Summer / Fall 2006
You Go, Girl
The Girl & the Fig’s Sondra Bernstein is tirelessly adventuresome
and, unabashedly, the Girl
Jill Silverman Hough
She’s got so much going on in the Sonoma food scene that you’d
think she’s been around forever. But in fact, Sondra Bernstein’s
original restaurant, The Girl & the Fig, opened less than
10 years ago. Since then, though, Bernstein has been busy. She
has moved The Girl & the Fig to its current location on Sonoma
Square, rechristened the Glen Ellen location The Girl & the
Gaucho (then again The Fig Cafe & Wine Bar), opened and closed
another The Girl & the Fig in Petaluma, launched a successful
line of The Girl & the Fig food products—along with an accompanying
catalog and website—and wrote The Girl & the Fig cookbook.
Bernstein is also active in a number of community, charity, and
wine events, and teaches cooking classes. And she is an accomplished
photographer. “Oh, and do you know about the radio show?” she
asks. The Sonoma Kitchen with Sondra Bernstein airs Thursdays
on KSVY 91.3 FM.
“Creating something new is the exciting part,” Bernstein explains.
Take the radio show: “I love it,” she says. “It’s completely
out of my comfort zone.” And once a venture is up and running,
she’s quite happy to let her capable staff keep it humming along.
But that’s all so yesterday. Bernstein is already focused on
her next ventures. The Fig Pantry is a gourmet-to-go deli scheduled
to open in spring 2006 at Napa and Eighth streets in Sonoma.
And behind the store is Les Petites Maisons, four B&B-style
cottages that Bernstein has dubbed “your home away from home
in Sonoma.” She just can’t stop herself. “The lease became available,
and I couldn’t resist,” Bernstein admits, almost giggling and
perfectly capturing her nature—inspiringly brave and, unabashedly,