Had a wonderful experience at Ravenous in Healdsburg Saturday night -- great food, service, and ambience.
Sunday was Rodney Strong's annual Wine and Chocolate Fantasy, so we headed up to Healdsburg the day before. Spent Saturday hiking (Armstrong Woods/Austin Creek just north of Guerneville, highly recommended if you like steep trails) rather than wine-and-food-ing, but had a great dinner Saturday night at Ravenous. We hadn't called ahead for reservations, and it's a tiny place, but they surveyed the goings-on at the bar and said they'd have counter seats for us in about 20 minutes, and I think they were spot-on.
We had a nice bottle of Dry Creek Merlot (1999?, $31), but as we watched the bartender work we kind of wished we'd ordered cocktails -- they hand-squeeze fresh fruit directly into the shakers and glasses, and the results looked great. Meriko introduced me to sidecars a few years ago, and it's been my standard ever since -- I bet Ron would have made a great one.
We started with a generous smoked salmon and caviar appetizer and a caesar salad. The salmon came with deep fried corn cakes (must have been a very fine corn meal, you couldn't tell by looking that it was corn) that we both really liked. The caesar had very fresh lettuce, a nice dressing (though I prefer it bolder), and big shavings of quality parmesan.
For entrees, I had a ribeye and John (one of those strange almost-vegetarian types) had the stuffed grilled poblano. The ribeye was cooked medium-rare as requested, and had a nice red wine-cognac butter melting on top. The twice-baked potato was good but not outstanding (I couldn't identify anything specifically wrong, but I didn't quite finish it, and I *always* finish my potatoes) and the grilled veggies were great. I only had a wee bite of poblano, but John really liked it. It also came with the grilled veggies.
We had a blood orange sorbet for dessert -- nice and tangy, with coconut macaroons that really complemented it.
Ron the Bartender was busy but took good care of us, and the maitre d' made sure everything was smooth throughout, after his very welcoming seating efforts.
The restaurant is nicely decorated -- warm orange walls, black wrought-iron fixtures, no hint of country-cute, but not pretentious-elegant. Not a high-romance spot, but warm and inviting.
The bill came to $103 (post-tax, pre-tip) for 2 apps, 2 entrees ($25 and $15, which I think were the highest- and lowest-priced), 1 dessert, 1 bottle of wine. We were very happy.
420 Center Street, Healdsburg
reservations highly recommended
yum.Posted by andrea on February 11, 2003 | TrackBack