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Dry Creek Kitchen

Author: Julie Fadda Powers
June, 2015 Issue

Dry Creek Kitchen
317 Healdsburg Ave.
(707) 431-0330
Wine Country Cuisine
Dinner nightly
Entrées: $27-$39
Full bar; outstanding wine list
Dry Creek Kitchen is the epitome of fine Wine Country living and dining. Located on the ground floor of Hotel Healdsburg, its combination of design, locally sourced food and wine, and excellent service and hospitality is gracefully executed. The floor-to-ceiling windows and doors open up to its terrace, which is popular for al fresco dining and truly brings the outdoors in.
Its new executive chef, Andrew Wilson (most recently with Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar), joined the team this January and works closely with Chef Charlie Palmer to create varied menus and experiences, including two types of fixed-price tasting menus as well as a la carte items. The menus change often to reflect what’s in season. When we visited, we opted for the early spring tasting menu with wine pairings and two additions from the a la carte menu.
Upon ordering, warm, light, house made focaccia was served in a cast iron skillet. Our first course was “beets three ways,” which came with a vibrant, colorful array of Sonoma greens and was texturized with toasted pistachios. They sat atop beet puree and a thin-sliced, roasted beet on the bottom and were topped with crispy beet “chips” and goat cheese mousse. It was paired with 2012 Capture Sauvignon Blanc, which elevated the earthy dish with its light, crisp touch.
Second was an outstanding Dungeness crab and asparagus spring risotto with mascarpone cheese. Served al dente with crisp asparagus, it was buttery, rich and perfectly prepared. The pairing of 2013 Lioco Chardonnay (apple, citrus) complimented it well.
Our first a la carte item was ahi tuna tartare, which was served in a terrine with a base of bright green, beautiful avocado with a layer of incredibly fresh tuna on top, garnished with thin-sliced radishes and drizzled with soy lime dressing. It was paired with 2012 Nico il Greco (citrus, apricot) and came with thin-cut crostini that added a nice crunch.
The next a la carte item was a generous portion of seared foie gras, served atop a corn galette with fresh greens, caramelized apple and apple cider pan sauce. Yep, pretty much melt-in-your-mouth awesomeness right there. It had a lovely pairing of 2010 Moscadello di Montalcino “Mocali,” a dessert-style white.
The third menu course was one of the most beautiful presentations I’ve ever seen: tender king salmon that had an airy, crisp exterior (very thin), with Yukon gold mashed potatoes and my favorite mushrooms ever—morels—served whole with fresh green snap peas and a swish of green garlic on the plate. The combination of sweet, savory and just a hint of salt, and the brilliant texture combination, made this the perfect dish. It was paired with 2014 Poe Rose (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meuniere; sassy with a lush mid-palate, beautiful color).
The main course was char grilled filet of beef, cooked to an ideal rare and placed atop grilled asparagus with trumpet mushrooms and fresh greens, drizzled with black truffle jus and served with thin, delicious Parmesan frites. The pairing of 2011 Calluna Estate (Bordeaux blend; full-bodied, well-balanced) was ideal.
For dessert, we chose “DCK Dreamsicles,” a combination of naval orange gelée, vanilla bean Bavarian and buttermilk orange sherbet, paired with—wait for it—Tuaca (love it!). And while it was lovely, the chocolate peanut butter bar, a crunchy and creamy, layered combination of dark chocolate marquis and peanut butter mousse with a side of chocolate sorbet was our favorite of the two by far. It came with “The Endurance,” a chocolate coffee cocktail that literally took the experience to another level of wow. What a fantastic meal.


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