Bistro Ralph Healdsburg.
Mid week lunch options in the wine country are limited. Healdsburg has seen resent new fine dining options expand with the opening of Spoon Bar but the mid week lunch scene is limited. Spoon bar not open for lunch, Dry Creek Kitchen serves lunch only on the weekend from Friday to Sunday. The now closed Cyrus leaves a vacuum at the top of the restaurant food chain. So where is one to eat on a Wednesday in Healdsburg.
For over 20 years Ralph Tingle has been serving his take on French Bistro fare in his wine country restaurant on the town square in Healdsburg. It is the perfect place for dinner or lunch if you want to rub elbows with local wine makers. Prior to opening Bistro Ralph he cooked at some of the best restaurants in Paris and the US including Taillevant Paris, Academie du Vin, Cordon Bleu, Auberge de Soliel to name a few.
When he opened 20 years ago Healdsburg was not a city with destination restaurants he was a pioneer in the wine country. 20 years later he is still turning out fine French food with an American flare while others have come and gone namely Cyrus which closed after only a few years due to a dispute with their landlord (the food was amazing and will be missed).
Today’s lunch started with the whole leaf sweet gem Caesar salad with Vella Aged Jack cheese. The lettuce was perfect with one perfect crouton.
Next I enjoyed the “Texas” Veal Chop charbroiled with anchovy butter, sweet potato fries and watercress salad.
I indulged in the Chocolate Taillevant tart served with crème anglaise roasted hazelnuts and cherries. This is a classic flour-less chocolate cake very rich and intense the portion seems small but size can be deceptive.
This restaurant gives you everything and more than you expect in a wine country dining experience, great comfort food, great wines and casual and efficient service.