John Ash & Co and Corks Restaurant ??
We are going up to the Healdsburg area this weekend for two nights staying near Forestville -- -- we are thinking about having dinner at either John Ash & Co or Corks Restaurant in Forestville and wanted your thoughts or suggestions -- also we would love any suggestions about where to eat the next night -- something more casual and fun??
You might look at Bistro des Copains in Occidental (a little drive, but not too far from Forsestville). They have reasonable corkage fees on Sonoma wines (free on Thursdays), so you can bring in one of your great finds from tasting during the day.
There are also a couple of very casual places in Graton.
I've always been very pleased with John Ash & Co. The food is generally of the perfect ingredients prepared simply type of cuisine. The service is impeccable, and the room is beautiful. I also really like The Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, but that won't be more casual.
In Graton, I think that Pam F is referring to Willowood and Underwood. I've only eaten at Underwood, and there just for late night eats. But the food we had was wonderful and the cocktails were also very good. Guerneville is just a few miles west of Forestville and has a number of places that would be great for your second meal. I heartily recommend boon eat+drink for excellent casual meals. There is a small plate with burrata cheese, beet "pesto", rustic bread and a drizzle of olive oil that is excellent - one of those dishes that is definitely more than the sum of its parts. The crispy brussels sprouts are kind of famous, and very addictive. We also visited Agriculture recently for dinner and were very pleased. The food was excellent and we thought the prices very reasonable.
Bistro des Copains is also very good, but that is a longer drive from Forestville.
Two places come to mind when I think of fun, casual, and good food.
1.) Zazu - far west side of Santa Rosa - 707.523.4814. Never had anything here that wasn't delicious. Plus, they seem to always have quail on the menu. Local winemakers like this place, and they have a very fair, very interesting winelist. You need reservations for Friday, Sat, or Sunday.
2.) Willi's Seafood & Raw Bar - Healdsburg - 707.433.9191. Always good, always fun, always crowded. I think the name is misleading, in that they offer small plates that go way beyond seafood. They don't do reservations, but they are reasonable about putting you on the wait list if you call and say OK we're in the car and 30 minutes away.
You will enjoy either, I think, more than John Ash. Nothing against John Ash, it's just that Willi's is so much fun, and Zazu is such a quintessential wine country spot. Enjoy.
For something casual and fun I would suggest Wurst in Healdsburg. Visited there last week on the recommendation of a chef friend, and it did not disappoint! We were met by the owner, who quickly explained how the menu works. Basically it's really good brats and sausages, cooked to perfection with your choice of topping like grilled onions, peppers, and a wide variety of mustards. We also got onion rings which were crispy and divine! The service here was excellent too, despite it being pretty crowded. Enjoy!