Single Thread Farm Restaurant and Inn — Healdsburg CA (3/2017)


The phrase “most anticipated restaurant opening” had been echoed by many publications, both food and non-food related) for several months prior to the opening and continue today as reviews come in.  I read about Single Thread Farm about a year ago and had been tracking their progress.  When they finally started taking reservations, I signed up for the whole experience for a Thursday night (room and dinner).  Weekend stays require a two-day minimum.  And dinner and the room are prepaid before arrival (although you can choose to order beverages at dinner).

This first part will cover the dinner experience as I normally would.  Afterwards, I’ll describe the hotel stay.

I booked an 8:30 pm dinner since I would be coming up from the city earlier in the day and didn’t want to stress making an early dinner seating.  They did contact me a few days prior to my dinner to offer an earlier seating for dinner, which I declined.

I walked downstairs from my room to the 1st floor reception desk.  They checked me in and then led me up to the 3rd floor roof deck.  The weather had just gotten nice enough for them to start using the roof for the pre-dining drink and snacks.  I must have been the only 8:30 reservation, as they seated me next to the fire pit and I noticed no one else was present on the roof.

They offered a glass of champagne to me as I looked over the Apéritif menu.  I declined and said I would just do wine at dinner.  They presented me with a ceramic glass with some chilled Sauvignon verjus (unripe grape juice) to begin the experience.  Soon after, they presented a trio of small bites to enjoy by the fire.

The first of the spring peas just became available and were used with farmer’s cheese and yuzu miso for  a slightly sweet and tart bite.  Beets roasted in a hearth for 4 days were served with tofu, winter citrus and charred kumquat. And to the left was a take-off on Japanese sendai rice cracker, only these were made with potato and tapioca with a filling of black truffle and mascarpone for a nice creamy and crunchy snack.

I was then led back downstairs to my table in the very nicely appointed dining room with a view of the open kitchen.

Once seated, I began thinking about the wine.  I had looked over the extensive wine list earlier in the day.  They offer a standard wine pairing and a reserve wine pairing.  They said their pairings provide for about 3.5 large glasses of wine over the course of the dinner.  That was still more that I probably wanted to drink.  So, I considered just ordering by the glass or selecting a fairly accessible bottle of Meursault (photos of several pages from their wine list appear at the end of this write-up).  After some additional discussion with the sommelier, I opted for the bottle of Meursault (I could take it with me since I wasn’t flying anywhere – I just had to tell them when I would like to cap the bottle).

The first presentation was a centerpiece adorned with several small dishes.  All of these were served cold or at room temperature.

The presentation represented late winter in Sonoma ingredients, a couple of which were from their farm, with the rest being fairly local in origin:  young broccoli form the farm with sesame dressing, steamed crab leg meat with spicy yuzu salt, lacto-fermented carrots on top of a black sesame cream, geoduck clam with kaffir lime gel, citrus-braised kohlrabi with Meyer lemon gel, mackerel cured in salt and gyokuro tea, a baby turnip from the farm, kumamoto oysters from British Columbia that were lightly pickled and served with some fresh wasabi, crispy potato “mess” with herb emulsion, and green garlic tofu panna cotta with asparagus and dashi.  This was a nice broad assortment of flavors and textures to start.

For the full write-up, click here.


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