Recently in Healdsburg Category

Braised Pork Belly

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recipe_DryCreekKitchen_Pork-Belly_Credit-Bill-Milne-(2).jpgBraised Pork Belly
Caraway Sauerkraut & Potatoes

Wine Pairing: Dry Creek Kitchen Sommelier Drew Menro recommends the 2009 Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.  Freeman strives to make wines of elegance and is able to achieve wines with body and concentrated fruit flavors without high alcohol levels. Their 09 Sonoma Coast Pinot displays brooding flavors of black cherry, plums, and roasted strawberries with hints of mushroom and tobacco. Plus, it has the firm acidity that is needed to match up with the tangy sauerkraut.

In celebration of Epicurean Winter in Healdsburg and the annual Pigs & Pinot event, try this delicious braised pork belly recipe for dinner!

If you are planning a trip to Healdsburg in the next few months (and we encourage you to plan one!), then be sure to take advantage of the Pigs & Pinot Connoisseur Package offered by Hotel Healdsburg. For lovers of Pigs & Pinot that couldn't make Charlie's big event this year, Hotel Healdsburg has created a package for people with a passion for both.

This one-of-a-kind package includes:
  • Two nights in a Hotel Healdsburg premium king or double queen guest room.
  • Private tastings at esteemed Pigs and Pinot wineries - Williams Seylem and Merry Edwards. Tastings are extremely limited and subject to availability.
  • Pigs & Pinot Inspired Dining at Dry Creek Kitchen
  • Pigs & Pinot welcome amenity.

CLICK HERE for more details and to make reservations!

Epicurean Winter in Healdsburg: Culinary Mecca

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healdsburgChamber_olives.jpgHealdsburg is literally a food-lover's paradise; a culinary mecca where chefs have access to fresh, local produce, sustainable seafood, and organic meats throughout the year. The town is home to some of the country's most celebrated restaurants, including two Michelin Star recipient Cyrus, Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen, and Zin Restaurant and Wine Bar, which uses produce and eggs from their own farm.

Now through March, "Epicurean Winter" offers an array of culinary festivals, special dinners, wine tastings and specifically geared toward the epicurean. There's something for every food and wine lover who wants to enjoy a relaxing, indulgent escape that's still close to home.

We All Swoon for Spoonbar

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spoonbar4.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

The h2hotel is Healdsburg's newest swank place to sleep, but its in-house bar does a lot to prevent any sleep from happening.  Sleek modern furniture, all-spoon waterfall, small production artisanal liquors, classic glassware, and incomparable barman Scott Beattie at the helm make it very hard to call it a night when Spoonbar bartenders await.

Bar Manager Scott Beattie first secured his place in the pantheon of celebrity mixologists when he created the award-winning bar program at Cyrus restaurant, just a few steps up the street in the Les Mars hotel.  Scott's rigorous standards for organic seasonal produce, ultra-premium mixers, and craft-distilled local spirits changed the way people looked at cocktails--and the way cocktails look.  His excellent mixologist cookbook, Artisanal Cocktails, belongs in every cocktail enthusiast's library, whether or not you can hunt down fresh Rangpur limes or borage blossoms in your area, and whether or not you ever intend to dehydrate lotus chips, pickle hearts of palm, or make grapefruit foams to garnish your drinks.   After a few years of freelance cocktail catering and consulting post cocktail cookbook, Scott has again stepped behind the bar to kick off the program at Spoonbar, a restaurant with locally-driven, sustainable ingredient sourcing priorities that line up rather nicely with his own.  

Healdsburg's Dry Creek Kitchen

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drycreekkitchen.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

All too frequently, restaurants run by out-of-town celebrity chefs reflect their out of town origins more than their actual location.  Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen bucks that trend in every respect, and more than lives up to its name.   

Chef de cuisine and Healdsburg native Dustin Vallette manages the kitchen, crafting elegant menus from Sonoma County's finest seasonal ingredients to complement the region's distinctive wines.  Sommelier Drew Munro has created an all-Sonoma County wine list of over 600 different bottles, including the largest selection of dessert wines of any Sonoma restaurant, but the restaurant charges no corkage for Sonoma County wines brought in to the restaurant.   Dry Creek Kitchen's active participation in numerous special events throughout the year further celebrates the local winemakers, and food artisans of the area.

The restaurant is situated on the main square in downtown Healdsburg, immediately next to the swank Healdsburg Hotel.  I met General Manager Dan Prentice last year during an unrelated visit to the hotel last year, and after a fascinating discussion of the restaurant's numerous dining and wine programs, he invited me back to experience them first-hand. 

Hungry for Healdsburg

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drycreekkitchen2.jpgBy Robert P. Farmer

It's difficult to not eat well in Wine Country. Even the holes-in-the-wall joints along the road tend to be well above average - indeed some are included among the best bets when it comes to dining. Each of the many and varied towns in the Napa and Sonoma valleys have their distinct characteristics. And, each has their destination-dining spots. But few have the abundance of options as Healdsburg. From coffee shop and bakery to casual takeaway diner to multi-star restaurant, Healdsburg's collection of dining options is among the best anywhere in Napa, Sonoma, or anyplace for that matter.

Situated far in the northern reaches of Sonoma County, Healdsburg is, like most of Sonoma's small town, centered on a square. The Town Square is the hub of activity for Healdsburg, where the spokes of good wine, good food, and social spirit emanate in all directions.

Delicious Deals

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From truly cheap eats to exquisitely high-value dining

By Sue Elliott

When business gets tough, restaurateurs get creative, coming up with delicious high-value offers to entice diners through the door. We've included many of the best deals here along with a handful of little-known, always-cheap eats.


Angèle Restaurant & Bar
The deal: Classics, $18-$20.
When: Sun.-Thurs. 5-9 p.m.
What you get: A hearty, traditional French one-dish meal. Current Classics include La Chaudrée fish stew on Sundays, ratatouille on Mondays, choucroute alsacienne on Tuesdays, coq au vin on Wednesdays, and chef's choice on Thursdays. The ingredients are fresh, the preparations meticulous.
Other deals: Half-off wines and beers that pair nicely with the Classics. That means Chardonnay on Sundays, "other reds" (Syrah, Petite Sirah, Côte Rôtie, Beaujolais, Crozes-Hermitage) on Mondays, beers on Tuesdays, and Pinot Noir on Wednesdays. Every bottle on the wine list is half-price on Thursdays.
Where: 540 Main St., Napa, (707) 252-8115, angelerestaurant.com.

Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin' BBQ
The deal: Pony Express Lunch, $10.
When: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
What you get: Fast and tasty. Choose any sandwich (pulled pork, beef brisket, shredded barbecued chicken, grilled veggies, or The Reubenesque), plus any side (such as fresh, crispy cole slaw), and any nonalcoholic beverage. The delicious meal is served in 10 minutes or less, along with three barbecue sauces.
Other Deals: Happy hour, weekdays 3-6 p.m. The $5 rib and cole slaw appetizer includes three Smokin' St. Louis Cut ribs. The $10 BBQ sampler is enough for a meal, with brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and slaw.
Where: 975 First St., Napa, (707) 226-3976, bountyhunterwinebar.com.

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Five Fun Things in Downtown Healdsburg

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healdsburgmarket2.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

(1) Healdsburg Farmer's Market.
One of the most famous farmers' markets in the Bay Area is mere steps from the square. Unusual heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers are only the beginning... local cheeses, meats, seafood, and breads round out the offerings and make it clear you are in a very delicious place.

Healdsburg Farmer's Market
Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings (check website for seasonal closure)
North and Vine Streets, Healdsburg
707-431-1956

Perfect Patios

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williseafood.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

The heat is on! And few things are more glorious than summer dining alfresco in wine country. I offer only three recommendations here because there are far too many fabulous patios than I can do justice to in the space permitted.

Willi's Seafood & Raw Bar just off Healdsburg's main square has a blissfully shaded garden patio on which to sample their delectable and different small plates. Tuna tartare--normally a snore-inducing must-skip item for me--goes in an entirely new and awesome direction here with cashews and slivered chilies in a cool coconut milk sauce, served atop crispy taro chips. Pumpkin seed-cilantro pesto takes bacon-wrapped scallops to new levels of delicious depravity. If it hits triple digits on the patio, move inside to the bar and have Bob the bartender (or one of his compatriots) cool you down with a cucumber martini.

Summer Love

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By Deirdre Bourdet

Summer romances are as old as time, and like clockwork, I find myself falling in love every year around this time. I speak of course of fresh salmon.

Nothing says summer more enticingly than a huge piece of barbecued wild salmon, charred and smoky from the grill, its succulent pearlescent flesh crying out to be devoured. Unless you consider sweet and toothsome and absolutely impossible-to-say-no-to grilled corn on the cob... ; or the intoxicating fragrance of farm-fresh heirloom tomatoes seducing the unwary into $30 salads... or hunks of cold watermelon so juicy that you need a napkin just to think about putting a piece in your mouth.
recipeDryCreekKitchen.jpgSubmitted by: Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen
Chef: Les Goodman

Wine Pairing Suggestion:
Papapietro Perry Winery 2005 "Peter's Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen, located in Hotel Healdsburg, serves an ever-changing menu celebrating Sonoma County's fresh seasonal ingredients and wines. Each March, Chef Palmer hosts Pigs and Pinot, a two day festival of spectacular food and wine.  This dish is a tribute to Pigs and Pinot and is paired with this year's winning Pinot Noir.


Hotel Healdsburg
25 Matheson Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448
800.889.7188
www.hotelhealdsburg.com

Dry Creek Kitchen
Hotel Healdsburg
317 Healdsburg Avenue
Healdsburg, CA 95448
707.431.0330
www.charliepalmer.com



Pigs & Pinot: The Perfect Pairing

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pigsPinot.jpg
***Find 2010 info HERE. Event is March 19-20, 2010!***

HEALDSBURG, CA - Don't miss this year's Fourth Annual Celebration of Pigs & Pinot 2009 event, March 20-21, 2009 at Hotel Healdsburg. The weekend will include a series of intimate dining and educational events hosted by renowned Chef Palmer.

Tickets can be purchased directly online and there are several lodging packages available at Hotel Healdsburg which include access to all Pigs & Pinot events, including exclusive access to the Gala Dinner. But space is limited; so make sure you make advance reservations now!

Pigs & Pinot

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By Robert Farmer

piggy.jpeg

One could spend a lifetime enjoying Wine Country only by its events. The calendar year is jam-packed with themed events that were created to spotlight and celebrate the many and diverse aspects of Wine Country. All wine regions have them, and some are of course more alluring than others. Others still speak to certain people on an acute level. And those nice-market events are where you can find your personal Valhalla.

One such event for me in particular is Pigs & Pinot at the Hotel Healdsburg (800-889-7188; www.hotelhealdsburg.com). Now in its third year, this descriptively titled weekend-long event is the brainchild of chef Charlie Palmer, whose Dry Creek Kitchen is one of the great destination restaurants in California Wine Country. Pigs & Pinot, as you have by now likely surmised, is a celebration of the flavor combination of pork and pinot noirs--Palmer's professed favorite food and wine varietal pairing. The weekend is comprised of a gala dinner, wine and food pairings, and seminars and parties related to all things pork and pinot noir. It's at once decadent and educational--one of the most innovative culinary-themed events in the region. Attendees will be treated to samples of more than 50 pinot noirs from some of the top producers in Sonoma County and the world. The wines are paired with such pork delicacies as charcuterie, homemade sausages, pates, and one-off creations from chef Palmer as well as well-known chefs from San Francisco, New York, even France.

Guests are also invited to check out "swine and wine" seminars and a demonstration-style cooking class. Essentially, when the weekend is over, you'll know about all there is to know about the pairing. And, you might also need to hit the gym. Hotel Healdsburg conveniently has one, and they are also offering special weekend packages for the event. The extravaganza begins Friday, March 14th, and lasts through the weekend. And to make it even more worthwhile, proceeds from the event benefit Share Our Strengths and Healdsburg's St. John's School.

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