It is, quite possibly, the most important meal of the week. A meal deserving of a verb. To brunch is about more than just consuming food and drink — it’s a tradition, an event, a meal that feeds not just your hunger but the hunger of your tired, work-weary, hungover soul. We take it for granted living in a city. Deciding where to brunch and, more importantly perhaps, with whom, begins long before the weekend. Sweet or savory? Mimosa or bloody? It’s a decision you must live with all week.
In Wine Country, brunch has taken a while to catch on. Fortunately, the town of Healdsburg now has the fever.
Pizzando, the wood-burning-oven-centric sister to H2 Hotel’s Spoonbar, announced recently that they will start serving brunch beginning September 8. Chef Louis Maldonado who recently competed (and did quite well, according to rumors) on the yet-to-air 11th season of Top Chef put together a menu that checks all the boxes for a satisfying brunch: Eggs? Check — take them baked with tomatoes, quiched, scrambled with oyster mushrooms, or in an omelet. Savory? Yep. A “breakfast” pizza with fennel sausage will do. And for your sweet tooth, cinnamon raisin bread with burnt honey butter. Bellinis will flow from the tap as all bellinis should, and if you order Cappy Sorentino’s bloody mary, ask for it by the bottle or not at all.
While Pizzando’s brunch is a much-anticipated affair given the high quality of Maldondo’s cooking in general, it’s not the only game in town. The fledgling Shed, which opened this spring on North Street, offers a respectable French toast and a poached egg dish that changes weekly. Barn Diva has long offered a reliable brunch which includes classics like eggs benedict, a burger and lox.
As a fourth and final option, Ravenous, a Healdsburg staple next to the Raven Theater, is a tiny bustling spot with a handwritten menu that changes daily.