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Dec 18, 2007 06:48 PM

In Healdsburg for several days - food/wine recs?

We're more familiar with Napa Valley but have decided to shake things up and stay in Healdsburg right after Christmas.

I'd love some guidance on food and wineries.

1. For food, we're looking for something close (within 15 minutes of Healdsburg), but we'll drive even those windy dark roads for great food. Based on research here, this is what we're thinking of for food:

lunches - Bovolo, Mayo Family Vineyard Reserve Tasting Room
dinners - Dry Creek Kitchen, Barn Diva, and/or Santi
snack - The Cheese Shop

I'm very sad that Cyrus appears to be closed when we're there. Any good substitutes or other suggestions for dinner or lunch?

2. Re wineries, we've been around Dry Creek and enjoyed it, but we're not major Zin fans, so we may have exhausted that AVA. Husband leans towards Pinot, I lean towards Cabs & Meritages, and we both like sparking wine. What are our best bets for regions? (We're willing to drive further during the day than in the evening.)

Thanks much!

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  1. Your lunch suggestions are spot on. For dinner, I would avoid Dry Creek Kitchen like the plague, preferring Barn Diva, Charcouterie, or Farm House Inn.

    While it IS Zin country, all the wineries produce additional blends and I would put Selby on your list (great Pinot, Chard, and Syrah). It is right next to Barn Diva.

    1. Ramey is located in downtown Healdsburg and they have some really fabulous (although not cheap!) meritage blends.

      The Pinots in this area tend to be very big and almost Syrah-like. If you like that style, Russian Hill might be a good spot for you to visit.

      Siduri, also nearby, makes a lot of different Pinots -- you may want to drop in on them too.

      Willi's Seafood, on the main drag, is also a great lunch spot. The crabcakes and lobster roll are fantastic.

      1. Excellent suggestions--thanks so much! We're taking Dry Creek Kitchen off the list and will add in Charcouterie and/or Farm House Inn. And sounds like we'll be visiting Selby, Ramey, and Siduri.

        Any thoughts about good wineries in Alexander Valley AVA? I heard they might have some nice meritages and cabs. We're looking for delicious wine, probably under $40 a bottle on average, nice and largely unpretentious owners/pourers. We're happy to go off the beaten track.

        Is there any incredible food for one splurgish night within 30 minutes or so? We prefer to keep it to $200 or less for two people for three-ish courses, 1/2 bottle wine. We were hoping Cyrus would fit the bill, but our timing is bad.

        1. up dry creek rd. Some of our favs are: Amista Vineyards, Unti, Yoakim Bridge (all of these have great alternatives to the Zins)

          or into Alexander valley one of our all time favs is Stryker Sonoma.

          (also Santi is fantasic)

          1. In addition to the places mentioned, I would also check out Ravenous for dinner and Cena Luna, a great elegant Italian spot.

            Stryker Sonoma is good in the Alexander Valley as is Alexander Valley Vineyards. Their tasting room staff are always friendly (something you can't always say at other wineries) and their wines are very affordable

            2 Replies
            1. re: m29

              Madrona Manor for the upscale dinner.
              Zin for a very good dinner/lunch. The man makes his own ketchup...hear hear.

              Pinot: Rochioli, Lynmar, Arista
              Cab: Lancaster
              Zin: Bella, Talty
              I can't remember the riesling guy, but it was very good.

              1. re: Food Tyrant

                May I add one casual place to this list--- Sake-O is a "take" on Japanese food. It is a local place off the square. I can't remeber the name of the dish we had- appetizer- there was prawns served with chili aoili in a martini glass yummy. All fish fresh and so tasty.