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sonoma/napa trip report

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mousse Apr 29, 2009 10:16 AM

Had the best meals of our northern Calif trip in this area.

Hesitated about going to Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg because of the uneven reviews, but I'm telling you, they were game on during our visit. We chatted much of the evening with Dan, the manager and he explained their ups and downs and was really pleased with their new chef. We were too! We enjoyed a dungeness and piquillo pepper appetizer, scallops, an extra course of risotto that was a gift from our Inn (!!)( Honor Mansion), a wonderful duo pork dish with crispy shoulder and tenderloin (yum). They were so gracious, everything was so delicious. The highlight of our entire trip. They were pairing the pork with a Porter Creek Pinot Noir that was delicious with our entire meal. We would actually make a special trip from Chicago for one of their special events.

Dinner with a group of 10 at Bar Vino in Calistoga. We passed a couple of large antipasto plates and then since they had 10 larger main courses, we ordered one of each and just passed plates. It was fun and the food was good.

Lunch at Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen was wonderful. Again, 10 of us were there. Very fun waiter, everyone was happy with their food. I ordered the Pollo Loco after much deliberation. Fantastic. Others had the special of pork shoulder slow roasted with pappadelle, tamales (that 2 people said were the best ever), a hamburger, calves liver. Everyone was happy. A few appetizers passed around were very good too. Great meal.

Ten again for lunch at Redds. Very nice. The table favorite was a tuna/hamachi tartare that we ordered in duplicate as part of an appetizer sharing and then some liked it so much they ordered it for their main course. Yummy. Short ribs good too. People were thrilled with desserts.

Lunch for 6 at Greystone at the CIA was good, but not as good as I'd hoped. We ordered the appetizer sampler to start. This was good. Beef carpaccio, wrapped bocaccini, and 2 others were done really well. Main courses of zarzuela of shrimp, clams and mussels, and another of linguini, not as much. Shrimp was really, really overcooked. Nice setting, but wouldn't go back.

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  1. rworange RE: mousse Apr 29, 2009 08:47 PM

    Nice report. What did you like at Bar Vino the best?

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    Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen
    1327 Railroad Ave., St. Helena, CA 94574

    Dry Creek Kitchen
    317 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448

    Greystone Restaurant
    2555 Main St St, Helena, CA

    Redd
    6480 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

    Barvino
    1457 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515

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