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Restaurants & Bars 4

Good eatin' in Healdsburg...

chester | Dec 3, 200506:51 PM

Thanks to everyone who sent suggestions my way. After braving torrential rain, we had a nice dinner at Ravenous Cafe. Though, it was sooooo dark in there and the menu sported such, um, creative penmanship that it was nearly impossible to understand what was on offer for the evening. The staff seemed a bit distracted (perhaps due to the few half-empty glasses of wine we spied at the back by the waiter station?) and we had to wait a while before ordering and before getting someone to bring a wine list. Which reminds me, the bottle of wine in which we were interested (a Syrah for about $45) was sold out. The resident expert was dispatched to our table and waxed on about a soulful syrah his buddies make. We thought,ok, good wine with soul. What he neglected to mention was that this bottle was $65--definitely a sneaky kind of up-sell. sure, we could have asked, but it's always been my experience that if there is a significant jump in price that we're informed by the waitstaff. The wine was really nice, but at $65 a bottle it dang well ought to have been excellent. The rest of the meal was pretty tasty (we had a pot roast: technically good, but sort of boring; and roast lamb: really nicely prepared and expertly cooked) but the highlight was the banana cream-chocolate tart thing. Mmm. And it was big enough to split. After our wine splurge, we needed to save our pennies! Also had an awesome time at Willi's Seafood. We sat at the bar and could peek into the kitchen to see the mad scramble in there and watched the oysters being shucked at the bar. We're not oyster fans, but our neighbors were inhaling them and moaning, so they could only have been fantastic. We loved the lettuce wedges with blue cheese and bacon--the dressing was mild and tangy and so good we could have licked the plate clean had we been home. The seafood was fresh and succulent--especially the tuna tartare which was prepared with coconut milk and cashews. (Thanks to the bartender for his suggestions!) The pan grilled calamari was crisp, juicy and really, really nice as was the lobster roll (imagine garlic-parsley butter running down your chin). We liked the crab cakes--tons of fresh Dungeness chunks--but the other stuff was so stand out that we sort of forgot about the crab cakes! Anyway, thanks for everyone who pointed us in the right direction.

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