Thursday, February 07, 2013

Favorite Healdsburg Lunch Spots

While I haven't eaten at every restaurant open for lunch in Healdsburg, I've dined at most of the restaurants near the town square.  Here are my favorites in alphabetical order.

Bistro Ralph -  One of the first good restaurants in Healdsburg.  Ralph's serves a variety of entrees.  Make sure you're hungry.  Brunch is served on Sundays.

Campo Fina - Terrific paninis, salads, and small plates.

Downtown Bakery and Creamery - This is the place for dessert.  Delicious pastries and ice cream.

Healdsburg Bar and Grill - Great burgers and fries with truffle oil.  Need I say more.  Enjoy your burger, sandwich, or salad on the patio on a nice summer day.

Mateo's Cocina Latina - For something different, try the tastes of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Willi's Seafood - My favorite seafood restaurant in the Bay Area.  I love Willi's small plates and oyster bar.  One of the best lobster rolls in the Bay Area.  Also pretty good crab cakes.

Zin Restaurant - The salads, sandwiches, and entrees are all good.  Too bad Zin is closed on weekends.

Healdsburg has a lunch spot for just about every taste.  If you would like to take a private tour of the Russian River, Dry Creek, and or Alexander Valley that includes a stop for lunch in Healdsburg, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 or

Sunday, February 03, 2013

All Italian in Kenwood

Over the years, a few of my guests visited VJB Vineyards and Cellars in Kenwood (Sonoma Valley).  They always enjoyed the friendly staff and wines made from Italian varietals such as Sangiovese, Barbera, and Primitivo.  Last year, I learned that the tasting room had moved across the street and added an Italian deli.  As the northern end of Sonoma Valley has limited lunch options, especially during the week, I had to check out this new restaurant.

Last month, I finally got to visit VJB.  The wines were still good and the tasting room staff still friendly.  The big addition is La Cucina, the deli. On weekdays, the deli offers a variety of paninis, salads, cheeses, salumis, and antipasti.  On my recent visit, I enjoyed a tasty meatball panini while my friend had an antipasti plate.  You can enjoy your lunch with a glass of VJB wine outside at a table in the courtyard.  From Friday through Monday, the outdoor kitchen opens and you can lunch on pizza, ribs, drumsticks, and sausage and pulled pork paninis.  In the not too distant future, I hope to get back to VJB when the outdoor kitchen is open so I can taste more of their delicious food.

VJB's tasting room is located at 60 Shaw Avenue in the small Sonoma Valley town of Kenwood.  If you would like to take a private Sonoma Valley tour that includes a stop at VJB, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or