Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Healdsburg & Dry Creek Valley

Ridge Vineyards
After Jason and I polished off the bottle of Unti zinfandel the other night, we were talking about how awesome Healdsburg and the Dry Creek Valley are. I feel like people are always asking me where to go in Napa and Sonoma and I always try to encourage people to check out Healdsburg. The Dry Creek Valley is part of Sonoma County and just a little bit north off the 101 from San Francisco. We have celebrated many special occasions in Healdsburg because it is really our favorite place in wine country. GO!


Bovolo - Believe it or not, this place is in back of a bookstore right on the square in Healdsburg. The back of a bookstore is not your typical place for such righteously good food, but it somehow works. Bovolo describes their food as "slow". They are open for lunch and dinner and have a great little outdoor patio. We are BIG fans of the coo-coo frites, which is fried dough stuffed with mozzarella and salami. Insane. We also love the world famous pork cheek sandwich. I kind of wish I could eat there everyday.
Coo-coo frites at Bovolo
Barndiva - Love Barndiva! The restaurant is housed in an old, now renovated barn. So pretty. Barndiva says that they "celebrate everything local" and I think that really does describe this place perfectly. They use ingredients from local farmers, ranchers and small batch purveyors. I wish all restaurants did that. The chef previously worked at The French Laundry and was part of the opening team at Per Se in NY. This place is no joke.

Cyrus - Cyrus really needs no introduction. Cyrus has won pretty much every culinary award that you would want to win. It is often described as The French Laundry of Healdsburg. Jason and I celebrated our first new year's eve in the bay area at Cyrus. It was definitely one of the best dining experiences we've ever had. I will never forget when they wheeled out a wood box filled with black and white truffles and they just shaved them over whatever we wanted. Whoa. You should also plan on going early to have a drink at the bar. The bartender is known for his bitchin cocktails.

The truffle box at Cyrus


Preston - Preston is the cutest place. It is an organic family farm and when you pull up to the tasting room you see chickens running around. They specialize in Rhone and Italian varietals and the wine is great.

Quivira - This place is the coolest. Not only did we taste wine here, but we did their biodynamic farm tour. Their farm is amazing. They have all these different plots of fruits, vegetables, and herbs with different restaurant's names on them so you can see which local restaurants use their produce. The tour is fantastic and they really teach you all about the byodynamic farming process. It really is fascinating. The wines are also delicious, but the whole Quivira experience is amazing.

Biodynamic farm at Quivira. This batch is being grown for Barndiva!
Ridge - Great tasting room with a gorgeous view and patio. Great place to hang out on a sunny day. Great zins.

Unti - Tiny little place. Tasting at the bar, you feel like you have been welcomed into someones  home. Nice people and good wine.

Iron Horse - This is not in Dry Creek Valley, but we drove a little out of the way to check this place out. One of the best tasting rooms to visit on a beautiful day because the tastings are done outside. Amazing views and great sparkling wine. Good combo.

Toad Hollow and Rosenblum are also great tasting rooms that are right on the main square in Healdsburg.


Healdsburg Modern Cottages - Stayed here on our last trip up to Healdsburg and we loved it. It is owned by the people from Barndiva and is in a great location just two blocks off the square. I would definitely recommend staying here in the summer because there is a great little pool.

Healdsburg Inn On The Plaza - The name really says it all. Nice little hotel right on the square. Perfect location.

Les Mars Hotel - This is the hotel that house Cyrus. Definitely the most upscale place to stay. It is beautiful and on the square as well.