In a sea of self-conscious, chi-chi restaurants cluttering Healdsburg, the Healdsburg Charcuterie & Cafe (335 Healdsburg Ave., 707/431-7213, Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–3 p.m., 5:30–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. noon–3:30 p.m., 5:30–9:30 p.m., Sun. noon–3:30 p.m., 5–9 p.m., $13.50–21.50) makes diners feel at home. With a cute but not annoying pig theme, local art on the walls, and a softly romantic atmosphere, the Charcuterie makes a great option for a romantic but not overwhelming dinner out.
The house-cured pork tenderloin sandwich is the house specialty, but vegetarians certainly can find a tasty and well-prepared meal here. The Charcuterie pours some lovely local vintages and offers wine flights.
The most famous restaurant in Healdsburg is probably the Dry Creek Kitchen (317 Healdsburg Ave., 707/431-0330, www.charliepalmer.com, Fri.–Sun. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Sun.–Thurs. 5:30–9:30 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5:30–10 p.m., $26–38). This chic Charlie Palmer dining room takes the concept of California cuisine to the next level. Expect to see foam, froth, jus, and coulis splattered across the menu, which can range from upscale-but-recognizable to totally bizarre.
The Dry Creek Kitchen serves brunch and lunch on the weekends, offering its own unique take on eggs Benedict, sliders, and other standards. This is a great place to check out some Dry Creek appellation vintages.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition