A Foodie Tour of Healdsburg, CA
This Sonoma, California destination is a health-conscious wine and organic food lover’s ideal vacation spot.
The food in Healdsburg is world-class, and most restaurants pride themselves on shopping from local, organic farms, or growing their own produce. To boot, pretty much all of the restaurants in town have a lot of creative vegetarian and vegan options.
Dinner at Spoonbar, in the H2 Hotel, rivaled the best meals I’ve had in New York City and Paris. Seriously. We told the waitress that we didn’t want to eat anything that came from an animal. We got no complaints. What their fabulous woman chef, Casey Van Voorhis, cooked for us, shocked us. You’d never guess that the recipes had been modified, they were so delicious.
Our waitress, who was excellent, suggested we pair the seasonal dishes she served us with a fantastic biodynamic wine from a local winery called Medlock Ames. She explained that the winery is carbon-neutral, and gave us the curious backstory behind how their tasting room used to be a super-seedy biker bar. It ended up being one of the best meals I can remember having — ever. The sophisticated dishes were Michelin-star quality. Really. And I’m picky!
If you’re looking for a restaurant with a more home-cooked feel, try Italian restaurant Campo Fina. The Italian owner, Ari Rosen, cooks from the heart. The menu at Campo Fina was inspired by his childhood in Tuscany. Many of the recipes are his family and friend’s ‘secret’ recipes — and each dish has its own sentimental story attached to it. As per usual in Healdsburg, all the produce is from farms within a five mile radius of the restaurant, and biodynamic wine options abound. They even bake their own bread. In the back garden is a bocci ball court, stone oven, ample seating, and string lights. It’s allllmost as charming as its owner. 😉
In the mood for Mexican? Or how about a mezcal, tequila or reserve anejo tasting? Mateo’s Cocina Latina has a fantastic grilled tempeh dish that the chef’s bestie (the drummer from the band The Killers) convinced him to make. The dish is called “Alive & Healing Sonoma County Tempeh” caramelized with seasonal vegetables, pumpkin seed and bell pepper sauce. Follow it up with one of about a hundred versions of mexican liquors they have on hand. It’s a can’t-miss and, of course, made with all local, seasonal and organic ingredients. In fact, chef Mateo gave us a tour of his organic garden in the back of the restaurant. He’s thought of everything — he even planted bushes to keep the bees happy!
Up next: my favorite Healdsburg shops…