It was a tough decision for Carol and Sam Morphy to pack up their three children, leave Sonoma and head east for a year in search of the perfect New Haven style pizza.
But they were committed to the “best pizza” concept for their new restaurant, and investigate they did. They finally came home with a secret recipe to open The Red Grape 10-years ago.
Located just off the Sonoma Plaza, the restaurant features thin, crispy crusts high-fired in a stone lined pizza oven. The pizza menu is divided into red and white categories and I know first-hand how challenging a decision can be.
The down-home venue has some nice appetizers (from garlic knots to clam chowder) and serves paninis (consider veggie or pork & brie) and great entrée salads (a nice variety including salmon nicoise, cashew steak and Red Grape tostada). If you’re looking for something from the grill, check out the chicken pot pie, grilled salmon or a burger. The menu also offers a variety of pasta dishes from talented chefs Pedro Morales and Dagmar Carruth, who produce each dish with attention to detail, and use fresh, locally made pastas.
A nice wine list complements the diverse menu, boasting mostly Sonoma wines, but last time I checked, Washington and Italian wines were represented as well. The wine prices, both by the glass and by the bottle, are reasonable. Some interesting beer selections are also available including a couple of local brews as well as some international selections.
I also recommend checking out the monthly specials. June features, among other delights, are a Thai shrimp pizza and Ahi Tuna salad. Yum. Like I said, leave plenty of time for the decision process.
The Red Grape can host special events, seating up to 180 guests on the patio from April through October, weather permitting.
Location: 529 First Street West, Sonoma; Phone: 707-996-4103; Fax: 707-996-6939; Hours: Open daily for lunch from 11:30am until approximately 9pm; Prices: from $3.50 (for sides) to about $16.00, with a comfortable in-between range.