Ranch & Coast Magazine

November 2022

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Page 68 of 91

e nearby Oakville Grocery offers gourmet items, wine, sandwiches, pizza, and pastries. Other local favorites include Black Oak Coffee Roasters, which has won awards for its espresso. I especially liked the signature Lavender Latte and the Mayan Mocha, along with the avo toast with shaved radish, za'atar, mustard frill, and toasted seeds. e rustic Costeaux French Bakery, a Healdsburg tradition since 1923, has won dozens of awards for its artisan bread and pastries is is a favorite locals' spot for breakfast and brunch or a boxed lunch for a wine country picnic. For dinner and drinks, the three-level Matheson's is a must for modern, farm-to-table wine country cuisine, with Chef Dustin Valette and Craig Ramsey at the helm. Huge murals depicting wine country scenes by artist Jay Mercado decorate the striking dining room and bar on the first floor. Wine barrel staves inspired the ceiling. A wine wall offers true "flights of fancy," featuring 88 wines on tap, giving customers the chance to sample small pours of a variety of wines without committing to a whole glass or bottle. We dined on Sonoma County duck and then went upstairs to check out Roof 106, the buzzy open-air cocktail lounge and restaurant high above Healdsburg Plaza that pays tribute to the bees that pollinate plants and its own worker bees who serve customers at e Matheson. Also recommended: Chef Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen, Single read, Barndiva, Valette, and e Madrona, about a mile from town, housed in a newly renovated 24-room historic inn dating to 1881 and featuring outdoor dining on the lovely Palm Terrace where Executive Chef Jesse Mallgren offers estate-grown vegetables, fish, and meat. ere are dozens of tasting rooms in Healdsburg. We especially liked Marine Layer Wines on Center Street, a chic contemporary space with a marble bar, banquette, and couches where you can sip small-batch wines made with grapes grown in the cooler, windier climate along the Sonoma Coast. Taylor Brunson, our knowledgeable server, poured flights of chardonnay and pinot noir complemented by savory snacks from the "farm forward" Little Saint restaurant, including cashew cheese dip with chili oil, pickled string beans, and mashed chickpeas with pumpkins seeds. We also enjoyed art and wine at the Harris Gallery founded by M.C. Harris and his son, Alex (known as A3L3XZAND3R). e Harrises are accomplished artists who have partnered with local winemakers on limited edition wines featuring their art on the labels. ey are also wonderful raconteurs, talking about their art, the county's history, and "must visit" places in town. Back in San Diego, I realized four days was not nearly enough to explore Healdsburg, and to sample and sip all that the community has to offer. I can't wait to return. For help planning your own trip, visit the Healdsburg Tourism Improvement District at stayhealdsburg.com and Sonoma County Winegrowers at sonomawinegrape.org. ranchandcoast.com @ranchandcoast RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2022 69 Marine Layer Wines Healdsburg Plaza

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