Opened in 2003, Dry Creek Kitchen trail-blazed its way into Healdsburg, California, turning the sleepy gold rush town into a national culinary mecca in the heart of laid-back Sonoma County wine country. Twenty years later, the restaurant still glitters and is adding affordable menus, a new look, and a hometown chef, Shane McAnelly, to its sparkling culinary crown.
Welcome Home, Chef!
McAnelly is the lauded toque behind two other Healdsburg restaurants, Chalkboard and The Brass Rabbit, so he’s familiar with the town’s delectable dining scene. But after a two year stint on the east coast, he’s returning to Healdsburg as Executive Chef of Dry Creek Kitchen. He’s already planning for your arrival too and has tapped into the region’s best purveyors, farmers, ranchers and fishermen to bring seasonal California to the Michelin-star dining room.
“I am beyond excited to return to one of my favorite places on earth,” says Chef Shane McAnelly. “I was quick to reinstate my relationships with some of the most niche growers and purveyors here in Northern California. It’s a great honor to work with Chef Palmer and the Dry Creek Kitchen team and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together.”
Michelin Meets Laid-Back Sonoma County
Twenty years ago, Dry Creek Kitchen (at Hotel Healdsburg) was one of the only upscale restaurants on the town plaza. Chef Charlie Palmer and Dry Creek Kitchen, along with the opening of the hotel, have long been credited with luring a steady stream of talented and passionate culinary professionals (and tons of hungry visitors) to the area. However, the partners and the new chef hope Dry Creek Kitchen’s new menus keep it approachable and authentic for visitors and loyal neighbors.
“At Dry Creek Kitchen, our goal is to deliver a refined dining experience without a big ticket price,” shared Charlie Palmer. “The quintessential one-Michelin star experience and a menu rooted in the regional and locally grown bounty of Sonoma County.”
The new menu price points at Dry Creek Kitchen are all about choice and value. Here’s what you can expect (check ahead, as pricing can change).
Seasonal Three-Course Menu | $75 per person: Choose from a selection of locally-inspired first, main and dessert courses
Monthly Five-Course Tasting Menu | $135 per person: Each month guests can opt for the hyper-seasonal selections of our five-course tasting menu
Weekly Sonoma Neighbor Menu | $55 per person: Offered every Thursday evening, a locally-inspired menu will be just $55 per person
Drink Menu: Choose from a selection of popular, obscure and award-winning Sonoma County-only wines as well as hand-crafted cocktails and mocktails.
The World’s Greatest Collection of Sonoma County Wines
When you travel to Sonoma County, there’s a good chance you’ve come for food and wine. But if you’re an oenophile, you’ll definitely want to make your way to Dry Creek Kitchen. The wine list is considered the most expansive collection of Sonoma County wines in the world.
In the restaurant’s new glass-enclosed cellar are more than 700 selections of local wines, including obscure regional varietals. As a result of Dry Creek Kitchen’s long-standing relationships with the area’s most iconic winemakers, guests will have access to normally unobtainable selections directly from the cellars and libraries of legendary local winemakers such as Tom Rochioli, Dave Rafinelli and Williams Selyem.
Set along the Russian River in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country, about 111 kilometres (69 miles) north of San Francisco, Healdsburg (pop. 11,254) combines small-town charm, stunning vistas, and award-winning food and wine centered around a charming and historic town plaza.
Foodies and oenophiles will love the location, at the juncture of three prime wine growing regions — the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Alexander Valley wine appellations — with an abundance of dining options, too, from casual bakeries and cafes to hearty hamburgers and roof bars to haute cuisine.
Strolling is a popular pastime in Healdsburg and there are dozens of tasting rooms and art galleries within walking distance of one another, as well as several other hotels and inns, bars and boutiques.
BeSeeingYou In: Healdsburg, California
Good to know: Healdsburg can get crowded May through August, but September and October are divine.
WOW! Factor: In the Dry Creek Valley, located northwest of Healdsburg, there are some grapevines planted more than a century ago that still thrive today.
Tip: Reservations are always essential when dining in Healdsburg.