Category: CA – Healdsburg

Ravenous (Dinner) »

The Basics

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Cuisine: American
Ambiance: Cozy Cottage
Address: 117 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Neighborhood: Sonoma
Phone: 707.431.1302
Web Site: no site found, click here for their yelp
Must Taste (Dinner):

  • According to the man at Trentadue, the burger is a must-eat. Although we really wanted to try the Ravenous burger we heard so much about, we were persuaded away by the rest of the menu, but if you try it, let me know what you think.
  • Bravette Steak – $26 – “Creekstone grilled spice-rubbed bravette steak lime chipotle sauce peppers + onions…roasted potatoes” – the steak had an awesome flavor and I really enjoyed the sides, too.

Best For: Semi-casual/romantic date (because of the laid back atmosphere) or dinner with friends/family.
What to Wear: dressy casual to dressy
Fave Points: that “where the locals eat” feel, interesting menu selection, location
My Occasion: dinner with friends
My Fave Dish: That bravette steak – the flavor combo was out of this world – loved it!

Menu pricing and availability subject to change.

My Dish

After wrapping up our *sniff* last wine tasting of the day at Rosenblum Cellars , we were seriously ready to get our eat on and headed back to Ravenous (Trentadue’s dinner recommendation) to see if they were open yet. It was Saturday night, sure to be a busy night for the restaurant, so we were lucky we got there early at around 5:15pm.

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The restaurant was located in what looked to be a renovated house. I loved the interior – it was so cottage-y-cozy. I love these local-type restaurants – they are so fun to visit.

The place was empty when we got there, which was good because we beat the crowd. Ravenous had quite a few reservations booked up apparently, because I watched them have to turn away a couple groups. If you want to hit up this spot, I suggest you make reservations ahead of time or get there early! The bar area filled out pretty quickly since most of the tables seemed to be saved for reservations.

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We grabbed a table with a half booth along the wall where my friend and I could both fit on the cushy booth-side and were promptly greeted by our waiter…

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…and 2 copies of a hand-written menu, presumably by the chef. The selections all sounded really good, so my foodie friend and I happily split a few courses so we could try out more flavors.

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The table had pitchers of water with lemon and (I think) cucumber slices.

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The table also had a lovely loaf of bread – I think it was wheat sourdough.

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We started with a mixed green salad – can you believe this is “half”?! The portion was more than generous, and the salad was really good – the dressing was so light that I hardly noticed there was any on the salad at all (a good thing IMO).

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We also got an appetizer of crab cakes to share. These came with another little salad. My friend absolutely loved the crab cakes, and though I thoroughly enjoyed my share of the dish, I couldn’t help but think the ones from Eclipse were a wee bit better. My friend confirmed her enjoyment in the dish with her look of pure crab-cake-enjoyment that I noticed as she munched on hers.

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Now, the entree was another story. We got the bravette steak – from the menu: “Creekstone grilled spice-rubbed bravette steak lime chipotle sauce peppers + onions…roasted potatoes.” The steak was a little cool (heat-wise) when it came out, but the flavor more than made up for it. The spice rub was subtle but delicious and paired well with the cilantro lime sauce that lightly flavored the meat. The roasted potatoes were nice, hot, and tender, but not too soft. The carrot and asparagus were good, too, as was the roasted red onion quarter. The steak was by far the star of this meal!

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After our main meal was over, we received another hand-written menu for desserts. We looked it over but remembered another recommendation by Trentadue to try Hotel Healdsburg for dessert, so we got ready for some sweets (even though we were pretty stuffed!).

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Before leaving Ravenous, I snapped a couple shots of the fireplace that added extra coziness to the atmosphere.

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As we left, the restaurant was just picking up steam. The place was really filling up and must be popular with the locals.

Unfortunately, Hotel Healdsburg was closed for the evening for a special event, so we headed back to San Fran in search of sweets…more on that next time.

Final Dish

I really loved how cozy our dinner at Ravenous was. My friend and I were so comfortable there dining with the locals. I enjoyed the simple, little touches, like the handwritten menu and roaring fire in the background. Our waiter did a nice job taking care of us without rushing us and the food itself was really great overall, as well. I’m a little sad I didn’t try that burger the man at Trentadue suggested, but there’s always next time. I think I’m also going to stick around for a Ravenous dessert next time, as well.

Rosenblum Cellars »

The Basics

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Cuisine: Winery
Ambiance: Jovial
Address: 250 Center Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Neighborhood: Sonoma
Phone: 707.431.1169
Web Site: https://www.rosenblumcellars.com
What to Wear: casual to dressy casual
Fave Points: location and the $5 shipping on 6 bottles of wine
My Occasion: catching up with a girlfriend
My Fave Wine: Désirée Chocolate Dessert Wine, California

Menu pricing and availability subject to change.

My Dish

After leaving Trentadue Winery, we headed over to Healdsburg, CA for a snack. It was about 4:30 pm and we’d had a late breakfast, but no other food…just lots of good wine. We got a couple recommendations for restaurants in Healdsburg by the peeps at Trenadue and decided on hitting up Ravenous where we heard they had a great burger. Unfortunately, we were a tad early and the restaurant didn’t open till 5!

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Although we were a bit hungry, we decided more wine sounded like a good idea still, plus my friend said most wineries closed after 5/6 pm-ish, so we hit up Rosemblum Cellars. Rosenblum’s Healdsburg tasting room was actually in the city of Healdsburg, so the place was packed! We had to wait to get a spot for tasting. A spot opened up but the people on either side of it spread out so we couldn’t fit. Luckily, the nice man behind the counter kindly asked the gentlemen to help us make our way to the tasting counter. How nice!

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The tasting room was super cute and there was wine everywhere!

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There was a cozy sitting area across from the tasting counter, but this area stayed pretty empty while we were there.

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Once we got a spot at the tasting counter, it was vino time! My friend and I each got the reserve wine samplings. I was most intrigued by the wine they said was for barbecues and grilling-out parties! Those wines really did taste like they’d go great with some nice, smoky summer-grilled foods! I didn’t get any bottles of these BBQ wines, but wish I did!

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More etched-glasses! I loved how each winery had their own etched tasting glasses.

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Seriously…wine everywhere!

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Love those pour spouts.

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Though this place was busy, we had a good time with our wine tasting. Oh, and do you see that decorative vase-looking-thing in the background?

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I’m talking about this thingy – the blue, green, and yellow vase. If you’re not familiar with wine tasting, you may not know what this is. This receptacle is where you pour the wines you don’t want to drink any more. I know…it sounds almost impossible to not want to finish your wine! But, if you’re up for a serious day of wine-visiting, you can easily visit 5+ wineries, so at some point, you may wish to not finish your entire tasting glass, especially if you’re driving! In that case, simply pour your wine into this vase. Done and done.

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Specials.

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Rosenblum has a stimulus plan, too.

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My friend and I wrapped up our wine tastings and even got to try some of their delicious dessert wines, including one that is flavored like chocolate!

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I probably would have only been able to get 1 bottle of wine, but due to luggage space, not budget. Like I said, I had budgeted for some vacay shopping. Lucky me, the winery offered $5 shipping to select spots if you purchased 6 bottles of wine or more. Now, I say I budgeted money, but I didn’t budget 6 bottles worth! As it worked out, my friend got 3 and I got 3, which they let qualify my order for the shipping…yay! The people at Rosenblum were so nice! I picked up 2 dessert wines and 1 white. There they are on the counter while our wine helper prepares my goodies for shipment.

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Friends at Rosenblum. :)

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Corks by the entrance/exit. Info on the wine club, too. Each of the wineries we visited had their own wine clubs, which I didn’t research, but seemed to get you free tastings and discounts on wine. If only I lived in Cali…I would be all about a wine club membership! In fact, my friend said she wants to retire in California wine country and now that I’ve seen what it has to offer…I want to retire there, too! It’s beautiful and so relaxing!

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After finishing our tasting at Rosenblum Cellars, we headed back to Ravenous for sustenance. More on dinner + dessert next time!

Final Dish

My friend and I really enjoyed our trip to Rosenblum Cellars. The place was packed, but we still got a lot of attention from the man helping us. The $5 shipping really saved me because I wouldn’t have been able to buy those extra bottles of wine if they didn’t ship them to me (all bottles arrived safe and sound a week-ish later). My suitcase was already packed! I also really liked the location of Rosenblum’s tasting room – right in the heart of Healdsburg, CA – a cute wine country town. There were tons of restaurants and shops nearby – all within walking distance. In fact, we ended up walking to the restaurant where we had dinner and we really enjoyed looking in all the little shop windows and what not. Definitely try the dessert wines if you go…I know I will next time! I’ll look for that BBQ wine, too!

Bella Vineyards + Wine Caves »

The Basics

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Cuisine: Winery
Ambiance: Inviting
Address: 9711 W Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Neighborhood: Sonoma
Phone: 866.572.3552
Web Site: http://www.bellawinery.com
What to Wear: casual to dressy casual
Fave Points: the tasting caves! I believe these can be rented for special events.
My Occasion: catching up with a girlfriend
My Fave Wine: 2006 Sonoma Country Syrah

Menu pricing and availability subject to change.

My Dish

My friend has already been out to wine country and since she lives in San Francisco, was able to gather a slew of good winery recommendations before our trip. She hand-selected a handful that she thought would be good to visit, which was awesome because I knew nothing about the wineries out in the Sonoma area.

First up on the agenda was Bella Vineyards + Wine Caves . Thanks to our staying up late chit-chatting, sleeping in, and late breakfast, we didn’t make it to the first vineyard until about 2PM, which was fine with us because neither me or my friend like to rush around.

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The weather was a bit uncooperative and scheduled to be rainy and overcast. Luckily, we mostly just had overcast with some peeks of sun throughout the day.

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After seeing the Bella sign at the entrance, we drove up a little hill and parked. The view from just the parking lot was spectacular! So scenic!

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We saw a cute doggie running around the picnic area where people were enjoying lunch outside.

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Since we didn’t bring any food with us, we headed straight for the tasting cave.

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We first hit up the cutesy boutique area, inside the cave, where they had lovely platters, other plate ware, and random trinkets.

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Next, it was on to the tasting area. The place was pretty packed, but we waited a couple minutes till some people left so we could squeeze in.

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We selected the Tasting of Current Release Wines.

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We got started with our wine tasting.

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They had little menus printed out so you could read a blurb about the wine you were tasting.

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I loved how the tasting glasses had the vineyard’s logo etched into them. I would learn over our trip to wine country that this is a common theme for the wineries.

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Getting another taste.

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At the tasting counter!

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The inside of the cave was themed nicely – everything was muted in color, and the cave had a relaxing feeling.

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They had barrels, wine bottles, and boxes of wine piled up behind the tasting counter.

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More vino!

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We wrapped up our tasting and headed back out of the cave. My friend advised me to pace myself on wine-buying since we had 4 more wineries on our agenda, which sounded like a good strategy to me since I wasn’t exactly budgeted to go too crazy on the wine-buying. I thought the wines at Bella were pretty good, but it was tough to decide on buying something or not since I had nothing to compare my tasting to. I decided to hold off on buying any wine just yet, though I’d end up wishing later I’d gotten at least 1 bottle.   

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The winery had some proud awards and other plaques displayed throughout the caves.

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On the way out.

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Almost there.

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It wasn’t a long walk from the tasting counter to the door…I just took a lot of photos since I thought the view was interesting. Check out all the people having picnics in the background!

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Here are the hills above the Bella caves.

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The sun even peeked out for a bit.

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I didn’t buy any wine, but I did get some Zinfandel Grape Jelly! I can’t wait to try this stuff! I thought it was made by the winery, but upon reading the label, realized it was made by Zin Restaurant , which we didn’t get to visit (this trip).

Final Dish

I absolutely loved my trip to Bella Vineyards + Wine Caves. The wine caves really gave a unique flair to the winery and made it a must-stop for my friend and me. The people working the tasting counters were very friendly and quite knowledgeable. I’d love to go back to Bella some time soon, but next time, I’ll be sure to bring a picnic basket so I can enjoy their scenic setting with some tasty treats and some extra spending money so I can bring a bottle of wine or 2 home with me.