Restaurants & Bars 3

Healdsburg: Willi's et. al.

moto | Jul 15, 2006 06:24 AM

greetings, hounds, since the wine-making environs are inviting for summer leisure, thought I should share my impressions. As Willi's has a pretty prominent location right next to the plaza, nearly opposite Dry Creek Kitchen, I've walked passed it many times and it was usually busy or full. We were looking for a light supper many hours after an all-you-can bbq lunch, and thought their small plate format would do the trick.

I can't deny the popularity of the place, so after our experience, I have to concede that if value is not a concern (I can't overcome my upbringing by depression and famine survivors), and if one favors the protein and alcohol(in fancy/tasty guise) diet that has its adherents (many in the 25-50 demographic, I suspect), Willi's is probably a good choice. We shared a soft shell crab BLT, and I know the soft shell season passed, but off-season versions I've had in spider rolls had more of that unique briny/crabby tang than this version. The tomato part was a mere token sprinkling of cherry sized slices, and again the peak season hasn't come, but I know there are nice Early Girls in the kitchens that take the trouble. I might seem hyper-crtitical, but this is where the value part comes in. We had the BLT, a small salad, a small portion of just o.k. frites with a good cheese dressing/dip, and a draft of beer. What one hungry person might lunch on, in other words. It came to a bit over $30. If anything was exceptional, I'd say o.k., even for a just a nice ambience (like Barn Diva, where we found the food good, not great, but the surroundings very pleasant). I don't perceive anything exceptional about the place. And yes, they really do charge ($4, forewarned we didn't ask for any) for bread. They had a selection of four (usual suspects, kumamoto, tomales..) different origin oysters, so I guess they attract people who must have oysters in Healdsburg.

Would we go back? The Healdsburg spots we've sampled: Dry Creek Kitchen, no; Willi's, no; Barn Diva, maybe, but not for dinner; Bovolo, yes emphasis; Zin, probably; Santa Rosa tacqueria, yes; the little Persian deli across Dry Creek Rd. from the Best Western and Travelodge, yes; cyrus, maybe. enjoy your summer

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