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Don’t know whether you’ve been in Healdsburg Wine Country lately, but the buzz in town is all about Single Thread Restaurant— a whole new approach to farm-to-table restaurants. I haven’t been there yet, but it is definitely on my 2017 must-do list.

It’s a farm-to-table sensory experience

It just opened at the end of 2016 after a lot of fanfare about how great it was going to be. It seems to be living up to expectations. Single Thread isn’t just well-prepared food — it’s a sensory experience. The eleven-course tasting menu extends over hours, immersing guests in each morsel, each moment. Andrew Dalton in Eater San Francisco called the food “culinary bliss.”

Owned and run by husband and wife team, Katina and Kyle Connaughton, the concept behind Single Thread has been building over time. Kyle’s credentials run from SoCal to New York to Japan to England, where he was head chef of research and development at Fat Duck, a Michelin three-starred restaurant. During his time there, Restaurant magazine named Fat Duck the “best restaurant in the world.“ He developed a signature multi-sensory cuisine for their menu. A culinary scientist and foodie extraordinaire, Kyle is also an award-winning author of several cookbooks.

It’s a local, farm-to-table food experience

Katina oversees Single Thread’s farm, located only ten minutes from the restaurant. Many of the menu’s fresh ingredients come from their five acres along the Russian River. The farm is not only fruit and veggies; Katina also tends olive trees, beehives and chickens. Sourcing Sonoma County ingredients, this is a true farm-to-table approach.

From raising crops to exquisite presentation, this place seems to get it right. The secret sauce of this dining extravaganza is in the details. With an emphasis on hospitality, the staff welcomes each guest with a fully personalized experience. Each step of the meals brims with grace and style.

It’s an unforgettable farm-to-table restaurant experience

To get a seat, you buy a ticket in advance. Then you’re contacted to arrange menu details specific to the preferences of you and your guests. Sounds like an awesome way to celebrate an anniversary, Mother’s Day, or any occasion that you want to be unforgettable. I’ve heard that you don’t even get a menu until the end of the meal, a sort of memento of your evening.

It costs about $300 per person, which includes gratuity and tax. Add on wine-pairing for more. Single Thread is right downtown, just a block off the central plaza. Open 5:30 – 11:00, closed Mondays singlethreadfarms.com. If you go, let me know what you think!

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Scopa
Hands down, this is our favorite spot in town for atmosphere and knockout Italian food. It’s very small and intimate, yet the bistro atmosphere is lively and electric. It’s right downtown on the plaza and always packed, but the food and ambience transport you into your own private world. Try the Tomasso’s Suga Calebrese for an amazing taste experience. Truth is we’ve never had a bad dish here; it’s impossible to go wrong. The food is simple but perfectly prepared every time. The staff is fantastic as well! Be sure to make reservations at least a couple weeks in advance. And if you can, check out Winemaker Wednesdays where local winemakers not only bring their best bottles, they actually serve you. It’s great fun!

http://www.scopahealdsburg.com
Check out the Zagat review: https://www.zagat.com/r/scopa-healdsburg

Chalkboard
This downtown eatery specializes in small plates inspired by what’s fresh on its three-acre organic garden located at Chalk Hill Winery. The stylish atmosphere is warm and welcoming. Everything on the menu comes a la carte. I ordered the steak on special that night, and when my plate arrived we were stunned to see a mere six bites of meat. But when Iwe took the first bite, it melted in our mouth. It was like nothing we’ve ever tasted before. Imagine smoky velvet — pure sensual delight! In a way, the small portion invited me to thoroughly enjoy each morsel. They have a terrific wine list and original cocktails too.

http://chalkboardhealdsburg.com/
Check out the Zagat review: https://www.zagat.com/r/chalkboard-bistro-wine-bar-healdsburg

Barndiva
Just off the square in downtown Healdsburg, Barndiva’s rustic décor and good vibe make for a perfect dinner for two. It’s a wine bar, cocktail lounge, art gallery and bistro all in one. If you can, get a table in the garden where the fountains and twinkling overhead lights create a charming atmosphere as evening settles. The food is out of this world. we strongly recommend the wine-pairing menu. The wines may have stood fine on their own, but it was the way they complemented the food that was so exquisite. The staff really knows their wine and food, so take their suggestions! The pours were generous, service excellent and the food fantastic.

http://www.barndiva.com
Check out the Zagat review: https://www.zagat.com/r/barndiva-healdsburg

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