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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.

Dining in Santa Ynez

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Salmon special at Trattoria Grappolo

Image by greenlagirl via Flickr

By Robert P. Farmer

Trattoria Grappolo
Typically bustling with locals, this lively hotspot was opened by an inspired chef transplanted from the Calabria region of Italy. The roast fish and chicken specialties suit nicely after a day of wine tasting in the area. The pizzas from the wood-fired oven are also a popular draw. The wine list features greatest hits from the surrounding valley vineyards as well as selections from the chef's home country. When dinner's done, slip next door to the Maverick Saloon for some true local flavor.

Open for lunch:
Tues-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm;
Open for dinner:  Mon-Sun 5-10pm
3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez
(805) 688-6899

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