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Santé Sonoma Reopens with New Look, New Menu

Santé at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

Since January, Santé at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa has been shuttered, as the flagship restaurant underwent extensive renovation.

But as of April 5, it’s business as usual, albeit with a brand new dining room and updated menu.

First up, the look. The former Santé was old school, with a dark, formal ambience. But diners these days crave brighter, more relaxed moods, and so the new Santé is done in a modern minimalist style, with lots of light and contemporary furniture and art. Think pretty, sophisticated, and casual-chic.

Second, the food. Wisely, executive chef Bruno Tison and chef de cuisine Andrew Cain have kept plenty of the classic favorites that have long made the restaurant a top-rated destination, including a four-course tasting option ($95, or $135 with wine pairings).

But they’ve also created new recipes, with seasonal focus and lots of local ingredients.

For spring, that means stars such as Salade de Printemps of fava leaves, Easter egg radish, fiddle head ferns, asparagus, mâche lettuce, pickled pearl onions and pecorino con foglie di noce ($15); seared diver scallop and crispy veal sweetbreads with spring nettles, black trumpet mushroom mousseline and garlic soubise ($16), and sweet butter-poached Maine lobster with globe artichokes, sweet carrots, grilled spring onion compote, pickled pearl onions and barigoule vinaigrette ($40).

There’s more coming, too. The Santé refreshment was part of a larger resortwide project that’s still ongoing, including the lobby, heritage guest rooms, meeting rooms and landscaping.

A brand new, 56-seat Santé Terrace will open for al fresco dining the week of April 14, and promises to be one of the best spots in town to soak up the good weather, overlooking the resort’s famous geo-thermal hot springs.

Next, the Lobby Bar will reopen in July, with a lovely new look and cocktail menu to toast alongside.

Details: Santé, 100 Boyes Blvd. (at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa), Sonoma, 707-939-2415,  www.fairmont.com. Open nightly 6 to 9 p.m.

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