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4 days in Healdsburg. Please help me narrow my choices!

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Carlsbad, California
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4 days in Healdsburg. Please help me narrow my choices!

Please help me narrow down my choices based on your experience.

Restaurants (narrow down to 3):

scopa

dry creek kitchen

willi's seafood

baci cafe & wine bar

zin

cena luna

a devine affair

Barndiva

Lunch:

Bear republic brewery

Francis Copolla Winery Mammarella's

Any others you recommend?

Wineries (narrow down to 4 or 5):

Ferrari-Carrano

Simi Winery

Michel-Schlumberger Wines

Lancaster Estate Winery

Bella Vineyards

La Crema

Ridge

Mauritson

Seghesio

Healdsburg, CA
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1. Re: 4 days in Healdsburg. Please help me narrow my choices!

For restaurants, I would pick Dry Creek Kitchen and Willi's Seafood for sure, and for the third it would be between Zin and Baci. Baci is newer, but I've heard nothing but amazing reviews, and Zin is a staff and guest favorite.

Willi's seafood is also open for lunch, so you could go there for lunch and choose another restaurant for dinner. Another Lunch place I would recommend would be Healdsburg Bar and Grill downtown. Otherwise, the Dry Creek General Store is a great gourmet deli near some of the wineries you've listed.

For wineries, are you only wine tasting one day, or were you looking to just do one or two a day?

If you're just tasting one day, these are the four I would choose; Michel-Schlumberger does a great tour, that I would highly recommend. Also nearby are Bella, Ridge and Mauritson. These four you could do the same day, all in the Dry Creek Valley.

Lancaster is in Alexander Valley, and also has great tours, but it is further away than the other wineries you've listed. This would be in the same general area as Simi.

Seghesio is also great wine, close to the square, so if you have the time I would add this in one day.

Hopefully this helps!

Innkeeper Mandie

Honor Mansion

Forestville...
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for Sonoma
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2. Re: 4 days in Healdsburg. Please help me narrow my choices!

I haven't dined at Scopa (tried recently but they were fully booked), Baci or Divine. Have had dinner at all the rest multiple times and you won't go wrong with your choice IMO. Read the reviews and check out the individual web sites if you haven't done so already--chances are there will be certain ones that resonate with you. As Mandie has mentioned, you can eat lunch at Willi's since they offer the same great menu all day long and then (my thinking) is have dinner at Dry Creek, Zin, and either Cena Luna or Barndiva. Cena Luna is sophisticated and more serene, while Barndiva is very artsy and casual--and at times, a bit rowdy! My choice of wineries would include: Ferrari-Carano, Michel-Schlumberger and Mauritson (Mauritson is my favorite).

San Diego...
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3. Re: 4 days in Healdsburg. Please help me narrow my choices!

I was just in the area back in April. I'm usually on the other side like, St. Helena, Calistoga,etc... so I'm not too familiar with the restaurants in Healdsburg. Anyway we went to Ferrari-Carrano and did the private food and wine pairing tasting. OMG LOVED IT! ($50ish a person?) It was highly educational, relaxing and an amazing experience. You must make a reservation ahead. It's a very large "commercialized" winery. However, it's also gorgeous and I wouldn't miss it. Oh Bella...my favorite for a picnic!! DEFINITELY PICNIC there. We went to Oakville Grocery in the square picked up soup and sandwiches then bought a bottle of vino at Bella. You can picnic in the caves or on the gorgeous grounds. If you could do only one this is the one I'd choose! Those two wineries are minutes from one another...just be sure to give plenty of relaxing time at Bella...you won't want to leave it's so relaxing. Enjoy! We're heading to Healdsburg in less than 2 weeks so I'll post any info on restaurants. I'm curious myself. Too many to choose from!

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4. Re: 4 days in Healdsburg. Please help me narrow my choices!

I would keep Dry Creek Kitchen and Willi's, they are both very nice choices for meals in Healdsburg. Cyrus is also in Healdsburg, a very nice, fine dining restaurant that is one of the finest in the wine country. Definitely keep Ferrari-Carrano on your list, the grounds are gorgeous here as well as the views. Enjoy your time in the wine country! :)

Healdsburg, CA
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5. Re: 4 days in Healdsburg. Please help me narrow my choices!

I just called to make reservations at Cena Luna for some guests, and their voicemail says they have closed down, so you can take that one off of your list! It's too bad, but hopefully we will get another wonderful restaurant in their location.

San Diego...
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6. Re: 4 days in Healdsburg. Please help me narrow my choices!

I heard Scopa is the best Italian in the area? Cyrus is too pricey...but maybe we'll try Dry Creek. They get such mixed reviews and I want a sure thing. I was leaning towards Madrona Manor, but it looks too "mature" and "stuffy". Are the photos misleading? Is it more cool than it looks? The food sounds amazing but the ambience seems unappealing. Any input?

Forestville...
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7. Re: 4 days in Healdsburg. Please help me narrow my choices!

Well--Madrona does have classic Victorian decor replete with antiques but not at all "fussy". It's beautifully and tastefully done, but if you personally think that's too formal for you, then perhaps it would distract you from the fabulous food(?) I find the ambiance very comfortable and serene feeling. Scopa is very casual in both their menu and ambiance. I think you'll get some arguments about it being "the best" Italian restaurant--but I haven't eaten there.

Edited: 10 July 2010, 04:17
San Diego...
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8. Re: 4 days in Healdsburg. Please help me narrow my choices!

okay, yes I'm fickle. ;) We're thinking now Dry Creek Kitchen. We don't want over the top fancy but we'd like a little something special. Does this fit the bill? The reviews are do or die! ???

Forestville...
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9. Re: 4 days in Healdsburg. Please help me narrow my choices!

Mandie--Cena Luna must have changed their message because I just phoned them and the message was terse--saying they were "closed for vacation and will reopen soon". But at least that gives one hope!! Their web site is still up, so... I guess we'll have to wait and see what official word we get. They've been one of my favorite dining places in Healdsburg.

As far as Dry Creek Kitchen goes, I can say that I personally have never, ever been disappointed with their food or service--and the ambiance is comfortable and relaxing, and exudes a special, upscale, contemporary feeling. We have a couple of good friends who are very critical foodies and are pretty demanding when it comes to fine dining. THEY have never had anything bad to say about Dry Creek Kitchen and in fact, it's one of their most favored restaurants. That's all I can say!

Edited: 12 July 2010, 20:54
Huntington Beach...
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10. Re: 4 days in Healdsburg. Please help me narrow my choices!

We ate at Dry Creek Kitchen and Willi's Seafood for dinner. They were both wonderful but it is like comparing apples and oranges. Dry Creek is really fine dining with great service and exceptional upscale fare. Willi's is very casual.

The food is good but not "designer" food. It's just good sea food. They have a lot of small plates, which we appreciated.

We had lunch at Zin, which is also casual. The food was very fresh and wonderful. It is not a "fine dining" experience, just really good fresh ingredient dishes in a casual environment. So I would not put it in the same category as Dry Creek Kitchen or Cyrus.