Dry Creek Kitchen, Healdsburg, California
Healdsburg , California
Tel: 707 431 0330
Concierge.com's insider take:
If you're loath to surrender high heels and urban style just because you're in ag country, you'll appreciate celeb chef Charlie Palmer's Sonoma County outpost, Dry Creek Kitchen at Hotel Healdsburg. The architectural elements—vaulted ceilings, towering columns, and a wall of windows overlooking the town plaza—look out of place in this small town of white picket fences, but they set a dramatic backdrop for a night out. Palmer is usually at New York's Aureole, so instead the stoves are manned by Chef de Cuisine Michael Ellis, whose rich, hearty comfort cooking often relies on heavy ingredients such as pork bellies, fatty cheeses, and foie gras. Otherwise, if it's in season right now, it's on the menu. Most ingredients are sourced from within Sonoma County, arguably America's finest growing region for heirloom meats and produce and artisanal cheeses. Even the wine list includes only Sonoma vintages, and there's no corkage fee for Sonoma County wines (two bottle maximum). Menu standouts include California lamb two ways: a mustard-crusted double chop and a lumpia (think giant egg roll) of ground lamb. One complaint: The staff is young and inexperienced—when Michelin awarded Dry Creek one star, it did so on culinary merit alone. If polished service is as important as great food, choose Cyrus instead.