Dry Creek Inn

The Healdsburg Hotel restaurant, the Dry Creek Kitchen, happens to be one of the best in Sonoma County. Charlie Palmer serves a simple cuisine with the emphasis on fresh produce in unassuming and comfortable surroundings. The hotel is perfectly placed for making the most of Sonoma vineyard visits, with modern and comfortable design which makes the hotel stand out from the local competition.

Super-chef Charlie Palmer’s spa-equipped Hotel Healdsburg is a temple to fine wine and fabulous food, served up in a warm and woody modern environment. The heart of the hotel is its highly polished but refreshingly informal Dry Creek Kitchen, where farm-fresh Californian produce takes the starring role – almost, but not quite upstaged by the Sonoma-centric wine list.

We ate handsomely, with the minimum of fuss and at a price that doesn’t hit your wallet like a duff prawn hits your stomach

Gourmet credentials – Wedded to the land and changing with the seasons, the Modern American restaurant menu is rooted in the hotel’s Sonoma surroundings, tapping local farms for meats, veg, fruit and cheeses. Executive chef Dustin Valette is a Sonoma native, and his confident kitchen handles a cornucopian array of regional ingredients with consummate aplomb. Scallops area perennial favourite – whether pumped with black truffle oil or dusted in caramel popcorn powder and swimming in sweet corn soup – and mains tend towards bold and ballsy flavour combinations (albacore, shitake and kombu;coriander-crusted duck, peach and candied onion) that could easily over balance in less meticulous hands.

Top tipple – Sonoma is a county of vineyards, so it’s no surprise that the award-winning Dry Creek wine list should be one of the best curated in the States, combining some of the most sought-after Californian rarities with little-known selections from up-and-coming wineries, all selected with a refined palate and a gimlet eye by sommelier Courtney Humiston. Generously, the restaurant doesn’t charge corkage for Sonoma wines, which can take a significant sting from the bill.


– Fine-dining food

– Unpretentious atmosphere

– Wonderful wine cellar

– Farm-fresh Sonoma-sourced ingredients

Rates from £189.51 per a night 

To book this hotel visit mrandmrssmith.com

Recipes from this chef