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Oct 10, 2010 01:53 PM

Looking for THAT restaurant in San Francisco and question about Healdsburg

My wife and I will travel for 2.5 weeks to San Francisco/Healdsburg/Yountville end of November/beginning of December and the journey will of course also include many good restaurants covering a wide array (e.g. multicourse high-end, more "neighborhood" like restaurants etc.). Currently we are trying to come up with our list of restaurants which include six restaurants for San Francisco. So far we have five places on our list but we can't really decide on the sixth one. We are looking for some kind of creative, relaxed restaurant (no high end multi-course since we have already a few on our trip, slow, relaxed service is important for us because even without a tasting menu we like to have long, relaxed (2-3 hours) dinners). Somehow we are not really sure what we are looking for ("hidden gem", "classical" SF restaurant) but open to every suggestion (Below is a list of the restaurants we are planning to visit to give a better idea.)

The second question is about restaurants in Healdsburg. We are looking for three restaurants (again no multi course high-end) and based on previous visits, CH posts, blogs we have a list of several restaurants but would like to get feedback which are the current board favorites.

Restaurants (in random order):

Chez Panisse
Barndiva/Bistro Ralph/Scopa
Bistro 29/Mirepoix/Zazu
Ad Hoc
French Laundry

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    1. How about Mochica (Peruvian), Maykadeh (Persian), or Jai Yun (Shanghai)?

      Jai Yun
      680 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      Maykadeh Persian Cuisine
      470 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

      937 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

      5 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Willi's Wine Bar in Santa Rosa is excellent! They have a sister restaurant in Healdsburg called Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar, I would try to get to both if possible. Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg is also very good, located in the Hotel Healdsburg. :)

        Willi's Wine Bar
        4404 Old Redwood Hwy, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

        Dry Creek Kitchen
        317 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        Hotel Healdsburg
        25 Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA

        1. re: syrahgirl

          We went to Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar two years ago and it was good. How different is the menu between the two places in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg ? (online menus are not always accurate)

          1. re: honkman

            The menus for the two Willi's are substantially different, and may share no dishes at all (though this is from memory). In any event, both are good, though I prefer the Seafood and Raw Bar.

        2. re: Robert Lauriston

          Jai Yun sounds interesting. What's the current starting price for their prix-fixe menu (dinner)? I read somewhere it starts now at $80/person if you go with two people. Is this correct and is the food really worth this price ?

          Any asian inspired/ asian fusion restaurants which are worth a visit ?

          1. re: honkman

            Might start at $55 a person now? To me it's a bargain given the level of cooking, the number of dishes you get, and no corkage.


        3. Mosiac
          Dry Creek Kitchen
          Madrona Manor
          Healdsburg Bar and Grill
          in no specific order

          All in Healdsburg area
          Hope you have a great time

          Dry Creek Kitchen
          317 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448

          21021 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville, CA 95441

          109 Plaza St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

          Madrona Manor
          1001 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448

          2 Replies
          1. re: celeryroot

            My husband ate at Mosaic and reported it was great (I had to work that night) but it's in Forestville, which is not too far from Healdsburg, but it would be a bit of a drive after eating and drinking. One place I really like in Healdsburg that I haven't seen mentioned is Ravenous. It's casual and low key, but the service is great and the food is spot on.

            For the OP: how far from Healdsburg did you want to venture? I noticed you listed Zazu, in Santa Rosa; and Mirepoix, in Windsor. Also, Chez Panisse is in Berkeley, not San Francisco. Will you have a car? How much driving were you thinking of doing?

            1. re: Kathleen M

              Yes ,we a have car and are willing to drive a bit for good food.

          2. In SF, perhaps La Folie, Frascati or Kokkari?

            La Folie
            2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

            Frascati Restaurant
            1901 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

            3 Replies
            1. re: Kaypel

              We have looked at La Folie but we a little bit afraid when we heard numerous time that they have very large portions.

              What do people think about Zuni Cafe ? Are there other "classical" San Francisco places we shouldn't miss ?

              1. re: Kaypel

                I looked more into La Folie. Their webpage is not really updated for a few years. It looks like they have 3-7 course tasting menu/prix fixe. Does anybody knwo their current prices ?

                1. re: honkman

                  At La Folie they basically have a big list of dishes and you build your menu. Three courses is $75, five is $95 (I believe, can't quite remember).

                  I would recommend going with a four course meal, including dessert (so three savory courses). They really do have large portions, but I almost can't fault it because everything is so amazingly good. The lobster appetizer contained pretty much an entire lobster tail and was the most succulent lobster I'd ever had. The seared foie was excellent as well (I wasn't such a fan of the torchon, but I've never really been a fan of cold foie dishes so that might be personal bias seeping through).

                  The menu on their website isn't exactly what's being served there now, but it gives a decent idea - it's all classic high end french cuisine.

                  I went a few weeks ago and had a great time, highly recommended.

                  La Folie
                  2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

              2. Barndiva is turning out some excellent food in Healdsburg. Chef is ex French Laundry and Per Se and it shows. You won't be disappointed.
                We head out to Sonoma County every few months and Bardiva is a "must" for us each time.

                231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448