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It’s just so damn charming, with its many quality restaurants and wineries and bars and cute shops, that the out-of-towners keep comin’ (like moths to a flame), and the locals get no peace.
Things keep getting nicer, and more expensive, and the laid-back country charm is getting overrun and squeezed out a bit. (And I’m not helping matters by writing this piece.) Of course, the biggest buzz to hit Healdsburg of late has been the arrival of ~SINGLE THREAD~, most definitely my favorite dining experience of 2016, and my March meal there this year is still bright in my mind.
It’s also very peaceful—the volume of the restaurant is quite modulated.
(Although one clunker for me has been the music—I was always paying too much attention to it, which didn’t seem right.) Guests are initially invited to the rooftop to decompress from their drive from San Francisco (which is rarely pleasant) or wherever they’re coming in from, and any dietary restrictions or aversions are discussed over a welcome beverage and bite.
Some restaurants have a full-time forager, but here, they have two full-time florists dedicated to assembling all the beautiful presentations of leaves, mosses, flowers, and other treasures that will find their way to your table throughout the evening.
The award-winning design by Avro KO is so intentional, from the edges and width of the walnut tables to comfortably accommodate glassware to the brass finishes, the layout, the finely tuned lighting, the custom everything.
The space feels simple and soothing yet dense with detail, like the Fibonacci series-inspired pattern on the kitchen doors that close at the end of service (and on the carpet). They represent different months, and the patterns are actually inspired by the DNA sequence of plants, like tomatoes (for August).
(Although they also know there is also something so exciting about being served the very first peas of the season on a cold night in March.) The menu is meant to shift not only with the seasons, but also the microshifts within the seasons, week by week, day by day.
Each meal is designed to be a celebration of the moment—fleeting as it may be.