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Napa Sonoma Magazine
Summer / Fall 2006

You Go, Girl

The Girl & the Fig’s Sondra Bernstein is tirelessly adventuresome and, unabashedly, the Girl

By 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, a girl. 

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