I celebrated my 30th birthday in style with a weekend in Healdsburg with my special man friend, who, as a side note, gave me a super cool new camera (perhaps so I’m not hounding him for blog photos all the time?) — such a thoughtful gift. It was one big birthday blowout for our taste buds, with stops at wineries including (these were just the favorites) Bella Vineyards, Seghesio Family Vineyards and Ridge Vineyards.
Downtown Healdsburg is a charming spot overflowing with tasting rooms— we particularly enjoyed Hawley Winery and Edmeades — and fantastic restaurants.
My birthday dinner at Barndiva, just a block away from the main square, was delicious from start to finish. For cocktails, I tried Johan’s Mama (aquavit infused with toasted cacao nibs and ginger, house-made blackberry liqueur, nigori sake, barrel-aged bitters, sage and lemon) while Chris opted for Poodle Springs (jalapeno-vanilla infused pisco, luxardo maraschino, German Riesling, crème de peche, toasted bitters, lemon juice).
It was tough to make main-course decisions, but Chris ended up with a rack of pork with stone-ground polenta, braised chard, pancetta and gravenstein apple chutney. Me? I devoured my Sonoma leg of lamb with heirloom bean gratin, haricot verts, mint pesto and tomato marmalade.
After dinner we enjoyed a picturesque night cap at Spoonbar.
The open faced turkey meatball sandwich at Bolovo, inside Copperfield’s Bookstore, was a knock out for lunch.
Willi’s Seafood is a must-try for such delights as the tuna tartare with jalapenos, cashews, ginger and coconut milk
and the curried crab roll. Great spot to grab a Sunday afternoon seafood snack.
Another excellent dinner choice was Zin Restaurant and Wine Bar, where I ordered strip steak with pinto beans and a chile relleno.
The weekend was a wonderful way to kick off what I’m sure will be my best decade yet!