Among the fringe benefits of backyard traveling in The Wine Country is the way you can so easily conjure up the feeling of being in some charming overseas locale, while blithely bypassing the airport.
If it is Paris that calls you, the new Centre du Vin bistro in Sonoma’s oh-so-Euro looking Ledson Hotel, will transport you to some atmospheric alley in the City of Lights.
Never mind that no one is actually speaking French. The Old World-style hotel overlooking the Sonoma Plaza has lightly repackaged its former Harmony Lounge into a classic bistro with wooden tables and chairs, fresh paint, a little softening of the Italian marble floors and new sidewalk seating.
The menu has gone casual. Dive into some Grilled Chicken Paillard or Croque Michele.
The bistro, steps away from the Sebastiani Theatre, provides one way to take in the Ledson Hotel’s brick and wrought iron Parisian atmosphere without booking a room. But if you are among the fortunate with income for a luxurious night away — don’t you love the idea of dining and drinking to your palate’s content without worrying about getting behind the wheel — rooms are $350 a night weeknights; $395 a night on weekends.