The Tourist Club
30 Ridge Ave.
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Take your birthday queen or king to a place unlike any other. They will never be more surprised by what awaits them at the end of the path – literally. To get to the secret hideaway destination, you will first need to hike through the Mt. Tamalpais trails. After about a 20-minute hike down the Redwood Trail, stop to overlook the beauty of Muir Woods, and then look over to a wooden cabin which seemingly springs up from out of nowhere. Your birthday guy or gal will be surprised to learn that this hideaway in the middle of the forest is merely a building that serves German beer and board games. Sit down and relax, but bring your own snacks. The beer is sold by the pitcher ($20) or by the glass ($5.50).
Ca’Bianca Ristorante Italiano
835 2nd St.
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
In the heart of Santa Rose, this turn-of-the-century home (meaning “White House” in Italian) is perfect for someone who craves exquisite Italian dishes from select regions of Italy. If you are having a larger birthday party, private rooms are available. The professional staff will work closely with you throughout the planning process to ensure that the celebration runs smoothly. The charm is not just within the food that is lovingly prepared, but also with the entire restaurant and its grounds. The building itself offers a welcoming atmosphere, one complete with ornate wooden fixtures, ceramic fireplaces and original stained glass, and an exterior with surroundings of abundant gardens and shaded patios. Ca’Bianca is the place to make any birthday occasion a savored lifetime memory.
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VJB Vineyards & Cellars
60 Shaw Ave.
Kenwood, CA 95452
For a friendly, relaxed birthday meant to be enjoyed with wine and food pairings, warm greetings and less gimmicky gestures to attract your business, visit the VJB Vineyards. There are many wines to choose from if you bring your birthday queen or king for a tasting. Take a stroll through the deli, gelato or gift shops. The deli has sandwiches, snacks, cool and refreshing salads and homemade chocolates. The gelato tastes as if it has been flown in straight from Italy. The wood-fired pizza oven outside makes delicious foods that hit the spot after sipping on various wines. For birthdays, a special songstress just might serenade you and the birthday star right at your table – and also for every other guest who is not celebrating their birthday – but keep that secret from your birthday star. They’ll think you went out of your way to make this the perfect day.
The Girl & The Fig
110 W. Spain St.
Sonoma, CA 95476
Charcuterie (seasoned, cured, specially prepared meats) is one of this restaurant’s specialties. That should tell you how decadent and delectable your birthday experience will be once you sit down to eat at this 19th-century establishment. The Girl & the Fig is a perfect place to take a special person for an intimate, slightly fussy – but well worth the drive – restaurant to indulge your European appetite. Be sure to make reservations, or chances are that this popular place will leave you waiting. The restaurant features an early century bar which serves French aperitifs, award-winning wines, a French country menu (which changes by the season) and cheese plates. Sandwiches, soups, salads, entrées and desserts are served for lunch and dinner.
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Kelly Gullo is a freelance writer in San Francisco, CA. Kellys topics are about music and nightlife. Kelly has also written a variety of articles on health and dieting and topics related to the environment. Kelly has a degree in journalism and public relations from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.