended. Nose of ripe banana. Ripe center of pineapple and vanilla with a clean soft finish. 3+
2nd Course Sope di Vardi e Urties – Barley and nettle soup with speck
San Daniele speck. Soup was well-crafted. I found the speck distracting as it was a chewy element. Nettles perfectly cooked.
2003 Movia Ribolla (Brda)
Nose of lemon and wet shale. Round bright center. Clean crisp finish. 3?
3rd Course Salsiccia Fruiliana con polenta di Grano Saraceno – Grilled house made sausage with buckwheat polenta and Montasio cheese
Wow. This was a stellar dish. Santi know how to make sausage. They grilled this one in the fireplace in the room with us. The smokey sweetness was a great pairing with the buckwheat polenta - which made even a diehard polenta disliker almost lick the plate. The sausage was crafted from Duroc pork from Iowa and seasoned with spices like cinnamon, cloves, mace and allspice.
2004 Hofstatter Meczan Pinot Nero - Blauburgunder (Alto Adige)
Nose of turned earth and berries. Tight bright center with acids on finish. Black currants and charred peppers in center. Needs time. 3-4+
4th Course Cervo in Agrodolce – Wood burning oven roasted rack of venison with saba, turnips and topinambour (jerusalem artichoke)
The venison was perfectly cooked. We were given 2 rack chops which was a huge amount - one would have been perfect. Vension was farm-raised from Texas resulting in a less gamey flavor and lots of richness. Accompaniments worked well and the little white turnip was perfectly cooked. The outside of the venison picked up the smokiness of the wood oven.
2004 i Baldazzini Lagrein (Alto Adige)
Tight hard center with berries and acids on finish. Good concentration. Dried cranberries and dried cherries. Nose of dried berries. A very pleasant to drink Lagrein.
5th Course Stucolo di Pera - Pear Strudel
The weakest link, in my opinnion. The "strudel" was a round of dough/crust enfolding little cubes of pear. The crust was tough and the pear flavor was obscured by the spices. I think of strudel as light flakely layers of dough/crust folded between layers of fruit. This was not that strudel.
2002 Ramandolo La Roncaia Verduzzo (Friuli)
Made from dried Reduzo grapes. Nose of hazelnuts and vanilla bean. Vanilla on finish. Not too sweet. Clean finish.
You may notice that we do not give out a lot of praise. Having been to so many high-quality restaurants, it's pretty tough to impress us.
Most of our reviews are based on just one visit. We neither have the time nor the money (or often, the inclination) to visit most restaurants multiple times. So, please keep in mind that a single-visit review is a snapshot - the restaurant may be "on it" that day - or not. If the meal has a calamity involved (foreign objects in the food, wine poured on us, etc.) we try not to let it shade the overall review.
We pay for the food and beverages; restaurants never comp us. We try to be discreet about taking photos so that the staff doesn't notice/get an idea we're going to do a review. We rarely take notes in the restaurant.
Like the rest of our website, we update our restaurant review pages based upon subsequent visits.